Falmouth town council to hike council tax ask by 19.2 per cent to 'plug the gaps' (From Falmouth Packet)
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Falmouth town council to hike council tax ask by 19.2 per cent to 'plug the gaps'
6:00am Thursday 12th December 2013 in News
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.”
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