COUNCIL tax could rise by almost five per cent for Bury residents from April.

Bury Council wants to raise its part of the council tax bill by four per cent.

This comes after the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham raised his council tax precepts by more than one per cent last week taking the total rise for Bury households to 4.71 per cent.

If these changes go ahead, households in the borough would pay at least £35.81 more a year in council tax, with a hike of £53.72 for Band D properties.

The council will also have to find further savings of £22m over the next four years after failing to achieve cuts of more than £4m in this year’s budget.

Council leader Cllr David Jones explained why the local authority was in this position.

He said: “A decade of austerity has taken its toll, with more than £100m stripped from our budgets over that time.

“On top of that, we receive less grant per head of population compared to the Greater Manchester and the England average. All this has consequences, which the people of Bury have seen.

“This budget still requires substantial savings, but these will largely come from greater efficiencies which are designed to cause less impact on frontline services than recent budgets. In addition, one-off monies have been identified to bolster the council’s resilience and ensure the council is able to meet the medium -term financial position which continues to be very difficult.

“More importantly, this budget focuses all our efforts on meeting the challenges of the future and our Bury 2030 plan, and the needs of our communities: the increased demand for services, especially those which cost the most money such as social care.

“And we will continue being ambitious with our priorities to ensure that Bury remains a great place in which to live, work and study. This means we will continue with our plans to regenerate our town centres across the borough, to encourage business and attract jobs, and improve people’s training and skills.”

As well as a rise in council tax, tenants living in council houses will see an increase in rent of 2.7 per cent.

Cllr Jones added: “Using this money prudently means we will no longer have to rely so much on one-off use of our reserves to keep services going. We also need a good level of reserves because of the uncertainty around our future funding – for example, we still don’t have a formal financial settlement from the Government yet.

“There will be changes between now and February 26, but our proposals put us in a better place to meet the challenges of the future.”