Concerning the process of setting Falmouth’s annual budget, as reported last week, and the agonies of raising it by between £6 - £12.81 a year so they can support some additional projects.

I’ve got an idea of where to raise loads of money: make student houses liable for Council Tax – but not the students themselves (they pay more than enough already) – charge the landlords direct. It’s ridiculous they remain exempt, and, if they can’t be made to pay Council Tax, then charge them business rates as they are running a business. Any landlord who thinks this would be punitive or unfair is more than welcome to sell up and return their property for family residential housing.

With many landlords owning multiple houses, why should the rest of us continue to subsidise them whilst they rake in a fortune. I understand over 1,000 homes (and their Council Tax revenues) have been lost to HMOs which, even at the rate I pay at band C, is £1,619 x 1,000 = £1,619,000. That would support an awful lot of public services which are facing so much financial pressure.

Of course, Cornwall Council has been fudging this issue for years: they have allowed it to continue as an incentive knowing that there is nowhere else for the students to go as the university has consistently failed to provide adequate accommodation. And the students are as much victims as the rest of us as more and more of them are forced into the towns.

Well, time is up. With the current accommodation situation way past unsustainable and our public services in financial crisis: make their business our business - and make ‘em pay like the rest of us!

Marc Laundon

Falmouth, Council Tax Payer