BOURNEMOUTH council plans to increase cash for its homelessness and road repair services from April.

A cabinet meeting on Wednesday heard that the borough will see its funding from central Government reduced by a further £4 million in the coming financial year, and members backed a six per cent increase in council tax.

Government funding has been cut by £54m since 2010/11.

Council leader John Beesley said despite pressure on the borough from rising demand for social care services, and there being no "spare resource" available, the council would invest £200k into recruiting more people to work with the homeless "for the third year in a row".

A further £250k will go into repairing potholes around the town.

"It will make sure that across the whole town residents notice a real difference, raising standards, although it is not a lot of money."

At the meeting, Cllr Beesley said: "We have to look to what limits the Government has set over increases in council tax, otherwise front line services will need to be cut and cut quite savagely."

According to the Local Government Association, 95 per cent of English councils plan to increase council tax this year.

Bournemouth council will be increasing its adults and children's services budget by £4.5m, taking the total to 79 per cent of the borough’s entire budget.

The authority has only raised tax twice in the past seven years, which it claims equates to a real terms reduction of 11 per cent since 2010.

However as of April 1 borough residents will see their rates boosted by the 2.99 per cent maximum increase allowed by the Government without a referendum, as well as the additional three per cent social care precept.

Cllr Beesley told the Echo the council had "followed the Government's lead" on tax.

"In Bournemouth we froze council tax bills for five years in a row as part of our response to the economic climate at that time in the aftermath of the global recession when many residents needed support, even more than they do today," he said.

"Recently the government has changed the direction of council tax for local authorities as a result of the pressure on adult social care budgets and the increasing demand for these services."

He said the borough had "very reluctantly" decided to raise taxes to "minimise any reduction in council services".

Cllr Mike Greene said the borough's "real achievement" was delivering its non-social care services while spending "less than half" what it spent on them in 2007.

"I am not in any way complaining," he said.

"Particularly as a Conservative I am very much in favour of ensuring people receive the best services at the least possible cost.

"It is exactly the way this administration has been working since it took over in 2007."

Full council will make a final decision on the budget on Wednesday, February 21.