East Renfrewshire’s residents are to be hit with eye-watering council tax rises for the next three years.

That’s after the local authority voted to impose a three per cent increase every year until 2021.

The decision, agreed at Friday’s annual budget meeting, means some residents will end up more than £262 a year worse off.

Council tenants will also be hit in the pocket, with the average rent set to rocket by £300 a year from 2019.

Defending the budget, council leader Tony Buchanan told the Barrhead News: “We recognise that this will add an additional burden to our residents, however, not to do so was not an option.

“Without generating this additional income there would be a major reduction in funding to our schools, public infrastructure such as roads, in our local environment such as parks and cleansing services and we would see large-scale cuts to social care budgets.”

Homeowners in council tax band A will see their payments go from £773 to £796 this year before reaching £819 next year and £844 the year after.

Residents in top-rated band H properties will have to pay £2,926 this year, £3,013 next year and £3,104 from April 2020.

Cllr Buchanan continued: “In East Renfrewshire, we continue to face increased pressures linked to our rising elderly population and growing younger population, which places a high demand on both our schools and social care services.

“New legislation such as recycling targets, landfill tax and welfare reform also need to be considered when planning how best to deliver services in the future.

“So, whilst raising council tax was a tough choice, it was one that had to be made in order to protect the services most valued by residents.”

Despite receiving around £179million in funding from the Scottish Government this year, council bosses will attempt to plug a £24m shortfall over the next three years.

That will involve cutting headteacher budgets by £500,000 and reducing funding to the Integrated Joint Board – a partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – by £7.2m.

No compulsory redundancies will be made this year but the council plans on disposing of more than 260 jobs from next year.

Those are expected to include school classroom assistants, behaviour support staff, lunchtime supervisors and bilingual support staff.

The council will save more than £1.2m by cutting those posts.

The administration also plans to close schools to the public during holiday periods from next year in order to save £147,000 on energy bills.

Councillors voted by 10-6 in favour of the administration’s plans, which will also see more than £131m spent on education.

A total of £250,000 will go towards new laptops and tablets for schools, with an additional £150,000 to improve the council’s mixed tenure properties.

More than £10m will be spent on roads, with £2m being set aside to maintain parks, cemeteries and pitches across East Renfrewshire.

Councillor Buchanan said: “Our ambition to deliver the very best for our residents is highlighted through our series of investments in the first year of this budget process, which will enhance the services we deliver.

“We have also listened to our residents and amended savings proposals to reflect their feedback as we try to minimise the impact of the changes which require to be made in the way in which we deliver services.”