WINCHESTER council leaders have agreed to freeze council tax for a fifth year in a row.

People living in an average Band D property will pay £126.27, the same as in 2010-11.

With the county council also freezing council tax, households will have relatively small increases from the police and fire authorities.

Senior Tory councillor Stephen Godfrey said despite reduced Government funding the council was presenting a balanced budget with no tax increase or cuts to services.

Around £113million will be invested in capital schemes over the next five years, including Silver Hill renaissance, £6m on enterprise centres and land purchases.

Cllr Godfrey said the council was also working towards making all contractors pay the Living Wage. The aim is to make Winchester one of the first Living Wage cities, where “local people can expect to earn enough to afford to live here.”

Councillors also agreed a Liberal Democrat amendment to reduce the cost of lease cars and freeze pest control fees as well as making £120,000 available over the next two years to fight fuel poverty, where poorer households are paying a disproportionate amount to heat their homes.