Southampton City Council asked to hike council tax by up to almost 15 per cent, it has been revealed during a fiery council meeting.

The leader of the city council confirmed it made a request to the government to increase council tax by "up to" an additional 10 per cent above the maximum 4.99 per cent, without a referendum.

In a heated council meeting on Wednesday, Conservative councillor Jeremy Moulton asked the council leader, Cllr Lorna Fielker, about a request for a "very large tax increase" and to confirm the exact figure.

Cllr Fielker explained that in its application to the government for exceptional financial support, the council outlined all the possible ways that it could increase the income in the application - saying it was a normal practice for all councils to do.

She said the authority would then be able to take it if needed, depending on its finances. But the request was rejected by the government.

READ MORE: Row erupts over alleged ‘blatant lies’ on Tory leaflet about huge council tax hike

She said: “Due to the extensive work done by cabinet and by officers additional council tax wasn’t required which is why the government did not grant permission to do so.

“If [the government] didn’t think the work we had done was good enough they would have said go raise some more money through council tax.

“We don’t think that the right thing to do to pay for the absolute disgrace of failure to fund local government properly, so we’re really pleased that wasn’t accepted.”

The request was included in confidential council documents which were seen by the Echo.

Responding to accusations from Cllr Moulton that the administration was keeping it a "secret", she said the decision for the request to be kept confidential came from the government.

She added: “I imagine this was to prevent the type of scaremongering the Conservatives are engaging in.”

She went on to attack the Tories in the council meeting, referencing a leaflet claiming the council would raise its tax to 20 per cent.

She accused Cllr Moulton of putting out "an absolute lie when you know it’s not true".

She said: “The maximum amount that we would have raised would have been 14.99 per cent not 20 per cent as you put out, which frightens people and distresses them and the fact you knew we weren’t going to do is even more of a disgrace that you have put it out.

“You shamed people a councillor, you are working against the principles of public life, and I think it’s absolutely disgusting."

She carried on: “Residents across the city would have received their actual council tax bill today and they will see on there it doesn’t say a 20 per cent increase but you’ve put that in their mind for cheap political gameplay.

"You have run out of ideas, you’re disillusioned, you haven’t got a clue what you’re doing. I’m just shocked."

Cllr Moulton told the Echo: “Labour have kept this council tax request a secret, hiding it in confidential papers.

"The Labour leader of the council has publicly claimed she has no idea where talk of a massive council tax whammy came from, whilst all the time knowing she tried to raise it by 15 per cent and thinking she could keep this secret.

"In years past Labour have raised council tax by over 18 per cent and we know bankrupt Labour Birmingham are raising it by 20 per cent over two years.

"Given half a chance Labour in Southampton will hike council tax by as much as they can, putting the costs of the wasteful spending on hard-pressed local residents.

"Southampton Labour in their own words 'don’t do finance'. It is clear they don’t do honesty either.”