Can anyone tell me why west Dorset council tax rates are some of the highest in the country?

I've done a broad survey and discovered that as an F band rated property, we are paying £1,400 MORE a year than a similar band and property in rural Herefordshire; and amazingly, the same applies to a similarly banded Edwardian property in Fulham, London. In fact living in Mayfair is cheaper than living in Bridport.

It seems quite incredible that my wife and I are attempting to exist on my pension alone (because she was one of the band of unfortunate women whose pension payment was postponed for six years) and that our council tax is nearly three thousand pounds a year, almost half the state pension.

Incredible because I look around and see no bus services - or that they are so rare as to be almost extinct. It now costs £5.50 to take a bus from Bridport to Lyme Regis - a nine-mile journey. I can travel on a Berry's bus to London for only £25 return and that's 300 miles.

Does west Dorset have that much more to deal with than other counties, or inner cities?

Do we have higher levels of crime and drug use here? Are flailed roadside hedges in the late winter breaking the council bank?

I would like to see a more transparent accounting of where our council taxes go - the salaries being paid to the council officers and amongst other issues, why bus services (if they exist) are so expensive.

I was told by an unnamed councillor that I'd be lucky to get a straight answer about West Dorset's finances, but here's hoping.

Lawrence Moore

Dottery, Bridport