Lewisham bill-payers will see their council tax increase for the fourth year in a row, rising by 4.99 per cent, as the cash-strapped authority seeks to fill budget gaps.

This comes after the mayor and cabinet agreed the budget for 2019/20 amid financial strains and increased pressure on council services, including social care.

It follows last year’s £16.5m overspend, which was mostly down to an overspend on children’s social care.

MORE: Council tax rate to be doubled for empty properties in Lewisham

The council tax increase is expected to bring in an extra £3.3m, and will see Band D residents pay £1,584.45 overall.

It is a 5.76 per cent overall increase in council tax, including an increase in Greater London Authority charges of £26.28.

Cabinet member for finance, Cllr Amanda de Ryk, said it was the largest increase the council was able to make.

MORE: Debt and mental health concerns over increased use of bailiffs to recover council tax in Lewisham

“It is made up of 2.99 per cent increase to core council tax, which is the maximum the government allows us, and a two per cent increase for the social care precept,” she explained.

The social care precept is funding used to pay for social care services for adults.

Care-leavers up to the age of 25 will not pay any council tax.

MORE: Fewer low-income residents receiving council tax relief in Lewisham

Lewisham Council plans to cut £21m from its budget over the next two years, with £8m worth of cuts agreed for the next financial year.

The council plans to use £6.5m from its corporate budget, £5m from its New Homes Bonus reserve, a government grant meant to incentivise housing growth, and £2.46m from its reserves to meet the budget shortfall for the next year.

Business rates for the next financial year are also expected to bring in around £67.4m.