A council tax rise of 2% will form the cornerstone of a town hall budget with more than £20 million cuts.

Brighton and Hove City Council has confirmed it will delete about 160 posts in the 2013/14 financial year as it looks to combat Government cuts.

The minority Green administration claimed the rise, the maximum allowed without holding a city-wide referendum, would help it off-set some of the reductions from Whitehall.

Bosses this afternoon also pledged to maintain the number of children’s centres, keep branch libraries open and make no changes to eligibility for social care.

However, children’s and adult services will be forced to bear the brunt as more than £20 million of savings have to be found.

The council tax increase would amount to about 43p per week for the average Band D household in the city.

Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “These budget proposals represent our commitment to protecting the city’s essential services for residents.

“We are facing unexpected additional budget cuts which have massively increased the deficit during this two year budget period. Our focus now with these proposals is to ensure all services are run as efficiently as possible.

“We are proposing a modest, below inflation 2% rise in council tax increase. With the challenging economic climate we do recognise any tax increases are difficult.

“Despite this we are working hard to keep Brighton and Hove's economy growing, we will be funding major investment in the digital network infrastructure to keep the city at the forefront of creative, innovative business.

“These proposals protect essential services while carving out a path which is ambitious for the city's future.”

At least a further £1.9 million must be found before the budget is finalised by all councillors in February.

This coudl see Conservative and Labour councillors join to vote down the Green plans.

Full details will not be available until the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on December 5.

For a full breakdown of how the budget will affect you see tomorrow’s Argus.

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