COUNCIL tax will increase by 4.5 per cent this year - the biggest rise in ten years - but the council won’t be putting it up by 6 per cent like it could.

Barnsley Council has been given the option to put up council tax by three per cent generally, and by an additional three per cent to cover the rising cost of adult social care.

But council leader Sir Steve Houghton said after discussions with councillors, he was recommending an increase of 4.5 per cent made up of three per cent in the basic figure, plus 1.5 per cent for social care - a proposal which will be voted on at the full council meeting on February 22.

“We are concerned about increasing bills,” said Sir Steve.

“We know 4.5 per cent is still a significant increase, but we’re facing another £5m in cuts next year.

“We’re waiting for a public sector pay award to be agreed nationally. We support that, because there’s an awful lot of low-paid public sector workers who deserve an increase in pay after ten years of austerity, but clearly we’ve got to pay for that.”