COUNCIL tax is set to be increased by three per cent in the next year when the borough's cabinet meet on Thursday.

Wigan Council is expected to freeze general tax for the fifth consecutive year but will impose a three per cent precept to fund adult social care services.

Council bosses believe its move will be the lowest increase in Greater Manchester for the 2018/19 financial year.

Frontline services will not need to be cut to achieve its target of saving £160m by 2020.

There has been £133m saved in the last eight years with the help of The Deal- its informal contract with community groups.

The council say it has budgeted for the remaining £27.5m in the next two years.

Leader of the council, Lord Peter Smith, said: “The Deal has radically changed the way we deliver services compared to the past and will help us maintain a secure financial position in the future.

“Not only is it great news for our residents that there is no increase to general council tax but we do not need to make any additional cuts to our frontline services.

“By setting out our strategy through The Deal we have been able to achieve our savings targets while improving the services we deliver to residents.

“We were initially criticised for this approach but we are now seeing clear benefits.

“We are ahead of schedule with our savings plan and the council is in a strong position going into 2018/19.

"However this does not mean that we do not have any challenges ahead of us.

"There are still significant risks of financial pressure particularly from the areas of adult social care and children’s services.

“With an ageing population and more demand than ever before on our social care services we, along with most councils, are in a position where we cannot refuse the adult social care precept to fund these vital services.

“We have to do what is necessary to maintain high quality, safe and personalised services for those who are in need in our communities.”

An investment of £1.5m from the money raised by the precept will be pumped into the social care budget next year.

A recent report has also published that employment in the borough is forecast to increase to 75.3 per cent, the highest in the region with the economy rising by four per cent.

A recent survey has shown residents' satisfaction with the council stands at 65 per cent with 50 per cent of people believing they are getting value for money from the local authority.

A children's services reform has led to the department achieving a "Good" rating from Ofsted and introducing its early years Start Well centre.

Figures have highlighted the borough's recycling rate is approaching 50 per cent after moving from a fortnightly bin collection to every three weeks last years.

Lord Smith added: “We could not have achieved what we have done without the tremendous support of our residents who have embraced The Deal.

“We will remain committed to following the principles of The Deal and delivering efficient high quality reformed services to our residents.”

After the cabinet meeting on Thursday, there will be a full council meeting in March to formally approve the council tax increase.