Councillors have unanimously agreed to raise the council tax by £5 in Wellingborough.
A recorded vote saw the proposed increase given the go-ahead by 28 votes to none at a full meeting of Wellingborough Council last night (Thursday).
Speaking ahead of the vote, council leader Martin Griffiths said: “The setting of the budget and council tax each year is one of the most challenging and demanding tasks we as councillors have to undertake, it affects every one of our residents in some way.
“This year again we have chosen to protect services and agreed to use just £1 million of our reserves to fund the shortfall in our funding, choosing to continue to provide the same level of services to our residents while we plan longer term solutions.
“But these reserves will not last for ever and we need to use them wisely while we have them, making sure that our capital reserves in particular are used for the benefit of the borough.”
Leader of the opposition group Cllr Andrew Scarborough said he was going to surprise some people with his comments, and went on to say: “When this came up at resources, there was little disagreement between the two parties and as far as we are concerned, there will be little disagreement between these parties on this agenda item.
“No-one likes increasing council tax but given the decrease in our allocation from central government there’s little choice than to increase council tax by the maximum we can.”
Before giving the budget the support of the Labour group, Cllr Scarborough added: “The administration now is doing the right thing in respect of council tax and is doing the right thing in respect of protecting services.
“We are also firmly of the view that it’s doing the right thing in securing revenue generating projects, we are absolutely convinced that’s the right thing to do.”
The approved council tax increase of £5 for the average Band D property should work out at less than 10p a week.
It means Wellingborough Council remains one of the lowest charging council taxes in the country.