Council tax is due to remain frozen for the ninth time in ten years.

Epping Forest District Councillors have proposed that tax remains as it is for the next financial year.

While Essex County Council raises its rates most years and parish councils regularly up their precepts, Epping has only bumped up the rate once since 2010.

Last year three extra police officers were employed through an increase.

The low-tax years may be coming to an end in Epping Forest however, with a 2.5 per cent yearly rise suggested in the district council's medium term financial strategy.

The hike is due to kick in as the central government revenue support grant received by the council reaches zero for the first time, having been a £2.45m annual payment just four years ago.

A spokesperson for the council said: "Central government funding for all councils is reducing and we aim to become entirely self-financing.

"At the same time we are committed to remaining a low-tax council – one of, it not the lowest in Essex."

They said this would be achieved by generating income through other means, particularly through the council's property portfolio.

The spokesperson added: "We have a large commercial property portfolio ranging from North Weald Airfield, several industrial estates and the new Epping Forest Shopping Park, through to many smaller high street shop units.

"The National Police Air Service – NPAS at North Weald is the latest in a long line of major tenants, which we use to support Council services through commercial rental income rather than council tax.

"We also generate income from our pay and display car parks, fees and charges from planning applications."

In the future the council is looking to invest in leisure.

"Looking forward we are looking to build another brand new leisure centre in Epping," they added.

"This is a component of the larger St John’s Road redevelopment, which will also include other commercial as well as residential developments contributing towards our long term investment income.

"We are also making savings though a range of internal changes to the way we work.

"Ultimately the redevelopment of part of the Civic Offices site with many staff moving to new offices at North Weald will contribute towards a more efficient Council.

"Using new technology – enabling staff to work more efficiently from home and on site with mobile technology - is reducing our need for office space which will reduce our costs.

"All these items and more come together as a package which is helping us not only to protect, but also enhance services while achieving a freeze in council tax for yet another year."