SHOPKEEPERS in Tendring are being warned not to pay out unnecessary cash.

Tendring Council said companies are contacting people about their business rates and offering to get them reductions for a fee.

But it said no one needs to pay a firm to make any arrangements – they just need to contact council if they want to discuss their bill.

The council said it has recently received a number of calls from ratepayers who have been contacted by a company which has led to some paying an unnecessary bill of £399.

Paul Honeywood, cabinet member for benefits and revenues, said: “If anyone is contacted by one of these companies and offered this service for a fee I suggest they contact us first before doing anything else."