To cobble, or not to cobble - that was the question debated by Falmouth councillors on Monday night when the future of the town centre's street surface was discussed.

Many of the cobbles in Market Street have been removed by contractors for Western Power Distribution as work to replace the ageing underground power cables has progressed down the street. As the work is to take three years to complete, Tarmac has been laid as a temporary measure. It was agreed that replacing the cobbles, only to have to remove them again, in a year or more, was not time or cost effective.

As a result, the cobbles are being stored off-site, but questions were raised by town councillors this week as to whether they should ever be replaced.

Councillor Alan Jewell said: "We need to have a debate before they put the cobbles back and we need to make a decision. My wife is disabled and she hates the cobbles - it puts her off coming into town."

Councillor Steve Eva added: "More people are falling and hurting themselves because of the cobbles. We have to look at it on a health and safety level. Personally I'm with Alan and I'd take them all up, but at least we have to have a debate about it. Everyone I have spoken to is in favour or Tarmacing it over and getting the cobbles up."

Town manager Richard Gates raised the issue of the cost that would be incurred if all the cobbles had to removed as Western Power would not foot that bill.

He also said the cobbles only become a problem once they have been damaged. "If they are placed correctly, it's fine," he said. "It's when the large lorries go over them and they come out of line that they become a trip hazard."

The cobbles do split public opinion, with people either happy to see them go, or desperate to see them replaced. "It's a complete mixture across the board," said Mr Gates.

Mayor Grenville Chappel, who chaired the meeting of Falmouth Town Council, said: "It's a debate for the future."