Dorset hikes council tax by 1.99 per cent

County Hall

County Hall

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

COUNCILLORS have given the green light to plans to raise council tax across the county.

At a meeting of Dorset County Council’s cabinet, councillors approved plans to increase council tax by 1.99 per cent for the next financial year and up to two per cent for subsequent years.

But the council is able to present a balanced budget after fears they would be facing a deficit of more than £2million and councillors pledged to carry out more public consultation on the issues facing the authority.

The report’s recommendations were approved in full by councillors and will be discussed at the next full council meeting.

Speaking at the meeting at County Hall in Dorchester, cabinet member for corporate resources Councillor Robert Gould said the budget for the next three years assumes increases in council tax of two per cent each year.

The exact amount will be dependent on government decisions on a council tax cap.

Coun Gould added that there is a ‘high degree of uncertainty’ beyond 2016 and further increases and budget decisions will be based on the outcome of the general election.

But looking forward he promised the council will place an ‘increased emphasis’ on public consultation.

Councillor Toni Coombs, cabinet member for education and communications, said consultation should be done ‘face to face’, rather than through the council’s website.

She added: “The more we can do this, the more it shows we are listening.”

Presenting the report, Coun Gould said the council will present a balanced budget after being informed in December last year of a deficit of £2.4million.

A surplus on collection funds and part of the Public Health Grant being made available for county council services has helped to close this gap to £500,000, which will be funded from contingency reserves.

But overspends were reported in adult and community services, children’s services and the environment.

Coun Gould said: “Through a period of change and challenge we are now able to present a budget which is robust.

“We will be making changes in the way we deliver services but we will not be resorting to crude cuts.”

He added: “Because of the way we have run finances in the past we are a very well resourced council and I think that’s something we can all take great pride in.”

Comments (5)

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5:59am Tue 4 Feb 14

MrTomSmith says...

No Surprise we Pay More for Less - It won't go on for ever there will be a massive backlash.
No Surprise we Pay More for Less - It won't go on for ever there will be a massive backlash. MrTomSmith
  • Score: 11

7:42am Tue 4 Feb 14

Bridders says...

We always hear of "Cuts to this, Cuts to that, no money for this no money for that" But surprise surprise, as per usual its "Lets raise the income from Joe Public, they won't mind"
Trouble is though, the pockets of my trouser's are not bottomless !
We always hear of "Cuts to this, Cuts to that, no money for this no money for that" But surprise surprise, as per usual its "Lets raise the income from Joe Public, they won't mind" Trouble is though, the pockets of my trouser's are not bottomless ! Bridders
  • Score: 11

8:25am Tue 4 Feb 14

dontbuyit says...

Funny that this news comes hot on the heels of the demand by the Charles St developer that he needs an extra 2 million. Yes I know it's DCC and not WDDC raising the taxes but theres Robert Gould again playing fast and loose with our money.
Funny that this news comes hot on the heels of the demand by the Charles St developer that he needs an extra 2 million. Yes I know it's DCC and not WDDC raising the taxes but theres Robert Gould again playing fast and loose with our money. dontbuyit
  • Score: 11

9:33am Tue 4 Feb 14

mr commonsense says...

So Clr Gould says in his statement that " looking forward to having more consultation with the the public ".
Is this the same man who won't have any public debate over Charles Street with his other hat on WDDC ?
For all my life I have supported his party but NEVER again in local politics.
He no longer has the trust of the people. Does he care? Why should he when £ 50,000 plus out of our money, goes into his pocket.
So Clr Gould says in his statement that " looking forward to having more consultation with the the public ". Is this the same man who won't have any public debate over Charles Street with his other hat on WDDC ? For all my life I have supported his party but NEVER again in local politics. He no longer has the trust of the people. Does he care? Why should he when £ 50,000 plus out of our money, goes into his pocket. mr commonsense
  • Score: 5

2:11pm Tue 4 Feb 14

portland rebel says...

before much longer we wont be getting any services, as the income will be less than the pension payout.
before much longer we wont be getting any services, as the income will be less than the pension payout. portland rebel
  • Score: 0

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