Council tax is going up in Wandsworth after councillors voted to approve this year’s budget – but it remains on average the lowest in the UK.

The Conservative administration is raising its portion of the charge by the maximum allowed without triggering a referendum – 4.99%.

Of this, 2% will pay for adult social care and the rest will fund other services.

The Labour opposition argued at the town hall on Wednesday March 6, that the 2.99% hike (leaving the adult social care precept) should be reconsidered.

Council tax, they said, is regressive and hits the poorest hardest.

But the administration argued it was proud to have kept council tax relatively low for some time – its average council tax remains the lowest in the country.

The council’s finance spokesman, Councillor Guy Senior, said: “Since council tax was introduced almost 30 years ago we have worked tirelessly to ensure our residents have been able to enjoy top quality services at a price they can afford.

“Over those three decades our residents have been charged the lowest average bills of anywhere in the country while at the same time they’ve benefited from record investment in roads, libraries and housing.

“It is through prudent and sensible financial management, with a relentless emphasis on delivering value for money, that we have been able to keep council tax bills to the absolute minimum while providing some of the best-run local government services in the country.

“We are also making sure we protect the vital social care services that many of our elderly residents, or those who are sick or vulnerable, and that their carers too rely on so heavily, which is why this year we are increasing the funds that pay for these crucial support services.”