MPs have defended their efforts to battle for more funding for cash-strapped councils after being accused of looking on indifferently at the dire financial situation facing a county from "ivory towers".

Several North Yorkshire MPs said the claims put before North Yorkshire County Council's budget-setting meeting ignored their years of efforts to press the government to provide extra cash for residents in the vast rural area with a rapidly rising elderly population.

Labour councillor Councillor Tony Randerson told the meeting at County Hall, in Northallerton, that the council's financial stresses stemmed partly from the county's Conservative MPs failing to secure fair funding at Westminster.

He said while he applauded the council for spending 42 per cent of its budget on social care, it remained unclear what the county's House of Commons representatives were doing to help the county authority fund services while making £170 million of savings over a decade.

Scarborough member Councillor Randerson said the extra two per cent rise on council tax to pay for social care was "diabolical".

He added: "The government has already secured money from us all to ensure social services are adequately catered for. Just why should our citizens have to pay twice for the same service? It  not fair or equitable.

"This begs the question from North Yorkshire's illustrious MPs just what are they doing, if anything, to address this ludicrous situation where council tax in various parts of North Yorkshire is higher than most of, if not all, the constituencies throughout Britain.

Cllr Randerson said the "silence was deafening" on the subject from the county's Conservative MPs and residents were left "propping up failed economic policies".

He added: "It clearly is a case of their living in their ivory towers, and yes, you are struggling, but I am looking on."

Leader of the Independents group on the authority, Councillor John Blackie added: "You do wonder sometimes what our MPs do to make sure we actually get a fairer deal. We seem to be charged a much higher capital tax in what are traditionally areas of support than elsewhere."

The council's leader of the ruling Tory group dismissed the questions over MPs efforts. Councillor Carl Les told members the suggestions that MPs had failed residents "couldn't be more wrong".

He said: "I can guarantee they are working very hard and pursuing our cause."

The authority's deputy leader, Councillor Gareth Dadd, added alongside helping to secure government grants for delivering rural services and care funding, the MPs were at the forefront of a fight to review funding for rural areas, being examined in a government consultation.

He said: "It is disingenuous for you to suggest that they are sat in what you call ivory towers."

Leading councillors also questioned Cllr Sanderson's claims that residents in some parts of the country faced among the highest rates of council tax in the country.

Responding to the opposition councillors' claims, Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake said he always did "everything I can to represent my constituents, even if that conflicts with government policy".

He added: "In the past 24 months, I have spoken out against government proposals on a number of occasions including helping to secure an extra £17m over two years for North Yorkshire County Council in the Local Government Finance Settlement; campaigned for fairer funding for schools which should deliver an extra £7m for North Yorkshire Schools, pressed the Chancellor to provide more funds for Adult Social Care which resulted in £19.6m in extra funds being allocated to North Yorkshire."

Ripon and Skipton MP Julian Smith said he met regularly with the council officials to examine funding issues and remained "absolutely committed to getting the best deal for our area".

He said: "My North Yorkshire MP colleagues and I have in the past made a number of sustained representations to the Department of Communities and Local Government regarding funding, reflecting the fact that the Council covers the most rural county in England and therefore has a unique perspective on long-term funding requirements.

"And I was delighted just a few weeks ago to see that , as part of the local government funding settlement, for the coming financial year (2018/2019), North Yorkshire will have Core Spending Power of £390.7 million, an increase of £12.2 million or 3.2 per cent. They will also receive an additional £3.2 million  as part of the rural services grant."

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones said: "Carl Les is right. The fair funding consultation is running until March 12 and is available through the website.  It is a surprise that opposition councillors making such incorrect claims are unaware of the consultation.  I would have thought it was part of their job to be familiar with it and to take part.”