Greenwich residents will see their council tax bills rising by 4.99 per cent from April, with the average household paying nearly £2,000 for the year.

Greenwich Council has agreed to raise its council tax by the maximum possible amount without calling a referendum to tackle a projected budget gap of £54million by 2028.

The tax rise will see households in band D paying £1,920.36 in council tax for the upcoming financial year. Council documents said the tax hike will bring an additional £7m of revenue to the council.

The increase comes alongside the council’s decision to introduce £33.7m worth of cuts in the upcoming year in order to balance its budget. These would see public services such as leisure centres, children’s centres and libraries being affected.

The topic was discussed at a Greenwich Council meeting on March 6. Conservative Councillor Matt Hartley said the proposed cuts were necessary and long overdue in some cases.

He claimed that £26m of the cuts were instead ‘efficiency savings’ which would have no discernible impact on residents and should have been made years ago.

Cllr Hartley went on to call the budget put forward by the Labour Group a ‘political failure’ and criticised plans to revise the authority’s council tax support scheme to redetermine which households were entitled to the provision.

The councillor claimed the move would be taking £1million from the ‘pockets of those on the lowest incomes’ in Greenwich.

The Conservative Group proposed an amendment at the meeting to ensure residents receiving a 100 per cent reduction on their council tax bill are protected from the change once a sufficient level of savings had been achieved.

Labour Councillor Mariam Lolavar, cabinet member for inclusive economy, said the decision on the revised council tax support scheme had been made to have a consultation on the proposal in the future.

Cllr Lolavar said at the meeting: “It’s not a position that we necessarily want to be in. We are very proud of the scheme and we are proud that we are providing 100 per cent council tax support for the residents.”

Council documents said simplifying the authority’s council tax support scheme would provide savings by less staff being required.

Officers added that the reduction in staff would likely occur naturally due to the elderly workforce in the department.

Labour Councillor David Gardner said at the meeting: “What we have here is a very well-rounded budget given the challenges that we have as an authority. No one wants to cut children’s centres.

"No one wants to put a further squeeze on adult social care or increase charges. Nobody wants to reduce library hours, but all local authorities are having to make hard decisions.”

The 4.99 per cent council tax increase is based on a 2.99 per cent rise in general council tax combined with a two per cent hike in adult social care.

This is added to the 8.6 per cent increase in the Mayor of London’s precept to reach an overall council tax increase of 5.8 per cent for Greenwich residents.

Greenwich Council voted to refuse the Conservative Group’s amendment at the meeting. The authority agreed to carry the Labour Group’s proposed budget, including the council tax rise and £33.7m in cuts.