Kent

Medway council tax to rise by nearly 4%

Medway Council has agreed to increase its council tax by just under 4%.

Councillors agreed a 1.994% increase in council tax - the maximum amount allowable - plus an additional 2% social care precept, for 2016-17.

It equates to £1,234.89 per year for an average band D home, and represents a rise of 91p a week - or £47 a year - on last year's council tax charge.

The council said it was facing a 30% drop in its grant support from the government compared to the year before.

'Backed into a corner'

It said services such as highways, libraries and leisure would be protected, and car park fees would be frozen until 2017.

It will also continue to provide weekly bin and recycling collections.

Alan Jarrett, leader of the Conservative-led council, said it had been a "really tough task" to balance the books.

"We have absolutely been backed into a corner by central government, as have all local authorities... the 1.994% rise in council tax and the additional social care precept is unavoidable if we want to maintain services," he said.

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