RESIDENTS in Bridport will be paying slightly more council tax this year - with some householders in outlying parishes seeing a huge jump in their bills because of a local government shake-up.

Dorset Council began sending out bills for the forthcoming financial year from Tuesday, March 12, and in Bridport, they’ll be different from previous years due to the boundary changes taking affect from April 1.

The changes will see the dissolution of Allington, Bothenhampton & Walditch, and Bradpole parish councils.

The vast majority of homes in those areas will become part of Bridport Town Council, along with a smaller number from Symondsbury parish. 

As a result, the council tax bills for homes in these former parish areas will now show a contribution to Bridport Town Council, instead of the parish councils. 

All households in the new town council area (Allington, Bothenhampton & Walditch, and Bradpole, and part of Symondsbury) will, within each tax band, pay the same town council precept - however this will be more than what was paid previously to their parishes.

For Band D this increase is more than £100.

Existing households in Bridport will see a reduction in their town council precept because more homes being brought into the town council area.

However the bill as a whole has gone up because of increases by Dorset Council, the police and fire services.

Town Council Leader Cllr Dave Rickard said “The amalgamation of all our constituent parishes will see a fairer distribution of costs across the whole town, previously only just over half were meeting this cost. 

"Town councillors strongly supported this change, which we also expect to result in contested elections across all of the five new wards into which the new council area has been divided – so you will get more localised representation."

The total bill, for a property in Band D, will be £2,570.89 (up from £2,545.47) before any discounts or benefits.  This is made up of charges levied by:

  • Dorset Council £2,001.15 (77.8% of the total) - up from £1,666.26 in 2023/24
  • Dorset Police £293.58 (11.4%) - up from £280.58 in 2023/24
  • Bridport Town Council £189.21 (7.4%) - down from £274.53 in 2023/24
  • Dorset Fire & Rescue £86.95 (3.4%) - up from £84.43 in 2023/24

About 60% of households in the area are in bands lower than Band D so will see a lower charge.

Town Clerk Will Austin added: “Council tax bills are going to look a bit confusing for this year only, because of the boundary changes. 

"I’d encourage anyone who wants more information about their bill to contact Council Tax team at Dorset Council – email or call 01305 211970.”