Vital rural services are being “crippled” because of Government funding cuts, says one district councillor.

Councillor Brian Beale, who represents Southminster, branded the cutbacks to Maldon District Council’s budget as “a disgrace” at a full council meeting on Thursday.

The council will receive £2,898,000 from Government for the next financial year, £453,000 less than the last year.

It also aims to save £350,000 in the next 12 months.

Cllr Beale said at the meeting: “It is sad that the main financial challenge is that the council faces significant reduction in central government funding.

“At the moment, it is crippling our ability to finance vital services."

See this week's Standard - out today - for the full story.