A THREE per cent hike in council tax bills for tens of thousands of Renfrewshire residents was rubber-stamped this afternoon.

The move, which will see bills rising across all bands by up to £86 a year, was approved at Renfrewshire Council's budget meeting.

It is the first time those living in band A to D homes will have experienced a rise in council tax for a decade.

A increase for those in bands E to H was enforced by the Scottish Government last year. 

Councillors also voted to invest a record £7.2million in roads and footpaths to tackle what some have described as a 'pothole epidemic'.

Elected members had been due to vote on the budget yesterday but due to the adverse weather which has battered the area, it had to be postponed until this afternoon.

Council leader Iain Nicolson said: "This budget is focused on putting the needs of people first and allows us to target public funds where they will make a real impact, caring for the most vulnerable in our communities and creating the right conditions to ensure everyone can thrive."

The budget will provide £391million for public services with the rise in council tax helping to generate £2.1million. 

This will will also include a £4.5million investment in a new employability programme and £5million of funding for a five-year Tackling Poverty programme, which will allow the Families First service to continue for the next five years.

Councillors also gave the green light to spending £1.5million on green spaces and play parks and £2million for digital infrastructure and superfast broadband across the region.

Councillor Nicolson added: “We have a good financial settlement this year and we have managed to identify almost £10million of efficiencies to help maintain our existing services but we face challenges ahead. 

"Through the additional income the council tax increase will deliver, we will be able to protect services and make sure we target our investment where it will make a difference."