The Council Tax bill that you have received looks different to previous years.

Dorset Council is replacing the county, district and borough councils for this area from 1 April 2019 and will be responsible for providing local services from that date. The leaflet enclosed with your bill explains what's happening, and why, and shows how the new council will spend its money.

Your bill shows the amounts charged by Dorset Council, Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority and your Town/Parish Council (if appropriate) for the services they provide.

Adult Social Care

Your bill shows the figures relating to both general expenditure and the Adult Social Care (ASC) precept; each are accompanied by a percentage change figure. The percentages show how each element contributes to the overall increase set by Dorset Council.

Government has allowed councils, who are responsible for providing ASC, to increase their Council Tax by up to 6% between 2017/18 and 2019/20. These increases have already been made during 2017/18 and 2018/19 and, therefore, there is no additional increase in ASC for 2019/20.

The funds raised by the ASC precept are ring-fenced to use for the provision of Adult Social Care services only.

Council Tax Harmonisation

From 1 April 2019, all residents in the new Dorset Council area will pay a standard Council Tax rate for their property band. This is called Council Tax Harmonisation. This is considered to be the fairest approach as everyone (in the same property band) will contribute the same amount for council services. (Previously, Council Tax rates varied across the five district and borough councils).

As there is no like-for-like comparison for the 2018-19 Council Tax, for the former and new councils, Government has set the level for us. This is based on an average of the charges across the area, for a Band D charge, and is known as the Alternative Notional Amount (ANA). As the ANA has been set at £1,582.44, Dorset Council is allowed to apply an increase of 2.99% to this figure and so the Band D charge for Dorset Council is £1,629.75.

So how does this affect your bill?

We have to show the actual percentage change on your bill. The calculation of the percentage change is prescribed in regulations. We are required to show how each element of Dorset Council's charge contributes to the overall increase.

The footnote at the bottom of your bill details your 2018/19 charge for comparison purposes. The following example shows how you can check or calculate this yourself.

Shown at the bottom of your new bill




DCC + former council charge


Dorset Council charge


ASC charge


ASC Charge


Combined total


Combined total


In this example the combined total from 2018/19 is £1,594.20 and the percentage change figure that is shown on the bill is 2.2% (actual 2.23%)

You should note that the percentage figures shown on your bill are rounded to one decimal place and so the calculation may not be accurate to the penny.

£1,629.75 (Dorset Council Band D charge 2019/20)

minus £1594.20 (DCC, former Council & ASC charges) - 2 figures from the bottom of your bill

equals £35.55 (Actual increase)

The increase divided by last year's combined charge, then multiplied by 100 gives the percentage change

£35.55 / £1594.20 x 100 = 2.229%

Weymouth Town residents

As a result of the creation of Dorset Council a new Town Council has been created for Weymouth from 1 April 2019. As this is a new Town Council there is no comparison available for 2018/19 and so no percentage change can be shown on the bill. 

More information about Dorset Council's spending plans for 2019-2020

For more information on previous years ASC