A TOWN council voted to increase its council tax demand for the first time in five years last night (Wednesday, February 19).

Great Aycliffe Town Council will increase its council tax levy, also known as a precept, by 2.49 per cent for the next financial year, which will result in a bill of £139.45 for a Band A property.

It follows Government cuts of £100,000 in the last two years, as well as on-going spending pressures.

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The rise equates to an increase of around £3.40 per year or 7p per week for the majority of residents in Newton Aycliffe and the surrounding areas.

Great Aycliffe Town Council normally sets its precept in January but delayed its decision until after the Government decided whether to extend the two per cent limit on council tax increases to more town and parish councils.

The Government decided against this and, at an extraordinary meeting at the council’s offices on School Aycliffe Lane, councillors agreed to press ahead with the increase.