COUNCIL tax payers in the Vale are having to stump up an average of £50 more a year on a D band property

This represents an overall council tax increase of 3.6 per cent.

Last year owners of a band D property paid £1,146 - this year it will be about £1,190, depending on town and parish council precepts.

The Wychavon District Council part of the bill has gone up by 2.5 per cent for the sixth year running, but the bill dropping through letter boxes will also include precepts from Worcestershire County Council, the police and fire authorities which have to be collected by the district council.

At a meeting of Wychavon District Council on Tuesday, Councillor Clive Holt, finance spokesman, said: "Once again Wychavon is the cheapest place to live in Worcestershire but boasts a wealth of quality services for its residents.

"This is a trend this Conservative administration has kept up for six years and one we intend to continue.

Wychavon's managing director Jack Hegarty said: "It's good news for all residents as they will receive bills which are among the lowest in Worcestershire."

He pointed out: "For less than £100 - the Wychavon share of the bill is £96.38 - a family can benefit from our services.

"These include collecting your bin and providing parks to relax in to keeping you safe with our community wardens and supporting health provision in the district."

The county share of the bill is a 3.94 per cent increase adding £32.50 to the current £824 for a band D property.

Council leader George Lord said: "This budget will allow us to continue delivering the services expected from an excellent council.