The top ten most expensive council tax bills for 2020/21 in the county have been revealed with Falmouth at the number one spot with the largest bill in the county.

Cornwall Council will meet next week to approve the authority’s budget for the next financial year.

Under the recommendation from the cabinet, councillors will be asked to approve a 4.99% increase to the council’s share of council tax bills. This includes an increase of 1.99% and an extra 3% which will be used to fund adult social care.

If approved Cornwall Council’s share of council tax for a Band D property would be £1,667.26.

However final council tax bills will also contain contributions for Devon and Cornwall Police as well as town and parish councils.

When all of this is added together the people of Falmouth are paying more than anyone else in the county with a whopping bill of £2,274.99.

As first reported in the Packet last December, the increase in peoples' bills is as a result of the town council's planned takeover of Princess Pavilions and Gyllyngdune Gardens and other capital projects including Kimberley Park lodge.

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The 21% increase on last year's town council part of the tax resulted in Falmouth mayor Steve Eva being accused by some councillors of 'railroading' the increase through when it was approved at full council in December last year.

Read next: Mayor denies claim of 'rail-roading' through 21% council tax increase

At a meeting of Falmouth Town Council's finance and general purposes committee this week, during a briefing about the projected four year budget, concerns were raised that money for Princess Pavilions was budgeted for the next four years.

Coun Alan Jewell told the meeting that he was led to believe this was a one off payment in the first year, "but we are going into the second third and fourth year and still got a lot of money going in there," he said.

"I just don't want the people of Falmouth having put their hands in for the precept for second third and fourth years. The one year I weren't happy with it but it went through and I was told that we'd take a one off hit. I won't be happy if the people if Falmouth have got to pay for the second, third and fourth year."

Coun John Spargo added: "This is not realistic to allocate this amount of money over the next three or four years for the Princess Pavilion. There is no way we as a council follow that through. It would be ridiculous for us to even think about doing that."

But Ruth Thomas, finance officer for the town council, said the pavilions at the moment is an unknown quantity and this wasn't a budget to be voted on. It was the first stab at a four year strategy which she'd based on the budget that was set last year and that this would be a constantly moving and amending document because the pavilions hadn't actually transferred over yet.

"99% of that will change," she said. "As soon as the pavilion transfers and we know how it's going to operate then that will reduce."

When the three elements of council tax bills – Cornwall Council, Police and town or parish councils for Band D properties in 2021/22 is added in, Falmouth is at number one in the top ten. The chart reads:

1/Falmouth Town Council – £2,274.99

2/Bodmin Town Council – £2,178.20

3/Truro City Council – £2,171.38

4/Launceston Town Council – £2,160.84

5/Camelford Town Council – £2,158.20

6/Bude-Stratton Town Council – £2,144.87

7/Callington Town Council – £2,139.39

8/Newquay Town Council – £2,126.14

9/Wadebridge Town Council – £2,124.93

10/Saltash Town Council – £2,123.21

The Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel have approved the Police and Crime Commissioner’s recommended increase of 6.73% which equates to a Band D charge of £236.56.

Parish and town councils have also now approved their budgets for 2021/22 and the average increase is 3.39% which results in a Band D charge of £138.13.

However, while the average increase by town and parish councils is 3.39% some parish councils have hiked their charges by as much as 67.93%.

Although while that increase looks high it has to be considered in relation to the low rates that some town and parish councils charge.

Cornwall Council will meet online on Tuesday (Feb23) at 10am to approve the budget and set council tax rates.