Residents are set to pay an extra 3 per cent in council tax to Braintree Council for the fourth year in a row.

Braintree Council has revealed its draft budget proposals, which will see its precept for Band D properties increase by £5.22 per year.

The rise, of just under three per cent, is at the top end of what is allowed by the Government before a referendum must be held.

If the plans are confirmed, the average Band D household will pay £179.73 in 2019/20 for services which are provided by Braintree Council - such as bin collections.

This rise will allow the council to deal with "anticipated budget shortfalls" due to "uncertainty over future changes to Local Government funding".

The council says it has had to plan for Central Government funding reducing to nothing by 2020, a reduction of £4.58million since 2013.

Although £8.6 million in savings have been found, council bosses say "salami slicing" resources and services will not fully meet the financial challenges.

The Council has already generated £4.4 million with its investment approach.

Investments have been made in things like commercial, industrial and investment properties, which it is hoped will create a sustainable income stream for the authority.

However residents still face the maximum increase allowed on the authority's precept, and are set to face further increases from Essex County Council and Essex Police for 2019/20.

A spokesman said: "The final decision regarding council tax will not be made until February 2019 but we propose a small increase in the proportion of council tax raised by Braintree Council, which makes up around 10.4 per cent of an average bill.

"We can keep that increase down to 2.99 per cent - or around 10p per week for a Band D household – because of our responsible investment approach which is delivering good returns to help us fund services residents need.”

The council estimates further council tax increases will be needed between 2020 through to 2023, however it expects this to be an increase of around two per cent each year.

Residents have faced the maximum increase of around three percent since 2016.

The final budget and council tax proposals will be presented to full council in February 2018.