Bolton's council tax is still set to rise more than four per cent – despite some 68 per cent of people who took part in the budget consultation opposing the increase.

The increase is one of multiple measures intended to address a multi-million hole in the budget for the 12 months up to April 2024.

Some of the other measures include cuts of more than £4 million, more than half of them across adults' services and children's services, and the use of reserves to the tune of £10 million.

But it is council tax which is most contentious, as the increase is at a time when people are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

READ MORE: Bolton misses out on town centre and De Havilland Way bids.

At the time of a consultation which came to a close last month, the details were not set in stone as the Mayoral General Precept and Mayoral Police Precept were not confirmed. Bolton Council's portion of the bill was set to rise four per cent. 

But these precepts were confirmed at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority last week, with this portion of the bill set to rise 4.8 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively.

It means the increase to be considered by the cabinet on February 6 and by the council later in the month is 4.34 per cent in total, with some variations in Blackrod, Horwich, and Westhoughton where there is also a Parish Precept to be paid.

At the time of the consultation, 20 per cent of residents disagreed with the increase, while 48 per cent of residents disagreed strongly. Of these, most respondents suggested it should be more in the region of two per cent.

READ MORE: Bolton: Call for 'Levelling Up' to be 'hard-wired' into UK law.

One said: "Increasing council tax during a cost of living crisis is malevolent."

Some respondents suggested alternatives, such as cuts to the number of councillors and officers or to their allowances and salaries.

One said: "Start with the number of elected members, we don't need 60 councillors chatting about things they've no control over."

Another said: "All principal officers, including the chief executive, could take a pay cut. The 'Average Joe' would dream of being on a principal officer's salary."

The budget is to be considered by the cabinet on February 6 and by the council later in the month.

If approved, it comes into effect in April this year.