COUNCILLORS have given the green light to plans to raise council tax throughout Dorset.

The county council’s cabinet recommended an increase of 1.99 per cent for the authority’s precept for next year’s council tax.

The increase, the first in four years, will be discussed and decided upon at the full council meeting on February 13. It would mean a rise of 44p per week for a band D property, a total of £22.88 a year.

Coun Robert Gould, cabinet member for corporate resources said: “Although we are still waiting for the government’s confirmation of the referendum limits, this should be below that value.

“I am confident that the basis for the budget is sound and that it will support the council for the substantial challenges that we face in the future. This is a modest increase to help us change the way we serve our residents.”

The cabinet also recommended that the budget strategy laying out the £43.3m savings that need to be made in the next three financial years is considered by full council. Coun Spencer Flower, leader of the council, said: “There are a lot of un-knowns in the next few years.

“But we do know that we need to change the way we provide services to the residents of Dorset.

“By transforming rather than cutting services and with good financial management we will meet the challenges head on.”