HOUSEHOLDERS in a borough are set to see their council tax rise by at least £52.70 a year.

Blackburn with Darwen Council proposes to increase the charge for its services in 2021/22 by 3.99 per cent.

This is made up of 1.99 per cent for general services and two per cent for adult social care.

With the additional levies to pay for the police and fire services this means the total council tax bill for the Band A terraced homes which make up the majority of the borough’s housing stock will rise by £52.70 a year, or £1.01 a week, to £1,287.62 for the 12 months from April 1.

The rise for a Band D semi-detached family home is £79.06 (£1.52 a week) to £1,931.44.

The increase, recommended to special finance council of the all-purpose authority on Monday next week, is below the maximum permitted by the government without a referendum.

Liberal Democrat councillor Roy Davies described it as ‘a smack in the face’ for residents.

Cllr Vicky McGurk, the council’s finance boss, said: “The government’s settlement 2021/22 assumes that councils in England will increase council tax by two per cent and the adult social care precept by three per cent.

“This is set against a backdrop of 10 years of austerity and local government cuts. As poverty in the borough deepens, so does the need for families to be supported via social care. It is worth noting that Blackburn with Darwen had the lowest council tax in Lancashire 2020/21.”

Darwen East’s Cllr Davies said: “With unemployment still high and the uncertainty over coronavirus, I think there could not be a worse time to implement any rises in council tax.

“This will be a smack in the face to Blackburn with Darwen residents who have endured so much over the last 12 months.”

Darwen residents will pay an extra £13.47 a year for the Town Council and households in the borough’s six parishes an extra levy of between £5.65 and £39.92.

The annual rise in basic council tax for a Band B property is £61.49 a year to £1,502.23; for a Band C home £70.27 to £1,716.84 and for a Band E house £96.62 to an annual £2,360.66.

Cllr John Slater, leader of the borough’s Conservative group, declined to comment until the rise had been discussed by his councillors.