£12 million funding boost for Essex Highways

Essex County Council is allocating an extra £12 million for priority work on its highway network.

Over £8 million of this will go towards new crews who will prioritise repairs raised by local councillors.  

The money will also be used to increase the council’s enforcement team. This team can challenge landowners where overgrown vegetation is dangerous. The extra funding will be spent in different areas of the county. 

Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Sustainable Transport, said:  “I know how much pride Essex residents take in where they live, so I’m pleased to announce this additional investment for our highways. Not only will the funding mean we can carry out more priority repairs and maintenance work, but it will also allow us to bring forward some of our surfacing and patching schemes.  

“Nearly double the number of potholes were repaired across Essex last year compared to the previous year. This again was thanks to additional funding from the council and the hard work of our crews. I look forward to building on our strong track record with this new funding heading into the next financial year.”

This extra funding for highways is part of the council’s 2024/25 budget plan which was also approved in the meeting. It sets out how we will spend the more than £2 billion the council is responsible for across four areas. These are: 

  • the economy 
  • the environment 
  • children and families 
  • health, care and wellbeing for all ages 

Councillor Kevin Bentley, Leader of the Council, said:  “We will never stop doing our best for the people of Essex, it’s what they deserve. We have shown this as an administration time and again by protecting essential services and through our continued investment in areas such as the county’s infrastructure, our outstanding children’s services and our work to Level Up opportunities and reduce inequalities. 

“I am immensely proud of the work that the council has done over the last three years to make good the promises we set out. And I am hugely optimistic about what we can achieve over the next twelve months to go even further in the pursuit of these ambitions. “

Councillor Chris Whitbread, Chancellor of Essex, said:  “We are one of the highest performing councils in the country and continue to invest in new services where many other authorities are having to reduce their spending. I am proud that we have once again achieved a balanced budget. This hasn’t happened by chance and is testament to our strong track record in financial management and our desire to put people at the heart of our decision-making. 

“Our latest budget is rooted in what residents have told us is most important to them. As a result, we have a budget that will enable us to continue to protect the most vulnerable, level up opportunities and deliver our ambitious capital programme.  

“We must not be complacent, however, and due to the significant pressures facing local government, increasing Council Tax this year has unfortunately been unavoidable. We know there will be more difficult decisions to make in the future too. We must therefore continue to act responsibly on behalf of and for the people of Essex.”