Council tax bills in Ipswich are set to rise by 4.6% in April - adding £77.28 to the annual bill for a Band B home.

The borough is set to put up its element of the bill by fractionally under 3% - but both Suffolk County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner are set to put up their elements by just under 5%.

That means that the total bill for a Band B property - the most numerous in the town - will go up from £1,675.87 to £1,753.15.

Ipswich council leader Neil MacDonald said the budget-setting process had been very tough this year - but a great deal of effort had gone into trying to ensure that front-line services were protected.

He said: "It does become more difficult every year. This year we are using £3m from our reserves - and we cannot continue to carry on doing that indefinitely."

The council currently has £15m in reserves - but part of this is committed to specific projects.

But Mr MacDonald said other income was important: "We continue to get income from (property investment company) Ipswich Borough Assets, £3.4m a year. 

"Despite the lowering of the value of its assets, the income is remaining the same and that should improve once the new Lidl is built at Anglia Retail Park."

The income from Ipswich Borough Assets could further increase if a deal is done with Marks and Spencer on the former Toys R Us site at Copdock.

Mr MacDonald said the council was continuing with its £80m capital programme to build new homes in the town - and another ongoing project was the rebuilding of the High Street museum that should be completed in 2025.

The budget is to be discussed by the borough's executive next Tuesday, February 6, and is expected to be formally confirmed by the full meeting of the council on February 28.