Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said:
“It’s clear the Chancellor has listened to the voices of local government. For this we are grateful. Only last week I wrote to our Essex MPs to enlist their support in lobbying for adequate funding for the services which our residents need.
“What was striking was the balance the Chancellor struck between short-term help, particularly the extra £650 million for social care and the ‘in year bonus’ payments for schools, and a longer term approach to planning sustainable public services from next year through a five-year plan. This is an approach we in Essex have been demanding for some time.
“Of course we don’t yet know to what extent he has listened – the detail of how much Essex will receive from the additional funding he announced for social care or potholes won’t be known until later in the week at the very earliest. That’s when we expect announcements on the detail from the relevant government department, for example Health and Social Care or the Department for Transport.
“We do know that Local Government has been far and away the most efficient part of the public sector, and Essex has a model county council in making efficiencies of £750 million since 2010. We also know that the demands on our services, particularly help and support for vulnerable younger and older people, are not going to go away. We are also not immune to factors like inflation which affects the County Council’s spending power in the same way it affects ordinary household budgets.
“Whatever the detail holds in store for us in Essex, we will continue to innovate, embrace new ways of working and become ever-more efficient.”