LOCAL councils are set to receive almost £500 million in extra funding over the next year.

After draft spending pledges were announced in Holyrood, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell, welcomed an extra £494m being allocated to local authorities.

It is a real-terms rise of 4.3%, according to the Scottish Government.

Authorities will also have the option to raise an additional £135m through a rise in council tax.

Campbell said the increase will allow councils to deliver in areas such as education.

At least £100m has been earmarked for spending on social care, including £25m to help ensure care staff are paid the living wage.

Campbell said: "This budget provides a fair settlement for our partners in local government and supports vital public services across Scotland.

"Taken together with the flexibility to increase council tax, this local government settlement gives councils an increase of revenue spending of up to 4.3% in real terms to deliver local services.

"The settlement will deliver on our joint key commitment to expand the funded hours of early learning and childcare this year, funds a fair pay deal for our teachers and invests more than £120m targeted at closing the attainment gap through the Pupil Equity Fund.

"This increased settlement will ensure fair, sustainable funding for local authorities."