Council tax in Kingston will increase by almost two per cent this year, it has been announced.

Kingston Council will raise the tariff by 1.99 per cent – an extra 52p a week for a Band D property, or around £27 a year.

The decision comes amid further cuts to local authority funding from central Government, coupled with additional delegated responsibilities handed down through the Coalition’s Localism Agenda.

At a press briefing at the Guildhall in Kingston today, council leader Derek Osbourne said the authority opted against freezing council tax, as it had done so for the past two years, in order to protect public services.

He said: “We had a group meeting a few weeks ago and it would be fair to say one or two members of the group were against it, but the majority of people were saying we can’t carry on like this.

“We have got to protect services.”