RESIDENTS will pay an extra 2.6 per cent council tax to South Lakeland District Council from April.

The rise is equivalent to paying an extra £5 a year to the district council for homeowners in an average Band D property.

The Government has allowed councils to increase their share of council tax to a maximum of three per cent.

South Lakeland District Council has set its rise just under that figure.

SLDC is one of a number of organisations increasing its take from council tax during the financial year 2019-20, which runs from April to March 2020.

Council tax pays for Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Police, the district councils and town and parish councils.

A band D property owner in South Lakeland will pay a total bill of £1,874, a rise of £82 on 2018-19.

The bill breaks down to £195 for SLDC, £1,284 for Cumbria County Council and £100.59 towards the county council’s adult social services.

A total of £256 goes towards Cumbria Police and an average £37.20 towards town and parish councils.

The average rise levied by parish and town councils across South Lakeland will be 4.4 per cent.

A report to SLDC, which hosts a full meeting in Kendal on Tuesday to set its budget, explained that every one per cent increase in council tax generated an extra £87,000 in income for SLDC.

The report said: “If the council tax were to be frozen in 2019-20 at existing levels, an additional £228,000 of savings would be required to balance the general fund.”

The council has reserves totalling £11 million, although £3.8 million of that sum is “earmarked” for projects.

SLDC’s capital budget includes a £6 million fund to provide loans to housing associations, £9.2 million towards the redevelopment of Ulverston Leisure Centre and £461,000 on developing more accommodation for homeless families.

In addition, the council will provide £100,000 towards the redevelopment of Abbot Hall, Kendal and £1.9 million to Grange Lido to fund a “light touch” restoration.

The council also plans to spend £4.7 million on refurbishing its headquarters at South Lakeland House and Kendal Town Hall.

SLDC plans to consider a report later this year on increasing the council tax levied against empty home owners.

New rules have come in which allow councils to levy 100 per cent council tax – the full rate – on properties empty for a long period of time.