AVERAGE council tax bills for Essex residents are set to increase by more than £60 a year.

Essex County Council is putting up its council tax demand by 4.49 per cent which means a Band D household will see the county council’s share of council tax bills increase from £1,340.91 to £1,401.12 from April.

That is in addition to the demands which will be made by borough and district councils and the police and fire services.

The county council, which is set to formalise the increase at a full council meeting next month, says its proposed council tax increase represents an increase below the rate of inflation.

The rise is made up of a 2.99 per cent council tax increase (including one per cent specifically for adult social care), plus a further 1.5 per cent for Adult Social Care which was deferred from last year due the pandemic.

The council says inflation has added £32 million to next year’s bill for services.

However, it still plans to spend £284 million in 2022/23 on major infrastructure projects such as new schools and large road improvements.

Kevin Bentley, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “This budget will allow us to commit to Everyone’s Essex, our plan to improve the economy, the environment and life for children and families and promoting health, care and wellbeing for all ages.

“We are responsible for ensuring that we renew our economy, provide equal opportunities for all and ignite ambition for the people and places we are privileged to represent.

"This budget is a crucial step on that journey.”