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Balanced budget will allow more to be spent on vital services

Millions of extra pounds will be available to spend on crucial services and initiatives after Thurrock Council balanced its budget for the next 4 years.

The achievement was highlighted by Cllr Shane Hebb, Deputy Leader of Thurrock Council and portfolio holder for finance, when he provided his annual report at the full council meeting last night (25 July).

Through a combination of self-sufficiency and an investment approach, the council has been able to balance the books as well as generate a surplus over the 4-year period.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Hebb said: "We all know that councils have had to play their part in reducing the national deficit, and Thurrock has been no exception. However, through our innovative approach and sound financial management, I am delighted to report that we are in the position to protect the vital services our residents depend on for another 4 years.

"It is unprecedented for a unitary council to be able to declare self-sufficiency until at least 2022 but at Thurrock Council we can. Indeed, a child born today will be in nursery before this council is unable to fund all the services it is today.

"Not only that, but we also have a large surplus – every penny of which we will be ploughing back into initiatives that benefit Thurrock as a place, its residents and its future.

"That means funding for improved grass cutting, increased street cleaning, continued weekly bin collections, a renewed pothole filling programme and a free alarm system for the elderly and vulnerable, as well as further investment in creating new school places and building new homes."

The council, which is working towards being completely financially self-sufficient, has also increased its general fund reserves by 38%, so in the event of economic downturn, the services which residents use and depend on are now safer.


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