Maldon District Council insists it does all it can to be cost-effective.

Following the publication of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s report, 50 ways to save - Examples of sensible savings in local government, the authority claimed many of the suggested measures were already in place or not applicable.

Among the ideas suggested were sharing back office services, clawing back money from benefit cheats, cancelling away days in posh hotels and glitzy award ceremonies, cutting middle management and senior pay, and scrapping the chief executive post entirely.

Council leader Bob Boyce added: “This list has not identified any new ways to save which we have not either implemented or explored.

“The district council has for a number of years looked at ways to make savings and improve efficiency in the interests of our residents and we will continue to do so.”