This is how much extra Preston Council pocketed in council tax last year

Preston Council generated an extra 4.3m in council tax last year
Preston Council generated an extra 4.3m in council tax last year
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Town hall chiefs in Preston brought in millions of pounds in extra council tax last year

Preston City Council's income from council tax increased by £4.3m last year, new figures show.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England, said "unprecedented cuts" were driving council tax rates up across the country.

In Preston, the council raised £57.8m from council tax between April and December last year, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

This was an increase of eight per cent compared to the same period during the 2017-18 financial year, when it collected £53.5m.

Across England, council tax income increased by 6.4 per cent over the same period, climbing to £25.2bn for the nine-month period.

READ MORE: Council tax going up by maximum amount in Preston

A spokesman for the LGA said: "Councils do all they can to keep council tax as low as possible but, faced with unprecedented funding cuts, are increasingly being left with no choice but to increase it to help fund vital services. Councils will be asking people to pay similar levels of council tax this year while at the same time warning communities that the quality and quantity of services they enjoy could drop."

Local authorities face a funding gap of £8bn by 2025, he added, warning that the Government's upcoming Spending Review would be "make or break" for local services.

The Taxpayers Alliance has rejected the claims, however, saying councils across the country are wasting money on high salaries, parties, and PR departments.

Chief executive John O'Connell said: "Household budgets are under strain and hard-pressed families simply cannot afford these sharp increases to their council tax bill."

The average council tax bill for a band D property in Preston increased by 3.6 per cent between 2017-18 and 2018-19 – lower than the average 5.1 per cent increase seen across England.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said other factors could be behind increases in council tax revenue, including collection of historic council tax debt or a growth in the number of homes in an area.

A spokeswoman said: “We are providing local authorities with access to £91.5bn over the next two years to help councils meet their residents’ needs.

“Councils, not central government, are responsible for managing their own resources, including the collection of council tax.

"Taxpayers can veto excessive increases via a local referendum.”