Bristol council tax to rise five per cent

Bristol Council has announced it is set to increase council tax by five per cent, equalling just over £6 per month for a Band D household - from April, in a bid to balance its books.

In a document detailing its plans, the local authority said it needed to save more than £100 million over the next five years. The paper outlined plans to cut £64 million following a three-month consultation.

Cost cutting measures proposed by the council include closing library buildings, cutting bus subsidies, support for the vulnerable and funding for the city's parks, in addition to increasing parking charges and withdrawing free Sunday parking.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said government funding reductions and extra demand on services meant the council was in an increasingly difficult situation.

Rees said: "We must focus on our top priorities and do fewer things ourselves, with partners, volunteers or community groups taking on other services they want to keep."

Craig Cheney, cabinet member for finance, added: "Many other places made these hard decisions a long time ago.

"Bristol is being forced to catch up and if we don't do it now we will lose any chance of making savings in a planned, controlled way which can take account of local needs."

The council will now start a begin a detailed consultation at the end of January exploring how to implement some of the savings if they are approved.