Further cuts to local services expected as council tax rises loom

Cuts to local services will continue across many towns and cities in the UK, despite council tax bills rising by up to 5% this year.

Bin collection services, children's centres, libraries, pothole filling and park maintenance will all suffer as local authorities continue to make cuts.

The Local Government Association has warned that councils are being pushed "perilously closed to the financial edge" and most will have to continue to divert funds into social care services that find themselves "at breaking point".

All councils can raise tax by up to 1.9% in April, while those responsible for social care can increase bills by up to 3% more.

Nearly all local authorities (147 of 151) responsible for social care have approved or are considering applying the precept, the LGA has revealed.

The rising cost of social care is a huge burden for councils Credit: PA

The extra cash must be spent on social care, however the LGA has warned the money will be "swallowed up" by the burden on councils paying the National Living Wage.

The continued shortfall, estimated to hit £2.6 billion by 2020, means other traditional services are likely to miss out.

Lord Porter, LGA chairman, said: "Services supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities are at breaking point and many councils are increasingly unable to turn down the chance to raise desperately-needed money for social care and other local services next year.

"But extra council tax income will not bring in anywhere near enough money to alleviate the growing pressure on social care both now and in the future and the social care precept raises different amounts of money in different parts of the country.

"Social care faces a funding gap of at least £2.6 billion by 2020. It cannot be left to council taxpayers alone to try and fix this crisis.

"Without genuinely new additional Government funding for social care, vulnerable people face an ever uncertain future where they might no longer receive the dignified care and support they deserve."

It leaves just four councils who will have announced they will not apply the social care precept and they intend to, or have, frozen council tax next year.

The Government has said it will prop up services with a £240 million adult social care grant, but the LGA argues this is simply repackaging funding originally earmarked for house building.