COUNCIL tax will rise by almost four per cent next year to cover the rising cost of social care but cuts to the county’s libraries and archive service will still go ahead.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, leader of Worcestershire County Council said the council was “going for growth” as it prepared to invest more than £26 million over the next three years.

One per cent of the tax increase - around 93p a week for the average household - will go directly to funding adult social care.

The county council share of the final bill is a significant proportion.

But the council will continue with its plan to cut the county’s archive and archaeology service budget from £700,000 to £450,000 having originally planned to slash it to £295,000.

The library budget will also be cut to £800,000 after the council U-turned on its plan and chipped £200,000 off the proposed £1 million cut to the budget in the next three years.

The council said millions of pounds will be invested in improving town centres and tackling congestion.

Cllr Marcus Hart said it was a “budget for everybody” wherever they lived in Worcestershire whilst Cllr Nathan Desmond said it was a “bold and well-principled” budget which invested heavily in the most vulnerable.

At a full meeting of the county council at County Hall on Thursday (February 14), many councillors criticised the government’s lack of action over social care funding and for its failure to produce the long-awaited green paper on adult social care.

Cllr Robin Lunn, leader of the council’s Labour group, said the county council would always be in a position of having to make cuts and spending more of its budget on social care if the government continues in failing to address the social care funding problem.

Cllr Fran Oborski said the central government needed to make a decision on funding adult social care.

She said: “The government is constantly telling us about how much they are spending on the NHS but fail to tell us about how much much they are not spending on adult social care.”

All of the Labour, Lib Dem and Green amendments to the budget were rejected.