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Last Updated: Friday, 20 February, 2004, 14:49 GMT
Council tax wait comes to an end
Council tax form
Council tax bills rose by an average of 4.4% across Scotland
The last local authority in Scotland to set its council tax bills has approved a 4.8% increase.

All bar one of the country's 32 local authorities announced their figures last Thursday, with councils reporting an average rise of 4.4%.

But Clackmannanshire Council was unable to set its rate due to a delay in issuing the agenda for the meeting.

The papers were delayed after staff had to be evacuated from a council building after asbestos was found.

Chief executive Keir Bloomer said the discovery was made in part of Greenfield House in Alloa.

Necessary support

"More than 60 members of staff were evacuated and relocated to other council buildings over the following days.

"The council agenda was not issued within the time period set down in our standing orders."

Provost Derek Stewart asked for standing orders to be suspended to enable the meeting to go ahead last Thursday.

Council tax card and money

However, the move did not receive the necessary support and the meeting was adjourned.

The new charges approved on Friday will see Band D bills rise to 1,043.

Council leader Margaret Paterson said: "This is a prudent budget.

"It will strengthen key service areas and begin to tackle underlying problems to provide a solid platform for future progress."

The rises announced by other councils ranged from West Dunbartonshire's 1.8% increase to a leap of 9.8% in Moray.

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