Councillors have voted to increase the town council precept for Falmouth after rejecting a call to keep the rise to zero per cent.

At an extraordinary meeting of Falmouth Town Council last night, councillors voted to increase the 2024/25 precept by 1.93%. This equates to about 15p a week on a band D property.

Recommending the increase to the council, committee chair Cllr Jude Robinson said it was needed because of inflation costs, to increase general reserves and to prepare for all the project services over the next year.

However Cllr Evans made a proposal that the council rejected the decision of the finance and general purposes committee and keep it a neutral budget with no increase in the precept. The precept is the town council’s part of the eventual council tax rate.

“The council continues to add to its expenditure,” he said. “There’s a lot of expenditure in future years and it’s time we started to trim what we are actually doing and get better value because I am sure there is money in the budget to absorb this increase.”

The amendment was seconded by Cllr David Saunby who told the meeting: “People are struggling. 8.18p may not sound a lot to people round this table but it is a lot to people who are living week to week, day to day to find the money to live.

“I just think that a zero increase we could cope, we do have reserves.”

However Falmouth mayor Kirstie Edwards told the committee the council’s reserves no near high enough according to the auditor and the council should be adding to the reserves not subtracting from them to ensure the council in strongest position and not rely on reserves to plug the budget.

Council finance officer Ruth Thomas told the meeting that it was recommended for a council of this size to have £800,000 in reserves but the forecast for the end of this fiscal year was £272,000.

“So as you can see there is a £500,000 plus shortfall in the council’s general reserves recommended for a council of this size,” she said.

“Any reduction on the precept increase would impact on the general reserves.”


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Cllr Eva told the meeting that he thought a 1.93% increase was a good budget and he was proud to deliver it as inflation had gone up by more than that.

“But we’ve actually managed to keep this down to 1.93,” he said. “When you consider our wage bill, the amount of building’s we’ve got and the repairs we have to do on them, I believe that what we’ve done is a good budget.”

Cllr Evans said he had no intention of reducing reserves and they could work without. “We do need to live within our means,” he said.

Cllr Eva said he was proud to deliver that increase as a council.

Councillors vote four for and seven against Cllr Evans’ amendment.

They then voted seven to four in favour of the budget increase.