HOUSEHOLDS will pay on average an extra £19.80 in council tax to help support adult social care in Essex.

County Hall has approved its budget for the 2021/22 year following a meeting this week.

Leaders voted for a 1.5 per cent increase of the adult social care precept, while freezing council tax for the year.

The Government allows councils which provide social care to adults to increase their share of council tax.

This means that for an average band D property household, the County Hall element of council tax will increase by £19.80 next year, or 38p per week.

Last year the council agreed a 1.99 per cent tax increase alongside a two per cent social care precept - equivalent to £50 for a band D property.

Details on how much the precept may increase for the Essex Police and Fire and Colchester Council portions of the bill are yet to be confirmed.

County Hall said it will be investing £33 million across its portfolios, with the majority of this being invested in adult social care services.

Chris Whitbread, the council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “There is no doubt that this last year has been one of the most challenging that our county has ever faced.

“I am pleased to have agreed a responsible, sustainable budget, that will help our economy to recover, that will protect and support our residents and that minimises the impact on council tax, while ensuring essential services continue to be delivered.

“This budget represents an investment in the people of Essex; we have a responsibility as a local authority to achieve the best value for money for taxpayers, while ensuring that we help and support all our residents, particularly those that are vulnerable, to live the best life they possibly can.”