WINCHESTER council tax payers are set to pay £4 a year more for their services in a decision confirmed last night.

The Liberal Democrat-controlled city council approved a budget to raise the Band D council tax to £155.29 for the 2023-24 financial year.

However residents are also having a pay a large increase by the county council which is upping its Band D charge by £69.33, the largest increase in its history amid warnings that it is facing bankruptcy.

City council leader Martin Tod said Winchester's was the third lowest increase in Hampshire.

READ MORE HERE: Test Valley council tax approved

The coffers have been boosted by an unexpected £2 million extra from the Government which will be spent on a series of green measures.

The Conservatives tabled a last-minute amendment to increase spending on schemes to tackle the climate and cost of living crisis, including a one-off council tax reduction of eight per cent.

Senior Tory councillor Stephen Godfrey accused the Lib Dems of "dither and delay...if we were running this council we would be doing things differently, investing in helping the more vulnerable.

"For the last four years this council has been putting money into reserves in case something bad happens; £18 million is being kept for a rainy day. Now is the rainy day. Now is the time to help residents with the climate emergency and help residents with the cost of living crisis."

The amendment was defeated by 24 votes to 11 with Cllr Jamie Scott siding with the Lib Dems, having switched from the Tories for a second time.

SEE ALSO: New mayor elected after resignation of Derek Green 

Cllr Tod said: "I thought the Conservatives had learned the lesson of incompetent financial management, of Trussonomics. (Conservative-controlled) Hampshire County Council has today put council tax up by £69.33 a year for Band D, the largest increase in their history, has a future funding gap of £132m and will not be sustainable within two years."

He said incompetent financial management by central government has driven up inflation and interest rates and cutting money for services.

Cllr Tod said the Tory amendment was "irresponsible empty bluster" and "empty political point-scoring".

He said that under the Lib Dems the High Street was thriving with strong footfall, unemployment was low and business was being supported.

The meeting also approved housing issues including a seven per cent rise in rents for tenants and a £20.5m new homes programme.

It had support from the Conservatives who called for greater speed in the carbon retrofitting programme. There have been 800 expressions of interest from tenants but only eight properties have been retrofitted in the last three years, the meeting heard.