PLANS to fund three extra police officers to serve on Epping’s streets have been criticised by a councillor seeking a tenth term in office.

At a cabinet meeting last week proposals were approved to spend £645,000 over three years on three police officers and a security company officer performing targeted work.

A 2.5 per cent council tax rise will cover the measures, which are funded solely by Epping Forest District Council and not Essex Police.

Stephen Murray, a veteran independent councillor who will run for re-election in the Loughton Roding ward for a tenth time in May, believes this should not be the council’s business.

He said: “It is wrong in my opinion to raise the district council tax to employ three extra police officers when we already pay a higher council tax element to Essex Police, £157.05 for Band D, than the £148.77 we pay for the very wide range of district council services.

“This proposal to raise the district council tax to fund police officers is not an area of our responsibility.

“It also comes at the same time that the police rate is set to increase by a further £12 a year for Band D council tax payers, increasing to £169.05.

“Instead of asking residents to fund this increase the district council should ensure we get our fair share of this extra policing resource generated from the police precept.”

Are you a councillor who finds fault with Councillor Murray’s arguments? Or a resident unhappy about paying more council tax? Email or call 07795 316211