Dorset

Weymouth and Portland Council set to freeze council tax

A Dorset local authority is set to freeze council tax for the next financial year after receiving a government grant of £153,847.

But Conservative-led Weymouth and Portland Borough Council said it still faced government cuts of £833,500 or 16.2% for 2011/12.

Its share of the average council tax bill will remain at £267.56 for a Band D property, if the freeze goes ahead.

Councillors will vote on the move at a full council meeting on 24 February.

The local authority was awarded the money as a reward for its prudence.

Councils' partnership programme

Chancellor George Osborne said councils who managed to get their spending under control would receive financial help to freeze their council tax for a year when he delivered his budget in June last year.

A spokesman for the council said: "Members and officers have been working hard over the past year to put in place plans to ensure that vital frontline services for the most vulnerable members of society are protected.

"This work has identified savings through the waste partnership, with five districts and the county council working together.

"The revenues and benefits partnership has already saved over £1m in the last five years."

He added that by working in partnership with West Dorset District Council it was predicted to make savings of £8.5m over the next five years.

Finance and assets brief holder councillor Peter Chapman said: "Our groundbreaking merger of staff with West Dorset and our partnership and joint working across Dorset has meant we have been able to protect frontline services whilst reducing management and back office costs."

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