A fund introduced last year for residents struggling to pay council tax has been halved.

The reduction of the Discretionary Hardship Fund was approved by councillors after it was claimed there was less demand for it than anticipated.

Last year the council provisionally agreed the fund would increase this year from £150,000 to £200,000, but it will now be cut to £75,000.

Many people who had previously had their council tax paid in full have been required to pay something towards it under government welfare reforms.

So far this year 336 people have received payment from the hardship fund, with total payments of £65,164.

Deputy council leader Ian Bond said: "The numbers of claimants is less than forecast, which we believe reflects the more positive economic situation compared to last year.

"As with any other budget provision, any under-spend is available for the council to spend on other things."