COUNCIL bosses have promised to invest £7.5million in Tendring, despite being forced to cut millions from the authority’s budget.

Tendring Council rubber-stamped plans to increase council tax bills by £5 a year at a meeting on Tuesday.

The authority’s part of the council tax bill will rise to £162.64 for an average Band D property for 2018-19.

The sum is on top of levies set by the county council, police and fire brigade.

The council has seen its annual budget slashed from almost £21million in 2012 to £13.9million for 2018-19 – with just £1.07million now coming from the Government grant.

Council leader Neil Stock said the council has focused on working more efficiently with only a minimal impact on frontline services.

He added: “When we sat down to discuss the budget for 2018-19, we were presented with a savings target of £3.4million over two years.

“I am proud to say there are no service reductions proposed within the budget, something many councils are unlikely to be able to say this year.”

Mr Stock said that despite the reduction in the budget, the council is investing £7.5million in projects, including £2million for the proposed Garden Communities scheme, £1million for improvements in Harwich, £500,000 for new housing in Jaywick and £2million for other regeneration and economic development projects.

“These are not promises to fund projects in the future if we can raise the money – these are cash-backed with the money already in the bank,” added Mr Stock.

He accepted an amendment by Labour calling for £100,000 to be allocated to the council’s Big Society Fund scheme for community groups.

Labour leader Ivan Henderson “reluctantly” supported the budget because of planned investments in Harwich and Jaywick, but raised concerns over plans for £300,000 of unallocated cuts.

“We are very unhappy that we are facing £300,000 cuts without even knowing what those cuts will mean for residents in Tendring,” he said.

“We will fight against anything that will damage services for residents.

He added: “The public does not expect to have to pay more council tax while services are cut.

Carlo Guglielmi, cabinet member for finance, said the £300,000 of savings needed could be found from the council’s ‘fit for purpose’ budget.

The budget also includes money to continue the free residents’ parking scheme and £1.5million to recharge Clacton and Holland-on-Sea’s new beaches in the coming years.