Council believe St Ives too affluent to receive �100,000 from Mary Portas scheme but not enough to pay �48

COUNCILLORS in St Ives believe the town is too affluent to benefit from �100,000 to spend on the town... but it could not find enough money to spend �48 on Neighbourhood Watch signs.

The Government is offering up to �100,000 to 12 ‘Portas Pilot’ towns which will be chosen to invest the money in the ‘vitality of the town’. The scheme was recommended by the Mary Portas Review to show the benefits of investment.

Town Councillor Jason Ablewhite, also executive leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, said that after discussions with district council officials it was agreed that it was unlikely St Ives would be successful.

He said: “There are towns in greater desperation than St Ives. We have the farmers’ market, which just missed out on a national award, and our footfall is increasing so the money would be better given to St Neots or Ramsey, where the footfall has fallen.”

Cllr David Hodge said he felt the town would benefit, even if it wasn’t chosen. “If we went ahead with putting together a proposal then it would only do good and get the businesses talking together to form a plan for the future of St Ives.”

However, the council decided not to proceed.

Meanwhile Cllr Ryan Fuller and Cllr Ablewhite said they were disgusted with the council’s decision not to support the Chaucer Green Neighbourhood Watch Area in Chaucer Way and Shakespeare Road with its request for funding for new warning signs.

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Cllr Fuller was so appalled that he has offered to pay for the signs himself.

He told The Hunts Post: “We have 30 households who are trying to do something for their part of the town yet our town council, which promotes the fact it has spent �2million on its own buildings in recent years, cannot even make a contribution.”

Members of Chaucer Green have not yet responded to Cllr Fuller’s offer.