DISTRICT councillors have rejected a proposal to freeze council tax.

Conservative members of Ryedale District Council’s (RDC) policy and resources committee had endorsed the measure as part of the authority’s budget for the next financial year.

However at a meeting of the full council last night (Thursday) councillors voted to increase council tax to an average of £4.91 per household.

A motion to allocate the extra funding to focus on climate change was rejected.

Council leader Cllr Keane Duncan said RDC currently had around £15m in reserves and therefore there was no need to increase council tax.

"We have no cuts in services planned and are also proposing a freeze on the green charge," he added

"By also freezing council tax we are sending a signal to the people of Ryedale that while we could have increased council tax we have chosen not to do so and therefore are supporting the families who are finding it hard to get by."

However Liberal leader John Clark said there should be an increase so that services were not affected in the years to come.

"We do not want to get into the situation we were in a few years ago when there was a freeze on council tax for a number of years and as a result services suffered and we forced to increase it year after year," he added.

Council tax bills in Ryedale are made up of percepts to North Yorkshire County Council, Ryedale District Council, North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, and town and parish councils.

In 2019/20, the average Band D property paid £195.82 to Ryedale District Council.