South Craven householders face a council tax rise of just under two per cent by the North Yorkshire authority.

The county council’s executive has recommended a 1.99 per cent increase, due to be discussed by full council yesterday.

The rise, which follows a three-year freeze, would generate extra income of about £4.6 million.

But the council, which has a budget requirement of £373 million, would still need to take more than £1.3 million from its reserves to cover costs.

The executive agreed a budget that would lead to radical changes in services in order to bring about “unprecedented” levels of savings.

Some libraries not already run by communities could close, and there may be a further restructuring of council staff, including possible job losses.

“The sheer enormity of this budget and the challenge it sets out for us is unprecedented in the life of the county council,” said Richard Flinton, the council’s chief executive.