CAMBRIDGESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has joined a growing band of local authorities set to ignore the Government’s plea to continue the freeze on Council Tax precepts.

The council will be recommended to put up its precept by just under three per cent - in spite of a one-year offer from Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles to make up the equivalent of a 2.5 per cent increase through additional grant for councils that froze the tax.

But, in common with Huntingdonshire District Council, the county does not think Mr Pickles's offer represents a good deal.

Last year's offer meant councils continued to receive what HDC described as "a bribe" for four years, which made the proposal more attractive.

Instead, the county council announced this afternoon, it is proposing a total budget of £849million after £43m of further savings and the loss of a further 154 jobs, following a reduction of nearly a quarter in central government grant.

The proposals include £610 million of capital investment over the next five years to make sure Cambridgeshire is open for business and to support prosperity, jobs, education and economic growth, a spokesman said.