COUNCIL tax will be increasing for Malvern residents after councillors voted to approve this year’s budget.

At the full meeting of Malvern Hills District Council this week, councillors voted to adopt this year's budget, which approves a council tax increase of £5 for the average Band D property.

Cllr Peter Whatley, introducing the budget, said: "The financial situation is more challenging this year for councils than it has been for many years, and Malvern is better off than most councils, but let nobody be in doubt, we are only here through sound financial planning.

"This plan is in complete alignment with out medium term financial plan and has received unanimous cross-party support in the Executive Committee meeting last week."

Another key measure in this year's budget is to scrap the charge for pest control.

Before this budget, residents in Malvern Hills had to pay for pest control, despite other local authorities providing it for free.

This was put into the budget after a motion was put forward by Cllr Kaleem Aksar, who said he had been helping ward residents get pest-control help and felt more should be done.

Speaking at Tuesday's meeting, Cllr Aksar said: "I am happy to see the inclusion of Lib Dem measures on pest control.

"Small, targeted bits of assistance like this make sure our ward residents have safe and proper standards in our housing for more vulnerable people.

"Adding this to the budget means we are offering more for our residents for their council tax."

Councillors voted in favour of approving this year budget, meaning the proposed Band D council tax now sits at £160.60.

The government has currently set a limit of two per cent for council tax increases, however the lowest-taxing councils including Malvern Hills have been allowed to increase their council tax by up to £5.

This represents an increase of 3.08 per cent.

Any district council wishing to raise their council tax at or above this level would need to conduct a successful referendum.

The full meeting can be watched again via the Malvern Hills District Council YouTube Page.