Taxpayers in Three Rivers will pay an average of £5 more for district council services than they did last year.

On Tuesday evening, Three Rivers District Council passed its budget for the next financial year - as well as passing a proposal to increase its share of the council tax bill.

Across the district, the average household will see their tax increase by £71.69 after Hertfordshire County Council and the Police and Commissioner Office also raised their shares of council tax.

Liberal Democrat-run Three Rivers says it has to cover a loss of funding of £4 million every year from central government.

In a public consultation earlier this year, council leader Sara Bedford says 79 per cent of residents in Three Rivers agreed increasing council tax was "more acceptable" than cutting services.

In light of this, councillors have agreed to raise council tax to help provide income so it can maintain the services its provides - including refuse collection, planning, parking, leisure centres and licensing.

Moving the budget, Cllr Matthew Bedford said: "The financial environment the council is operating in continues to be extremely challenging.

"The Government has not told us how much money will be available to us from 2021.

"Given that extremely uncertain background, the administration has sought to continue to deliver efficiency savings; to allocate additional funding to residents’ priorities; and to protect those services residents need and rely on."

Both opposition parties abstained in a vote on whether to raise council tax as laid out in the Lib Dems' budget - with neither party providing an alternative budget.

A subsequent vote to formally set council tax for both the district and parish councils in the district was supported by the Liberal Democrats and Labour, with the Conservatives abstaining.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Sara Bedford said: "This council makes the provision of effective, value for money services a priority. However, we also want to do more to enrich residents’ lives and improve the local environment. 

"We continue to work outside our statutory responsibilities, funding police community support officers, mental health and domestic abuse support staff, play workers, services for young people and leisure activities for all.

"We are continuing to invest in new facilities, like at Leavesden Country Park and a new swimming pool in South Oxhey, together with further improvements at the Aquadrome and Watersmeet in Rickmansworth.

"Last year a top-level team from the local government association reported that Three Rivers is a financially stable council with healthy levels of reserves.

"My team never forgets that it is residents’ money that we are spending."