HUNTINGDON taxpayers will be asked to cough up nearly £80,000 extra for the town council precept next year in a bid to guard against looming government cuts.

Huntingdon Town Council agreed on Thursday night to ask for a 9.5 per cent increase on their share of the Council Tax bill for 2011/12 to £805,848.

But thanks to the town’s expansion the pain will be spread out among more households and Huntingdon residents will see just a 7.42 per cent increase on the town council share of their Council Tax from April.

It means a Band D household will just pay an extra £7.53 next year from £101.44 a year to £108.97. Councillor Douglas Adams, finance committee chairman, said though small change for some, the increase could prove a life-saver for essential services now being threatened with funding cuts.

He said: “From where I see it if the council sets what is considered to be a reasonable precept, it will run out of its capability to pick up any services to any kind of level.

“We had a meeting with the young services on Monday to look at areas they are cutting. Some of them are fairly key to Huntingdon. We could be looking at a £25-30,000 increase in grants, simply to keep them going.

“To cut them off and not provide those services could see an awful lot of youngsters on the streets.

“People will look at the percentage increase and be shocked but it is actually a small amount of money.”

Council Tax paid on Band D properties in 2010/11 was about £1,400, which is shared between the district, town and county councils and the fire service and police.