THE council tax and budget for next year were approved on Tuesday evening.
Council tax will rise this year by 1.85 per cent, the first increase since 2010, as reported in last week's Advertiser.
Total council tax bills will rise by 1.2 per cent due to a cut in the London mayor's share, approved by the London Assembly.
The budget was approved without amendments after a heated debate along party lines.
Council leader Mike Fisher defended his budget, saying: "Well I have sat here listening carefully to all the speeches and I am still no closer now to knowing what Labour would do.
"What I have seen them do is rack up an extra £16.2 million worth of spending."
But Labour councillor Sean Fitzsimons said: "You just are so incompetent that one year away from election you put up council tax."
The council needs to save £36 million over the next two years.
Planned investments over the next four years include £92 million for primary schools, £49 million for secondary schools, and £26 million to refurbish Fairfield Halls.