COUNCIL TAX rise in the Wee County has been set at four per cent today for the forthcoming financial year.

The rise was agreed as elected members gathered to set the budget for 2019-20 and was a key focus of the meeting with both opposition parties tabling amendments to set the levy at different rates.

Originally, the SNP administration had looked to increase the tax by 4.79 per cent to make sure vital services are supported, saying feedback from communities showed people would rather pay a little more to see essentials protected.

Labour’s leader Councillor Dave Clark submitted an amendment on Monday, March 4, and sought to set the levy at 3.5 per cent instead.

His motion also called for other changes and ultimately, did not receive cross-party support.

However, the deciding one turned out to be a late amendment from Conservative leader Bill Mason, submitted as late as the morning of the meeting, which received the administration’s support.

There was controversy over whether a paper submitted past deadline should appear on the agenda in the first place and a vote took place to allow it as the meeting got underway.

The four per cent increase, seen as the middle ground by the administration, will mean the baseline Band D council tax will be £1,266.63 plus water charges, which will increase by 1.6 per cent.