A TOWN clerk has urged councillors to do "all we can" to ensure an authority has enough funding and support to take on extra services following the overhaul of local government in Dorset.

Councils have submitted plans to the secretary of state to form two unitary authorities, one covering Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch and another which would cover the rest of the county.

Bridport Town Council is hoping to have plans in place if services are handed over to the authority or cuts are made to services in the town.

In August 2016, Dorset County Council announced in August 2016 it was withdrawing funding for all youth centres across the county. Volunteers set up a trust to save Bridport Youth Centre from closure with initial funding of £5,000 from the town council to help with set-up cost.

In January, the town council agreed to raise the council tax charge for Band D properties by 6.36 per cent to £194.87 a year. The current charge for a Band D property is £183.22. With the council receiving its final funding from the local council tax support grant, the increase will give the authority £582,700, balance the budget and provide an extra £10,000 towards "future delegated services".

The town council has also taken on Bridport Tourist Information Centre (TIC) after West Dorset District Council cut funding.

Speaking at last month's finance and general purposes committee, town clerk Bob Gillis, said: "We are doing as much as we can to resolve issues of services and assets in Bridport.

"We need to ensure we are doing all we can to make sure we get a good settlement and that services in Bridport stay and we take on as much as we can, but we get enough support from the unitary authority."

Cllr Maggie Ray spoke out about the importance of the town council receiving enough support to take on any additional services.

She said: "The most important thing is that if and when the town council is taking on services, we will need funding and support to come with it. That is absolutely vital."