Falmouth town council to hike council tax ask by 19.2 per cent to 'plug the gaps'

Falmouth Packet: Falmouth town council to hike council tax ask by 19.2 per cent to 'plug the gaps' Falmouth town council to hike council tax ask by 19.2 per cent to 'plug the gaps'

After three years of no increases, Falmouth Town Council’s budget for 2014/15 looks set to rise by just under 20 per cent to “plug the gaps” left after Cornwall Council withdrew funding for some services.

The council’s draft budget was agreed by its finance committee last week and is due to be ratified at the full council meeting on Monday (December 16). Barring any intervention from central Government, the council will set its precept at £1,032,338 which equates to an increase of 19.2 per cent on last year. This would mean a 49 pence a week, or £25.48 a year, increase on council tax for a Band D property.

The draft budget includes £153,000 for the provision of public toilets, £15,500 as a contribution towards CCTV, £40,000 for Kimberley Park, £25,000 for the cemetery, £16,000 for bus services and signs, £10,000 for office equipment and £6,500 for weed spraying.

Councillor Candy Atherton, chair of the finance committee, said: “People expect cleanliness and expect their town to be well run, but it will not be if we do not have a budget like this. We know we are going to have to plug the gaps Cornwall Council has left.

“We are working to have free toilets and wider opening times, which is |supported in the town; will take on planting around roundabouts and enhanced planting in order to ensure we retain the quality that attracts so many people to this town and with the 2014 Tall Ships regatta we are not in a situation where we can cut back and allow things to go downhill.

“CCTV will end if we don’t contribute and there are also capitals works in the cemetery and Kimberley Park that need to be covered. We have also just discovered Cornwall Council will no longer be spraying the weeds along the A39 and our team is going to have to do that a lot more.

“The officers of the town council have worked really hard. It’s a tight |budget and there are parts where we have invested for the future which we have to do if we are going to have quality staff working on the right equipment.”

Councillor Steve Eva said: “Through no fault of our own, we seem to have inherited quite a lot of things Cornwall Council will no longer deal with.

“If we are going to be an effective council we have to take that on our shoulders and if we are going to do that properly I am sure the people of Falmouth understand there has to be an increase.”

Comments (6)

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8:10am Thu 12 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

If Cornwall Council are going to pass more responsibilities to town and parish councils then I believe they should cut the amount of Cornwall Councillors, this would be possible after the next boundary review. The money then saved should be passed to town and parish councils.
If Cornwall Council are going to pass more responsibilities to town and parish councils then I believe they should cut the amount of Cornwall Councillors, this would be possible after the next boundary review. The money then saved should be passed to town and parish councils. Gillian Zella Martin 09

8:34am Thu 12 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

I am sure Falmouth Town Council could have utilised the money more productively than that of which has recently been wasted by Cornwall Council when they displayed absolutely no disability awareness and installed barriers into public toilets which consequently had to be removed.

Cornwall as a tourist reliant county is closing many toilets and making others seasonal opening, and yet in contradiction are to trying to extend the tourist season. As I thought "we are leading the way" perhaps Cornwall Council could lead by giving more money to town and parish councils apposed to less.
I am sure Falmouth Town Council could have utilised the money more productively than that of which has recently been wasted by Cornwall Council when they displayed absolutely no disability awareness and installed barriers into public toilets which consequently had to be removed. Cornwall as a tourist reliant county is closing many toilets and making others seasonal opening, and yet in contradiction are to trying to extend the tourist season. As I thought "we are leading the way" perhaps Cornwall Council could lead by giving more money to town and parish councils apposed to less. Gillian Zella Martin 09

7:08pm Thu 12 Dec 13

seacom says...

Hope the meal and mileage allowances for town councillors will now no longer be necessary in these difficult financial times or will the rise cover it?
Hope the meal and mileage allowances for town councillors will now no longer be necessary in these difficult financial times or will the rise cover it? seacom

7:43pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

seacom wrote:
Hope the meal and mileage allowances for town councillors will now no longer be necessary in these difficult financial times or will the rise cover it?
I personally would not question mileage expenses, as I believe volunteers should not be expected to be out of pocket if travel is a necessity, meal allowances I would question because one would normally have to provide their own food if at home or out somewhere. More importantly what I would question is the £10,000 mentioned for "office equipment" is the office not already equipped?
[quote][p][bold]seacom[/bold] wrote: Hope the meal and mileage allowances for town councillors will now no longer be necessary in these difficult financial times or will the rise cover it?[/p][/quote]I personally would not question mileage expenses, as I believe volunteers should not be expected to be out of pocket if travel is a necessity, meal allowances I would question because one would normally have to provide their own food if at home or out somewhere. More importantly what I would question is the £10,000 mentioned for "office equipment" is the office not already equipped? Gillian Zella Martin 09

11:11pm Thu 12 Dec 13

seacom says...

Gill i believe all councillors live within a three mile radius of the town hall excepting the odd site visit or occasional trip to county hall ,being out of pocket would be unlikely for most in office,Agree about the office equipment ,unless it is to update old technology.
Gill i believe all councillors live within a three mile radius of the town hall excepting the odd site visit or occasional trip to county hall ,being out of pocket would be unlikely for most in office,Agree about the office equipment ,unless it is to update old technology. seacom

7:21am Fri 13 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

seacom wrote:
Gill i believe all councillors live within a three mile radius of the town hall excepting the odd site visit or occasional trip to county hall ,being out of pocket would be unlikely for most in office,Agree about the office equipment ,unless it is to update old technology.
Oh right, I see your point.

Its possible as you say about updating office equipment, however, it just seems a little coincidental this is now with the new town council. If this was Helston Town Council we were talking about I would be asking to see 'their equipment'!
[quote][p][bold]seacom[/bold] wrote: Gill i believe all councillors live within a three mile radius of the town hall excepting the odd site visit or occasional trip to county hall ,being out of pocket would be unlikely for most in office,Agree about the office equipment ,unless it is to update old technology.[/p][/quote]Oh right, I see your point. Its possible as you say about updating office equipment, however, it just seems a little coincidental this is now with the new town council. If this was Helston Town Council we were talking about I would be asking to see 'their equipment'! Gillian Zella Martin 09

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