At the Full Council meeting held on Monday 16 January 2023, Penzance Council agreed a budget for 2023/34 and set out plans to spend over £2 million in the parish from 1 April 2023. In order to do this, Councillors voted to increase the precept by 21.74% – this works out as an annual increase of £53.55 (or a weekly increase of £1.03) for a Band D property.
The higher precept is only increasing the small section of Council Tax that is allocated to Penzance Council from residents’ whole Council Tax Bill.
Over 70% of Council Tax from every household goes to Cornwall Council. The amount paid to Penzance Council from April 2023 will be around 13% of residents’ overall Council Tax Bill. 100% of the money paid to Penzance Council is spent on services and projects within the Penzance Parish (Penzance, Newlyn, Mousehole, Paul, Heamoor, Gulval & Eastern Green), whereas the money paid to Cornwall Council is used for services across the Duchy.
“We know that the last few years have been difficult for everyone both emotionally and financially, so we as a council are determined to keep delivering local services and support local initiatives that benefit the whole community” said Cllr Jonathan How, Mayor of Penzance.
“All of the money that residents pay to Penzance Council is spent within our parish community which covers Penzance, Newlyn, Mousehole, Paul, Heamoor, Gulval, and Eastern Green. We, like all of our residents, are being impacted by the rise in inflation and the huge increase in utility costs.
“We don’t want to cut services, so to keep providing things like free public toilets, free parks and open spaces, funding for youth initiatives and other community groups, cultural events, and funding for an Anti-Social Behaviour Caseworker we needed to increase the precept.”
Penzance Council’s budget reflects years of budgetary cuts from both central government and reductions to services from Cornwall Council.
As a Town Council, we have had to take on delivery of more and more services and assets. Although they are not statutory services, our local community has told us that running public toilets, maintaining and investing in local play parks and open spaces, supporting events like Golowan, and saving key community buildings for community use are all essential services.
We are not alone in facing these budgetary challenges and neighbouring Town Councils are having to make similar or higher increases to their precept.