IRVINE residents could be seeing a near five per cent increase on their Council Tax in a bid to fill the funding gap facing the council.

Currently, it is proposed that Council Tax will rise by 4.79 per cent from April.

However, if elected members choose not to apply this level of increase, further cuts will be required from elsewhere in the Budget to make up the shortfall.

But the multi-million pound plans proposals for a new primary at Montgomerie Park can be accelerated by two years with a potential starting date for construction in 2020/21 and Ardrossan’s new school campus could be built three years earlier than first thought - if councillors agree to it at today’s budget meeting.

North Ayrshire Council have already started the ball rolling with the pre-consultation on the campus where locals can give their views about the school, leisure facilities and further education in Ardrossan, which could see the closure of the swimming pool at Auchenharvie Leisure Centre.

If agreed, it is hoped that the findings will be taken back to the council in the summer and discussions would continue with the Scottish Government surrounding match-funding for the planned campus on the former Shell site in the town.

Since 2010/11, North Ayrshire Council has had to cut £92m from its Revenue Budget.

The proposals, which will go before elected members tomorrow (Wednesday) show a funding gap of a further £8.5m for 2019/20.

The proposed £343m Revenue Budget is funded largely through the settlement from the Scottish Government, which saw a decrease in core funding of £3.832m (1.4 per cent of the overall Budget) and £9.428m of ring-fenced money to fund new commitments, principally in respect of the expansion of early learning and child care, and health and social care.

As part of the Budget preparations, around 800 residents took part in a survey with results showing more than 90 per cent of respondents agreed with the council’s priorities.