PLANS to increase council tax bills in the New Forest by an average of £6 were approved last night.

The increase, which comes into force in April, was given the nod at the district council’s annual budget-setting meeting.

The Tory-run council agreed to freeze its share of council tax demands for the fifth year running.

Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority have also decided not to impose any increase. But the cost of policing the county is going up – and parish councils are also seeking more cash.

It means the average Band D council tax bill in the Forest will rise from £1,471 to £1,477.