MEMBERS have agreed a council tax rise of 1.99 per cent for West Dorset District Council’s share of the council tax.

The council’s first hike in council tax for four years, which sees the charge for a Band D mid range property increase by £2.48 to £127.28 in the coming financial year, comes after leader Robert Gould warned it faced ‘unprecedented’ financial challenges.

He said: “This year we have faced unprecedented challenges in drawing up our budget.”

However, Coun Gould said that important initiatives such as the shared services partnership with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council had helped to ensure the authority remained a low taxing council and was able to maintain its level of services.

He said: “We are able to present a balanced budget and ambitious programme for future, thanks to our continued good financial management.”