Residents in St Ives will have to find another £5 next year to pay for the parish council section of their Council Tax.

St Ives Town Council last Wednesday (December 11) provisionally set its budget for 2014/15 – increasing bills by 4.5 per cent. The rise will see the town's portion of the Band D Council Tax rise from £112.24 to £117.35.

Mayor Councillor Nick Dibben said the rise was despite making savings of £20,000.

Earlier this year, welfare legislation changes saw the council lose £46,000 of funding but that gap was plugged with a grant from Huntingdonshire District Council. For 2014/15 there will be no grant from HDC.

Councillors agreed to reduce planned spending on notice boards to £1,500, public seating to £1,500, and half the Twinning Association allowance as well as make other savings. However, about £2,500 is being set aside to pay for two speed activated road safety signs.

Councillor Tim Drye proposed using £15,000 from the council's reserves to reduce the Council Tax increase to 2.14 per cent.

He said: “I am not in favour of a rise and I think we can send a message to residents that we understand what they are going through by minimising the increase.”

However, the proposal would have taken the council's reserves below the recommended level and the motion was rejected.

A final decision on the budget was put off until next month to investigate further potential savings.

During the meeting, councillors also agreed to change its stationery. Huntingdonshire will be deleted from the council's address and in will come Cambridgeshire.