Barnet residents will see their council tax bills go up by 3 per cent next year to meet the rising costs of social care.

The increase, which was approved at a full council meeting on March 6, is set to add £2.89 per month to council tax bills for band D properties in 2018/19.

It will boost council coffers by £4.9m per year, with the money set to be used solely to provide support and care for elderly and vulnerable adult residents.

Local authorities across the UK have come under increasing pressure to raise council tax bills following cuts to central government funding.

The government has given councils the power to add a 3 per cent precept to council tax bills in order to fund social care, on top of any increase in the general council tax rate.

Barnet Council said there would be no increase in the general council tax rate in 2018/19.

Barnet has the largest population of any London borough and is home to a higher population of older people, many of whom require care.

Council leader Richard Cornelius said he was proud of the council’s track record in keeping bills down but warned of further budget pressures on the horizon.

He said: “We still have a total budget gap of £39.5m to fill by 2020, as pressures on our services continue, and our funding from central Government decreases.

“We have successfully saved £144m between 2010 and 2017, whilst maintaining high levels of resident satisfaction and protecting frontline services as far as possible.”

“While we will continue to look for savings where possible, we are also protecting the capital investment into the borough. Through sound financial management we have been able to make savings while continuing to deliver what we had planned.

“The council also plans to invest £857m in essential infrastructure for the borough between now and 2025, including new homes, schools and building two new sports centres with new pools.”