COUNCIL tax in Hillingdon will rise by 4.99%, equivalent to an extra £1.27 a week for a Band D property.

The annual budget was approved last night (22) and a spokesperson for the Conservative-led council said: “Despite ongoing pressures in local government finance, Hillingdon remains on a sound financial footing, with the council continuing to deliver a balanced budget and award-winning services.”

Among spending plans in a five-year  capital programme are:

£42m for roads and pavements

£23.3m for a proposed new Water Sports and Outdoor Activity Centre

£16.7m for the Platinum Jubilee Leisure Centre in West Drayton

£10.5m on care home capacity

£6.5m for modernisation of the Civic Centre

The spokesperson added: “Rather than cutting services, the council believes in changing them by looking at what money is being spent on and seeing if it can find another way of delivering them with the same or improved outcomes for less.

“Change can often be portrayed as a cut to be opposed. However, the council is committed to doing things differently through its transformation programme to deliver value for money for residents.

“Transformation includes joining services, investing in digital technologies to create efficiencies, relocating services to make better use of buildings monetarily and environmentally, or commissioning specialist providers to run services on its behalf.

Core council tax is increasing by 2.99%, with a levy of 2% to fund residents’ adult social care. Fees and charges will be increased in line with inflation.

Councillors also decided to reject a recommendation from an independent remuneration panel that would have seen an increase in councillor allowances of more than 27 per cent.

Instead, they will be aligned with the increase in officer salaries.