Fowey Town Council raises precept by 32 per cent
FOWEY residents will pay on average an extra £12 a year for the town council's services after councillors agreed a 32 per cent rise in its precept.
The council said the rise is necessary to maintain public services following cuts made by Cornwall Council and warned if a deal had been met with the local authority for the transfer of the town's public conveniences, the precept could have been higher.
At a full town council meeting held on Wednesday last week, councillors unanimously agreed to approve the proposed annual budget.
Chairman of the finance committee Councillor David Willmore said the increase was necessary for the council to continue providing services to the town.
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"We tried to keep everything the same but have to cover costs," he said.
The council's precept – what it costs to deliver services – will rise from £43,905 to £58,089 in April.
The average band D home will see an increase from £37.42 a year to £49.39 towards the town council's component of the council tax bill.
Town clerk Sally Vincent said the finance committee could not make allowances for the transfer of the town's public conveniences when writing the budget because the council is still waiting to receive costs from Cornwall Council.
Speaking after the meeting she said: "They were going to get back to us with a baseline before our meeting so we could budget for what we needed to do to safeguard the toilets. We are still waiting for the costs."
During the town council meeting councillors criticised Cornwall Council for its "inefficiency" and "incompetency" regarding the proposed transfer of toilets at Caffa Mill, Town Quay, Readymoney and the main car park from Cornwall Council ownership to town council ownership.
The package also includes the transfer of Caffa Mill car park and Squires Field.
Councillor Tony Delves said: "We need to do something or we are going to still be here in three months."
Town councillor and Cornwall councillor for Fowey David Hughes said: "Let's ask Cornwall Council to arrange a meeting with the new chief executive and the two portfolio holders and preferably the mayor and clerk as well to seek a rapid solution," he said.
Councillors agreed to write to Cornwall Council requesting a meeting with the new CEO, who is due to start in the new year.
A spokesman for Cornwall Council said: "We are pleased Fowey Town Council is keen to work with us over devolving a number of services. We have provided information on the cost of running the toilets.
"As the town council wishes to explore a more extensive devolution package, additional information has to be gathered and collated."