The leader of Essex County Council has vented frustrated at failure of the council to secure millions from a scheme allowing councils to keep 75 per cent of business rates they collect.

Since 2010, the county council has seen its resources from central government fall by about £1billion.

But the introduction of business rates retention (BRR) in April 2013 is being increasingly regarded as the core source of direct Government funding within its Settlement Funding Assessment to make up the loss of revenue grants.

David Finch, said: “It is a point of regret that we have made applications twice for business rates retention and by and large the 15 that got the pilot last round were those authorities that were not as well managed as ours.

“There were a number which surprised as us including Leicestershire and North Yorkshire which also got that funding.

“I intend to ask questions to understand why we are not getting the funding as an authority that is in the top ten of the most efficient and productive of councils in this country.”