PURBECK District Council has agreed to implement a 1.94 per cent rise in its share of the council tax.

This means the rise of the district council's share of council tax is equivalent to six pence per week for a Band D household.

The overall average council tax rise for a Band D household in Purbeck, taking into account other precept increases, works out at 22 pence per week.

Purbeck District Council leader Cllr Gary Suttle said: “At no time have we faced a more difficult decision. I am sure that no council tax payer wants an increase, but I am equally sure they don't want to see any lowering of service standards.”

Cllr Suttle admitted the Government's offer of a grant to freeze council tax was attractive, but cited the need to protect future council services as driving the authority's decision.

“If we accept the freeze grant and do not increase Purbeck District Council's share of the council tax,” said Cllr Suttle. “The amount of savings the council will need to make in future years could force service reductions or even have far-reaching implications for Purbeck District Council as a whole.

“So it is with future in mind that a rise of 1.94 per cent is the only option that will enable us to secure and maintain services in future years.”

The proposal was agreed by a small majority of Purbeck District Council members.