At a meeting of Full Council on Wednesday 1 March, Thurrock councillors approved a council tax increase of 7.99%, plus a 2% adult social care precept. The changes will take affect from 1 April 2023.
Cllr Mark Coxshall, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: "The decision taken tonight reflects the seriousness of our position. This increase is sadly necessary if we are to secure the future of this council. It is a step we need to take to recover financially and to ensure we can continue providing much needed services for our most vulnerable residents.
"For more than a decade we have avoided making the tough decisions required on council tax and instead just made minimal or even no adjustments. The consequence of this is we have lost over £55million in potential revenue – money that would have been invested into services. The simple fact is this low council tax base has significantly contributed to the financial position we are in and is not sustainable as the cost of delivering services is now outstripping the money we receive to do so.
"We will still have the lowest council tax rate in Essex and one of the lowest of all unitary authorities in the country.
"It was vital that we took the tough decision to do this and begin to correct the course we have been on. As someone who lives in Thurrock and has raised a family here, I do understand the impact this will have on residents, but to take no action now would have far reaching consequences and would put the future of this council in jeopardy.
"We know this increase will be especially difficult for some households, so we are creating a new Hardship Fund to ensure help is available for those who might struggle. We want to make sure there are safeguards in place to provide a vital buffer to prevent any household from being pushed into financial hardship as a result of the proposed increase."
This decision means a Band D property will pay £1,585.17 a year, an increase of £143.91 a year, or £2.77 a week.