RESIDENTS in a County Durham town will have to wait until next month to find out how much their council tax bill will rise.

Government cuts of more than £100,000 in the last two years and on-going spending pressures have led Great Aycliffe Town Council to increase its council tax demand, also known as a precept, for the first time in five years.

At a meeting of its policy and resources committee last week, councillors agreed to an increase of 2.49 per cent.

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However, a final decision will not be made until next month, when the Government decides whether to extend the limit on council tax increases to more town and parish councils, including Great Aycliffe.

The limit, of two per cent, is the maximum increase that can be imposed before a council has to go through a costly referendum process.

There is a possibility it could also be reduced to as low as 1.5 or even zero per cent.

If the increase of 2.49 per cent is agreed, it would result in an annual council tax bill of £139.24 for a Band A property, which is an increase of £3.39 per year or 7 pence per week.

Council leader Bob Fleming said reductions had been made to the budget to minimise the increase.

 “This increase will ensure that all of the important services provided by the town council to the community of Great Aycliffe can be protected and maintained,” he added.

The minutes of the policy and resources meeting were approved by the full council last night (Wednesday, January 29).

The date of next month’s meeting will be confirmed soon.