Taxpayers in both Hart and Surrey Heath will have to dig deeper this year, with local tax bills for an average semi rising by about £100.

Hart's council tax goes up by 27.5% from April, with Surrey Heath seeing a rise of 17.4% for the borough before the parish rises are added in. Inflation, on the other hand, is running at 2.6%.

In Hart now a typical Band D three bed semi will incur an increase of £97, rising to £968. In Surrey Heath a Band D home owner will now pay £944 as opposed to £839 last year.

Both Hart and Surrey Heath get only a tiny part of the rise - £2.07 a month and £1.78 a month respectively.

Both blame the county councils and the government for making the rises necessary.

Hart even headed its press release on the rise: "Hart Council announces council tax increase to fund central government requirements."

Councillors were told that 80% of the increase was to pay for central government requirements. In addition, Hart is the only council in the country not to receive a revenue support grant for the fourth consecutive year.

Surrey Heath stated that the choice was to reduce services or increase council tax.