18 January 2024


Swanage Town Council has agreed to increase its share of local residents’ Council Tax bills for the next financial year by 2.98%. Known as the ‘parish precept’, from 1st April 2024 the annual ‘average’ Band D charge will increase by £5.13 to £177.14 per year, an increase of 10 pence per week from £3.31 to £3.41 per week. The total amount received by the Town Council through the Council Tax will increase by £29,720 to £878,750, a rise of 3.5%.

Following the budget meeting on Monday 15th January, Town Mayor, Councillor Tina Foster, said: ‘The Town Council has faced a significant challenge from inflation over the last 2 years, as have local residents and businesses. We were able to freeze the precept last year by relying on Council reserves, but councillors recognise that this is not sustainable in the longer term. Therefore, reluctantly, the Council has decided to implement a small increase in the Council Tax paid by residents to protect the services it delivers to the local community’.

The Town Council’s budget was shaped by the Corporate Plan that it adopted in the spring of 2023, following extensive public consultation. The increase in precept will help the Council to deliver its priorities under the following headings:

• Delivering Good Governance

• Promoting Sustainable Tourism and Supporting the Local Economy

• Encouraging Health and Wellbeing and Enhancing Community Safety

• Planning for the Future and Preserving our Heritage

• Protecting the Natural Environment and Addressing the Climate Crisis

Each year the Town Council spends approximately £2.5 million directly delivering Council services, such as running Swanage Market, maintaining the beach to Blue Flag standards, tending to parks and gardens, and providing public toilets. It also has an obligation to maintain Council property, including long stretches of dry-stone walling, and coastal structures such as the parish slipway and Stone Quay which require maintenance on a regular basis.

Additionally, grants and donations are also made to partner organisations, such as the Citizens Advice East Dorset & Purbeck. The budget provides for a contribution of £21,000 for each of the next three years towards Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust’s proposal to bring together the Children’s Centre and Day Centre as an integrated family hub to support the wellbeing of local residents.

The Town Council has set funds aside for two very significant projects for the town over the next three years: the Green Seafront Scheme that will see the stabilisation of the seafront land between Victoria Avenue and the Spa, and the provision of improved sporting and leisure facilities at Day’s Park, working with Swanage & Herston Football Club.

The precept provides approximately 1/3 of the Town Council’s total annual income, with the rest coming from car parking charges, rental and investment income, beach hut hire, and the fees charged for Council services (e.g. cemetery, allotments and sports facilities). Most fees and charges for Council services will also be increasing next year by approximately 5%. The Council has also sought additional commercial income by letting a number of concessions on the seafront from April 2024.

For more information, the Council’s full budget report is available online at and other reports can be found at Follow the ‘Council Information’ tab on the left-hand side and click on ‘Finance’.

For a copy of the Council’s Corporate Plan 2023-2025 please visit: