COUNCIL house tenants in the Selby district are set to see their rent increase – prompting a local Tory leader to criticise his own Government.

Families will see their rents go up by an average of 4.6 per cent, which would put the average bill for a Selby District Council property rise from £75.69 to £79.19.

The decision to raise rents was passed at a meeting of Selby District Counil’s executive in line with Government policy introduced 12 years ago to bring council rents in line with those of Registered Social Landlords (RSLs).

Council leader Mark Crane said he disagreed with the policy, but recognised the council had to go along with it.

He said: “It’s not as bad as last year, but I fully recognise it is above inflation.

“Selby has been on the path to get equality of rents for years, and every year rent has to rise above inflation to catch up with Registered Social Landlord rents, so this year is another step on that path.”

Coun Crane said the policy had been introduced by the previous Labour Government, but he was unhappy that no effort had been made to change the policy since the coalition Government came to power. He said: “I don’t personally agree with the policy, but we have no alternative. The Government said we have to get convergence.

“The one thing I would say is that a large number of people living in our homes get housing benefit, so to some extent are immune from the increase. However, there are several hard working families who do not, and are facing an increase above inflation. I’m frankly slightly disappointed this Government has not changed it.”