WEST Dorset residents are set to enjoy a freeze in council tax despite a reduction in district council funding.

West Dorset District Council says it will receive nearly ten per cent less from central Government to pay for local services in 2013/14 compared to the current financial year.

It has calculated the reduction in its settlement from the Government at £571,584 but says it still intends to freeze its share of the council tax, keep parking charges at the same level and continue to deliver all of the services for which it is responsible.

The council will also set up a budget working group to looking at areas where the authority can achieve efficiencies to guard against future cuts in funding.

Leader Robert Gould said: “These are challenging times for local councils.

“The national picture means our Government grant continues to fall, many of our traditional income streams are under pressure and, like householders, we have seen energy and fuel costs rise way ahead of inflation.

“But careful financial management, savings from working in partnership, continuous efficiencies and the move to smaller, greener and cheaper offices in Dorchester means we aim to freeze council tax and parking charged in 2013/14.”

A final decision on council’s budget will be made at its full council meeting on February 26.