Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Local authorities set council tax

Council tax bill
A number of councils, including Glasgow, have set their bills

A number of local authorities across Scotland have been meeting to set their council tax rates for 2009/10.

They are under pressure to continue with the current freeze after a settlement of almost 12bn was announced by the finance secretary.

John Swinney also hopes to extend the freeze until 2011.

That pledge comes after the SNP administration ditched its flagship policy of a local income tax to replace the current council tax.

Although most council tax bills will remain the same, the water and sewerage charge levied by Scottish Water - which is also included on the annual bill - will rise by 3.7%.

Aberdeenshire, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, Edinburgh and Glasgow are among the councils which have agreed to freeze their bills for 2009/10.

Midlothian Council will not set its levy until 24 March, while Stirling and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are not expected to confirm their bills until 19 February.

The budget of Edinburgh Council, which has frozen council tax, has been boosted by the first capital city supplement of 3.5m from the Scottish Government.

Glasgow City Council announced last week that its council tax would remain unchanged with an average Band D of 1,213.

East Renfrewshire Council, which has frozen rates also, said efficiencies and savings would be made in support services in order to preserve frontline services for residents.

A freeze on council tax for a second year on the run will take place for Highland Council residents.

Householders' bills in Aberdeenshire and Moray will be pegged at last year's level, with Aberdeen and Moray expected to make the same decision.

Scottish Borders Council will keep its rates unchanged, meaning a 1,084 rate for Band D property.

Although Falkirk councillors voted to freeze rates at 2008/09 levels, they admitted there would be an estimated budget shortfall of 9.5m which would have to be met from increased fees and charges for council services.

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