COUNTY Hall will receive £3million from the Government after its request to move Essex into the high Covid alert level was approved.

But Essex County Council's health boss John Spence has rejected any suggestions the move was made for financial reasons.

Councillor Spence made the revelation about funding when he addressed 150 councillors across the county over Zoom on Friday, explaining County Hall’s action plan.

The meeting saw Dr Gogarty and Mr Spence answer questions and present a 15-slide presentation with the latest data.

When revealing the council would receive £3m in funding from central Government as a result of the move to the high Covid alert, Mr Spence said: "This has never been about money. At no time was money ever mentioned.”

Mr Spence had defended County Hall's decision to move Essex up a tier on the Covid alert scale earlier in the week where he again rubbished suggestions the plan was motivated by money.

He said: "This has been done purely because of what we have seen about the rise in cases across Essex and the projected rise in cases to come.

"We want to prevent further damage to the economy, we want to prevent hospitals from becoming so busy they can't treat other sufferers.

"We want to prevent a potential progress to tier three.

"Somehow, some people think we have done this for money. Let me just assure you we have never had any discussion about money.

"We are working for the best interests of the residents of Essex, operating on the expert advice of our excellent director of public health, and that is the pure and sole motivation of our application."