Camden households are facing a 4.99% rise in their council tax – despite opposition claims that services could be expanded with a lower increase.

The authority voted on the increase - just below the 5% that would trigger a local referendum - at its meeting on Monday (March 4).

This means that an average band D household will pay £1,539.17 to the council over the 12 months from April.

An additional 8.6 per cent increase in the Mayor of London’s share of the bill equates to an overall increase of 5.8 per cent, with the average Camden bill totalling £2,010.57 over the coming year.

The opposition Conservative group, which has three councillors, proposed a smaller increase – but did not set out how much.

Tory group leader Cllr Gio Spinella said they would scrap parking fees and extend bin collections.

In a report, the Conservatives claimed: “… we demonstrate how this can be achieved and still reduce the proposed increase in council tax, to show Camden residents that a careful management of the council’s finances can allow an expansion of services and still reduce the fiscal burden on every resident.”

Cllr Richard Olszewski, cabinet member for finance and cost of living, said the Government had cut council funding by 48% since 2010.

Ham & High: Cllr Richard Olszewski, Camden's cabinet member for finance and cost of living, setting out the council tax by almost 5% increaseCllr Richard Olszewski, Camden's cabinet member for finance and cost of living, setting out the council tax by almost 5% increase (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

He added that Westminster based its claim that councils' core spending power was rising by 6.9% on the assumption that they would raise taxes by the maximum allowable, but that if Camden did not do this it would lack funding to support vital services.

He said the council's increase would bring in an extra £6.7 million in income.

"We're still facing financial pressures and that includes inflation, increased cost of adult social care and on temporary accommodation as well," he added.

"Because we are in a stable position we are able to make continued core investment in our services plus some additional investment."

He said this included maintaining a £31 million council tax support scheme, meaning 15,000 people will not pay any council tax.

Further funds will enable breakfast clubs in schools and an “ambitious” £700k programme to provide for food projects including community kitchens.

"These are vital interventions in many ways for the most vulnerable," he added.

The rise is made up of a 2.99% increase to pay for services such as children’s breakfast clubs and community kitchens, and 2% earmarked for adult social care.

Cllr James Slater, representing Kentish Town North, said the 4.99% rise was "not something we want to do, it's something we have to do".

He said 700 households in his ward benefit from the council tax support scheme, including 200 pensioners.

Cllr Anna Wright (Highgate) said the money helped adults with support needs who wish to live independently and allows others to live in shared homes with their carers.