Blackburm with Darwen residents face a 4.99 per cent rise in council tax for 2024/25 - the maximum allowed by the government without a referendum - the borough's leader has warned.

But Labour's Cllr Phil Riley hopes the authority will avoid having to make major service cuts.

He was speaking after Communities Secretary Michael Gove published the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for the year from April 1.

The figures give local authorities in England £64 billion to spend next year, assuming they all hike council tax by the maximum amount, which Mr Gove says represents an overall 6.5 per cent rise in their core spending power compared to this year and will account for inflation.

It comes as a number of high profile councils in the country - such as Kirklees and Bradford in West Yorkshire - teeter on the brink of effectively bankruptcy, as demand for services outstrips council income.

Blackburn with Darwen Council finance experts estimate its increase in core spending power is 6.9 per cent, provided it imposes the full 4.99 per cent council tax rise permitted without a public vote, as the authority provides adult and children's social care.

An increased demand for social care - particularly for adults or people with complex needs - has seen budgets for the service swell as councils nationally, eating up a larger section of budgets.

Record inflation and energy bills have also had an impact on spending.

Cllr Riley said: "We have done slightly better than average but the government clearly expects us to increase council tax by the maximum 4.99 per cent.

"I hope we will be able to avoid major service cuts.

"But we will of course review our services carefully to ensure we give out residents the best value for money.

"The settlement is broadly in line with what we were expecting.

"It is disappointing but not unexpected that once again, the figures are only for a year ahead with no indication of what the funding picture will be after that.

"But while we welcome the overall increase, including some additional funding for adult social care, the public services our residents want and need are still struggling with the impact of years of government-driven austerity.

"Demand is massive and growing, costs have risen, inflation is still higher than it should be and these factors result in pressure on all of our council services.

"As last year, the government is assuming councils will raise council tax by the full allowed amount as a way of solving the crisis in adult social care.

"This crisis has been developing for years and needs a national government-led solution but, instead, the government is expecting our residents to pay additional money to prevent this social care crisis from getting worse."

Blackburn with Darwen Council's finance boss Cllr Vicky McGurk said: "Of course we welcome an increase in funding but since that isn’t enough to make up for many years of reductions, the council will still be faced with tough decisions.

"We will now take time to work through the full implications of the provisional settlement for the council and its services."

The provisional figures will now be consulted on before being finalised in February.

The settlement includes an additional £2 billion compared to this year, including £1bn for social care, which the government says will make an extra £3.9bn available,once assumed council tax rises are taken into account.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, said the settlement would not be enough to help authorities cope with "severe cost and demand pressures"

Its chair, Cllr Shaun Davies, said it would leave councils with a £2bn funding gap over the next two years and leave services "exposed to further cuts".