AT A late night council meeting the budget for the next financial year was debated and passed.

It confirms the £40 green waste charge will come into effect in April, although a plan to see whether the town centre and Eastcott could be exempt at a later date will be examined in the future.

An amendment to stop the change was put forward from the Labour Group, who said the money could be found elsewhere, but was lost as Tory councillors felt the savings were not in Swindon’s best interest.

It was also announced that a £2.9 million infrastructure fund was being set up to look at key projects in the town, such as the Thamesdown Drive extension road.

As expected it was confirmed the council element of the council tax will not go up, despite initial suggestions last year it may rise by 1.9 per cent.

Rents on council houses will rise by 3.7 per cent, which is above the level of inflation. Although Labour said it was unfair to hit tenants with this rise, it is being done to pay for repairs to damaged and run down properties.