COUNCIL tax in Oxford is set to be hiked by the maximum amount possible next year.

Residents will be asked to pay an extra 1.99 per cent in 2020/21: that is £6.13 more for an average Band D property, taking the total yearly charge to £313.93.

Labour-led Oxford City Council is due to sign off on the proposal on Thursday night in order to make ends meet after the government withdrew its Revenue Support Grants to the council.

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The proposed council tax increase – 1.99 per cent – is the maximum allowed without a referendum.

The authority said the tax hike would enable it to protect frontline services over the next four years, prioritising assistance for the most vulnerable.

Deputy leader Ed Turner said: "I’m pleased that once again we are able to put forward a balanced budget that sees funding to frontline services protected and is fully in line with our philosophy of seeking to make Oxford a fairer, more equal place to live.

"This has been achieved against a backdrop of ongoing austerity since 2010. We no longer receive Revenue Support Grant funding from Government and New Homes Bonus is being removed.

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"We have to work harder to maintain and develop commercial property income and low interest rates affect our investments."

The council said raising tax overall would allow it to protect its Council Tax Reduction Scheme, keep giving grants to voluntary organisations, freeze concessionary charges at council leisure facilities, and boost the homelessness service budget by £1.2 million over the next four years.

The council also said it was prioritising the delivery of more housing, including new council housing. Over the next four years, £136m of capital investment will produce 620 much-needed new council-owned homes, it said.

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Underpinning these decisions is the ‘Oxford Model’, in which the council seeks to keep work in-house and keep any profits made to support the services it provides, rather than out-source to others.

Over the next four years the council expects to receive more than £20 million from its wholly-owned companies – Oxford Direct Services Ltd (ODS) and Oxford City Housing Ltd (OCHL).

In addition, the council said it was aiming to make £6 million worth of efficiencies over the next four years 'to help protect frontline service delivery'.

It comes after the council announced £19m plans to tackle climate change yesterday.