A proposal not to increase Falmouth's precept for council tax payers next year was voted down after councillors were told they couldn't just decide to do that "off the top of their heads".

At a meeting of Falmouth Town Council's finance and general purposes committee on Monday, Cllr Dean Evans made the proposal following a discussion of next year's precept.

His proposal was seconded by Cllr Alan Jewell but received no support from fellow councillors on the committee.

Earlier, committee chair Cllr Jude Robinson told members that the council had put an extra meeting in in November to discuss next year's budget and what she hoped is that they would set the precept in January when things would be more accurate.

"In order to do that we have to ask Cornwall Council if we can have an extension because they like to have our precept in December," she said.

Councillors backed the proposal to ask Cornwall Council for an extension.

Finance officer Ruth Thomas was asked to run through some of the pressures on next year's budget.

She told councillors that the council had recruited in year for posts that weren't budgeted for last year and would be needed to be added into the budget next year.

She said this year's expenditure however had been covered by the non-domestic business rate refund the council had from Cornwall Council of which so far they had received £66,295.

She said they were already looking at £260,000 extra by the time they had added in the posts they had recruited plus project work.

She said that figure had eaten into additional savings such as heating contracts.

"I don't know where we are going to be yet so I don't want to speculate at the moment," she said.

She told Cllr Jayne Kirkham that also until this year's staff pay rise was resolved she wouldn't know how to quantify next years.

It was at this point Cllr Evans made his proposal that in setting next year's budget the council aims, excluding the staff increase, to have no increase in precept.

Cllr Robinson disagreed saying: "If we are going to discuss the budget, let's discuss the budget, not decide off the top of our heads here."

She said they shouldn't tie the hands of the officers before they have the information.

Following the rejection of his proposal, Cllr Evans told the Packet: "I would say that many families in the town are finding it difficult to manage their finances due to the cost of living crisis, but whereas they may be able to cut back on personal expenditure they do not have that option when it comes to Council Tax.

"The council has a duty to keep it as low as possible at the moment."