Taxpayers are facing rising council tax bills as councillors decided to increase the precept to cope with less central government funding.

Councillors at Maldon District Council approved a 1.85 per cent rise in the precept - equivalent to an annual £176.24 fee for a Band D property or an increase of £3.20 a year - at a full council meeting on Thursday.

It is below the two per cent level at which a referendum would have to be held.

Last year, the precept was raised by 1.99 per cent and frozen the previous year.

Council leader Bob Boyce said the decision to raise the council tax precept was “difficult, but necessary”, after the council will receive almost half a million pounds less by the Government for the next financial year.

See the Standard - out tomorrow - for the full story.