Council tax is set to increase in the next financial year as town councils set their budgets.

Both Bridport and Lyme Regis town councils have agreed to increase their precepts for 2020/21.

Members of Bridport Town Council's finance ans general purposes committee agreed on Monday to increase it’s precept by £34,162, giving the council a balanced budget of £718,341.

For band D households in Bridport, this means a weekly increase of 22p, or £11.28 a year.

Bridport Town Council has taken the general approach to increase charges by around two per cent in line with inflation.

Cllr Julian Jones said: “I don’t think that unless there’s a clear reason justified to have more than a balanced budget that we should do it.”

Cllr Gill Massey said the balanced budget will enable the town council to do want it would like to do and shows a ‘responsible council’.

Town clerk Will Austin outlined the extra work the council was undertaking, including the climate emergency, the neighbourhood plan and possible services devolved from Dorset Council which he said, ‘demonstrate an increased commitment to the town’.

Another option for the town council was to increase the precept by £44,162, which would give £10,000 of reserves, but Cllr Dave Rickard said 'isn't a lot of money.

"If you look at some of the projects that we have aspirations for, it turns out it wouldn't go very far in any of them, so we're going to have to get other funding and I think it would be better to do that than rely on the taxpayer to provide it," he added.

The recommendation to increase the precept will go to the full council meeting on January 21 for approval.

For Lyme Regis, this is the first time the town council has increased its precept for around eight years.

At a strategy and finance committee meeting in December, Cllr Stan Williams raised concern that the budget was too ‘tight’, with Cllr Richard Donney also expressed his nervousness about allowing the council’s reserves to fall.

Councillors agreed at the full council on January 8 to increase its precept by 10 per cent from £120,708 to £132,779, giving the council an extra £12,071 from taxpayers.