Council tax hike for Huntingdon residents

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.

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“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.