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23 February 2011, 09:46
Essex County Council has revealed it's 2011-12 budget as well as 10 new priorities to focus on communities and encourage the Big Society idea.
There were no protests outside County Hall - Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Councils all saw angry demonstrations over the cuts being made there.
The authority is freezing Council Tax, but cutting Home-to-school transport and Connexions, as well as making around 450 staff redundant.
Talking after the Council meeting, at which the £2.1bn budget was agreed, Essex County Council Leader Peter Martin said: "I am very proud that during these difficult times we have managed to avoid some of the public's worst fears and are continuing to invest as much as we can in the services they cherish, for example we are not closing libraries or removing meals on wheels."
"Our new pledges show our commitment to continuing to invest in good quality services and have taken on board the feedback residents gave us about their priorities and invested in those areas."
"This year will be one unlike any other for local government but it does bring exciting opportunities for us to think more creatively and to find smarter ways to work. The EssexWorks pledges this year are focused on enabling our partners, communities and individuals to take more control over the services they receive. A Big Society thread runs through each of our priorities and we want to make it possible for individuals to influence decisions in their communities."
The new EssexWorks pledges are: