THE average household could pay £24 more a year for council tax under proposals made by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex.

Roger Hirst has put forward detailed financial plans to boost the force’s finances to members of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel who will discuss the proposal at their meeting next week.

The increase would enable Essex police to recruit an extra 215 frontline officers, meanwhile the force would have a total budget of £300.478 million.

For the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, this proposed total budget is £73 million - £46.876 million coming from council tax and £24.533 million from Government grants with the balance being drawn from the service's reserves.

Mr Hirst is proposing to up the precept by roughly the rate of inflation.

This will be equivalent to an increase of £2.07 a year, resulting in a rise from £70.38 to £72.45 for a band D council tax property.

Roger Hirst said: “It is important to remember that Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service are separate services with separate budgets.”

Last year, Mr Hirst increased the policing element of the council tax which led to 150 additional officers joining Essex police. 

He said: “People across the county have been telling me that they want more police officers and that they are prepared to pay more to get them.

"If my proposed budget is accepted it will mean the chief constable will be able to bring police officers numbers up to over 3,200 by March next year which will get Essex police near where it needs to be in terms of establishment.”