The Waterside Councillor said: “We are pleased that other parties in the Council supported our proposal to keep the rates increase as low as possible.
“Families and businesses across the Derry and Strabane district are struggling to keep their heads above water and we did not want to add any additional burden on them.
“I welcome the support from other parties and the work of Council officers in finding cost saving measures for the Council to adopt.
“The SDLP had voted to defer striking the rates until we could engage with the Minister for Finance and Minister for Communities, to seek clarity on what financial support could be accessed from the Rates Support Grant.
“Unfortunately this proposal was defeated by the DUP and Sinn Fein, so we had to strike yesterday.
“It is extremely disappointing that neither the Finance Minister nor the Minister for Communities could meet with us before the statutory deadline of 15th February – despite requests being made at the beginning of January as soon as the Assembly was restored.
“The SDLP’s priority has always been to ensure high quality services across the Derry City and Strabane District, providing good value for money for our ratepayers.
“Our previous Minister, Mark H Durkan MLA, ring-fenced funding for the Rates Support Grant.
“It is disappointing this policy is no longer in place, costing our Council over £1 million in the years since.
“We we will continue to fight for the restoration of the Rates Support Grant so that the least well off Councils do not have to place unfair burdens on our ratepayers,” added Cllr Reilly.