Council tax is set to rise by 1.99 per cent next year, Surrey County Council (SCC) has announced.

Speaking of its council tax proposal for next year, David Hodge, leader of SCC, said there will be a 1.99 per cent increase to allow it to continue running key services while absorbing government funding cuts.

A council tax hike of at least 2 per cent would trigger a council tax referendum.

He said: "We’re proposing a 1.99 per cent increase even though we’ve said we need 2.5 per cent because any more means wasting up to £2m on a referendum and while it puts more pressure on services we’ll still be able to provide what residents expect with this increase.

"With the number of vulnerable adults we help increasing by 1,000 over the next three years at a cost of £25m and a leap in pupil numbers meaning we need to spend £327m on school places by 2019, the pressure on services from demographic changes is enormous.

"On top of these challenges, we have to cope with the impact of other costs that are also completely out of our control, such as the bill of up to £10m to fix our roads after the recent floods and the £5m we spent last year on repairing the damage caused by ice and snow."

A SCC spokesman said: "Despite making savings of £200m since 2010, all these have been wiped out by a dwindling government grant and increasing demand for services.

"The council has identified a further £200m of savings over the next four years but these pressures will remain."

The council’s cabinet will make a formal recommendation for the proposal next Tuesday, February 4, and a final decision will be taken at a full Surrey County Council meeting on February 11.