COUNCIL tax bills are arriving this week – and increases in most of Dorset will see money owed by residents go well above the rate of inflation.

Many residents living in rural Dorset are now paying higher amounts than similar banded properties in some of London’s most expensive boroughs.

For the first time, many Band D homes will be paying more than £2,000 a year. The majority in band F will pay more than £3,000 a year. Most of those on Band H will be paying more than £4,000 a year for council services.

For some properties there will be an overall rise of around seven per cent – although for others, it will be less than one per cent.

In North Dorset overall average increases are calculated at 6.29 per cent. Purbeck bills will rise by an average of 2.23 per cent and East Dorset 0.29 per cent.

Representatives from the new Dorset council say the authority is only responsible for a 2.99 per cent increase, the maximum allowed by the government.

Further increases would require a referendum.

The biggest percentage rise comes from the police, whose share of the council tax is up by 11.6 per cent for some properties.

Councillors acting on behalf of the new authority for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have opted for staggered increases over a number of years, resulting in a lower annual increase for 2019/20 compared to the Dorset Council area.