WEST Dorset District Council has become the latest local authority to propose a hike in council tax.

After Dorset County Council, Dorset Police and a number of town or parish councils also put forward council tax rises for the coming financial year, the council’s executive committee backed a budget that included an increase of 1.99 per cent.

It will be the first increase in council tax the authority has introduced since 2010/11, with the charge for a Band D mid range property due to rise by £2.48 to £127.28.

Director of resources Jason Vaughan told the executive committee that the rise would still leave the council tax charge for West Dorset considerably low compared to many equivalent authorities.

He said: “We are still one of the lowest council tax authorities in England.”

Council leader Robert Gould said that work done by the council in recent years including its shared services partnership with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council meant it was able to face the financial challenges facing all local authorities.

He said: “We are in a very strong position, opposed to many councils, to set a budget which will not involve cuts to services this year.”

Coun Gould added: “We always have one of the lowest county tax precepts for any district council in the country and I think we are providing excellent services as well.”