We often get asked what the precept is, how much is it, and what is it spent on so we wanted to take this opportunity to give you all the facts and figures for this year. This is something we will commit to doing every year to help residents understand what we do and, hopefully, get involved.
What is the precept?
The precept is the Town council’s share of the Council Tax. The precept demand goes to the billing authority, Cornwall Council, which collects the tax for the Town Council. The ‘Precept’ is converted into an amount per Council Tax Band that is added onto the Council Tax bill. Income and expenditure for the next financial year are calculated in the form of estimates. The net amount (the precept) is added to council tax, collected by Cornwall Council and paid to the Town Council in two six-monthly instalments. Town councils can apply for other funding such as grant and funding awards, but they do not receive funds direct from central government, as principal authorities do.
How much is it?
Looe Town Council have asked for a precept of £ 429,397 this year but what does that mean for our residents?
- If you live in a band A home your family’s weekly contribution is less than 26p per week
- If you live in a band B home your family’s weekly contribution is less than 30p per week
- If you live in a band C home your family’s weekly contribution is less than 34p per week
- If you live in a band D home your family’s weekly contribution is less than 38p per week
- If you live in a band E home your family’s weekly contribution is less than 47p per week
- If you live in a band F home your family’s weekly contribution is less than 55p per week
- If you live in a band G home your family’s weekly contribution is less than 64p per week
Most people in Looe live in band A-C homes.
What is it spent on?
Looe Town Council manage and run a range of services on behalf of the Town.
Looe Library and Community Hub.
In 2019 we saved Looe’s Library (the old Discovery Centre), from closure by taking on the devolution of the service and Cornwall Council Information Services. This essential service supports the most vulnerable residents in Looe and the Hub is used for Children’s activities, as a base for outreach services, training and environmental activities. It is free for any group to use and we hope (once we can open again), to extend the opening hours for our residents. Looe Library was the only library in Cornwall to still be lending books in the first lockdown, thanks to our amazing volunteers, and we are still providing a click and collect service. We also provide recycling bags, sell seagull sacks and have wheelchairs to rent out on behalf of local charities.
Looe Town Council has invested in a new destination marketing website and branding for Looe as Visit Looe. We are now affiliated with Visit Cornwall and are working with Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership to develop economic opportunities for businesses. The Library and Community Hub is also the new Visitor Information Centre and, even last year, saw thousands of people accessing information on Looe’s attractions and businesses. The website will be free for any business in Looe to join and the Town Council has also invested in marketing and SEO to encourage more people to stay ‘out of season’, attract a range of different visitor types, and extend the economic impact of the visitor economy for our businesses. We have plans to re-institute some of our much-loved events which are no longer held such as the literary festival and seafood festival once we are able to do so.
Looe Town Council saved the closure of all public toilets in the Town by taking on the devolution from Cornwall Council to the Town. The 5 toilets we manage (The Millpool, Guildhall, Seafront, West Looe and Hannafore), cost over a third of the precept to run. They are open 365 days of the year and are an essential service for tourists and residents alike. Looe was the first Town in Cornwall to re-open their facilities during the first lockdown and we maintain our service with additional deep cleans, during the pandemic.
Town Council Services
Looe Town Council Services support the town in many ways including:
- Traffic Regulation Orders – helping to keep the streets safe these are extremely costly and long winded applications
- Accessing funding for the Town – the Council writes bids on behalf of the town and then either passes on the funding or administers it to benefit the residents and businesses
- Road closures
- Looe Neighbourhood Development Plan
- Event licenses (the Town Council hold the event license for the Town)
- Lobbying Cornwall Council and the Government for more support for the Town and it’s residents
- Providing benches and memorial benches for the Town
- Planning consultation and reports
- Running and managing CCTV within the Town
- Providing Allotments for the Town in conjunction with Looe Allotment Society
- Salt Bins and safety measures
- Running Civic events (and events such as Remembrance Sunday)
- Repairs and maintenance of the War Memorial
- Ownership and Maintenance of the Fishermen and Mariners Garden
- Provision and Maintenance of two bus shelters in the Town
- Seagull licenses
Covid-19 – Pandemic co-ordination
In addition last year (and this), Looe Town Council has supported our residents during the pandemic by:
- Creating and managed the first Town Council run volunteer network in Cornwall
- Employing street Marshalls who reduced the amount of traffic through the town for safer distancing
- Supporting the Old Bridge Street Surgery in sourcing a marquee and authorised it’s erection in the patients carpark to help protect vulnerable people
- Creating a tourist information Covid-19 leaflet, stenciled the streets and put up social distancing signs to try and ensure social distancing during the summer months
- Keeping our residents informed by social media, leaflet drops to every home in Looe and constant updates on new government rules and funding for business
- Creating Looe Hardship fund (details are on our website), for families currently needing support in partnership with Looe Development Trust
- Created ‘Looe Community Cupboard’, a free, anonymous, facility which is in constant use to provide basic necessities, toys and games
- Helped to organise ‘Looe Secret Santa’ which ensured that every child aged 11 or under received a present this year
- Worked with Looe Lions to help Santa make his rounds which put a smile on every residents face, young and old
- Co-ordinated and produced social media for VE and VJ day to ensure the Town could still remember and celebrate our fallen heroes
Our meetings are always open to the public so if you would like to ask any questions please join us. Details are published on our noticeboards, on our website and on Facebook.