COUNTY Hall has announced it will increase council tax for the first time in four years.

Presenting a £332.7m budget for 2014/15 today, Buckinghamshire County Council has said council tax will rise by 1.5 percent.

Council chiefs pledged to spend almost £65m to repair roads over the next four years and plough a further £200,000 to prevent child sexual exploitation.

The budget also allows the council ‘to protect vital service to the most vulnerable residents’.

BCC Leader Cllr Martin Tett said: “Despite far better news for the UK economy as a whole, thanks to the Government, for local government the financial road ahead will be very tough.

“Only those local authorities who see and understand this and who plan and respond now will survive intact.

“This budget faces up to difficult decisions. It includes major cost savings and increases in income.

“It is a tough budget for tough times into the foreseeable future but it is also a budget that begins a long term strategy for financial stability and sustainability.”

The council has received £4.6 million of the £5m funds that were originally deposited with Landsbanki Islands Bank in 2008.

BCC sold its claim against the insolvent estate of the bank through a competitive auction process.

The price was based on a reserve price set by the council after legal advice.