Our overriding aim in setting the council’s budget for 2024 to 2025 is to protect the essential frontline council services on which local residents and businesses rely.

A balanced budget has been set without the need for service cuts. This was achieved despite extreme financial pressures, with high inflation increasing the cost of delivering council services.

Dorset Council provides around 450 different services to 380,000 residents. Waste collection, road maintenance, planning, housing, libraries, and adults and children’s social care are just some of the vital services which support the smooth running of our local communities.

Since becoming a unitary council in 2019, we have made savings of £96 million by restructuring staff, and re-designing how services are provided. This money has been reinvested into frontline services, including funding the growing need for adult social care due to our ageing population.

How Council Tax is affected

Council Tax has increased by just under 3% and the adult social care precept by 2% to bring in the required funding to maintain services. This equates to £1.82 extra per week for a Band D property. It is well below the current rate of inflation.

Financial support

Help is available if you are experiencing difficulties due to the cost of living crisis

How the budget is funded

The budget total is £376.7 million, you can view the sources of funding using the pie chart, or a table.

Pie chart displaying 2023/24 Dorset Council sources of funding

Source of funding

Source of funding Budget / percentage Description
Council Tax

£307.9 million (81.8%)

The money we receive from our residents to pay for the services we provide
Retained Business Rates £64 million (17%) The money we receive from businesses such as shops, offices, hotels and factories, to pay for the services we provide
Other £4.1 million (1%) A number of smaller, specific grants such as the Rural Services Delivery and New Homes Bonus
Revenue Support Grant £0.7m (0.2%)

The funding we receive from central Government in the form of Revenue Support Grant

How the budget is spent

You can see how the budget is spent in the infographic, or a table.

Infographic of how the council budget is spent, with icons depicting services

How the budget is spent by service

Service provided Budget
Caring for adults £148.3m
Helping children and young people £80.5m
Collecting rubbish and recycling, looking after our environment


Supporting residents with benefits, grant funding, running the council £36.6m
Fixing and maintaining roads, parking and travel services £45.8m
Planning, housing and economic development £12.3m
Culture, leisure, libraries and customer services £7.8m
Community and public protection £3.7m
Total budget £376.7m