COUNCIL tax will increase by three per cent in Wigan borough for the next year.

A full council meeting at Wigan Town Hall this evening, Wednesday, to discuss the budget approved the move to freeze general tax for the fifth consecutive year but imposed a three per cent precept to fund adult social care services.

The increase is the lowest in Greater Manchester for the 2018/19 financial year.

A total of 56 councillors voted in favour of the move with three abstaining and Cllr Bob Brierley voting against.

Leader of the opposition, Conservative Cllr Michael Winstanley, proposed an amendment to introduce an investment fund from a Manchester Airport dividend for community groups in the borough based outside Leigh and Wigan town centre.

But this was later withdrawn after council leader Lord Peter Smith agreed to address the matter.  

Lord Smith said: "Despite the cuts we have had imposed on us as a council we have won a number of awards and invested £9 million in community groups with The Deal.

"Andy Burnham wants to use it across the rest of Greater Manchester.

"We have also committed £5 million to the Believe in Leigh Fund."

Dog fouling was an brought up by independent councillors Debbie Fairhurst and Bob Brierley.

Cllr Fairhurst argued that more bins need to be introduced in the borough to tackle the issue while Cllr Brierley called for free dog fouling bags to be reintroduced for residents.

In reply, Lord Smith said dog owners should take responsibility for the issue.

A heated exchange also took place between the council leader and the independents including Bryn Cllr Steve Jones just before the votes were cast in the chamber.