As you may know, the Precept is the Town Council’s share of what residents pay in Council Tax. The Precept is the main income of the Town Council scan apply for other funding such as grant and funding awards, but they do not receive funds direct from central government, as principal authorities do.
We request a precept each year from our billing authority, Cornwall Council, which collects your Council Tax tax and pays the relevant portion to us as well as to other public services. You can see how much you pay as a Precept on your Council Tax bill – the amount you pay depends on the size of your home.
How much is it? Looe Town Council have asked for a precept of £461,590 this year, compared to £441,390 in 2022/23. This is a 5% increase which is needed to pay for the increased costs in running our services compared to last year. Councillors have worked hard with our Financial Officer to keep this below the level of inflation (currently more than 10%)
In monetary terms, the increase to our Precept equates to less than £10 per household per year if you live in a band A to D home, which most Looe residents do.
What is it spent on? We manage and run a range of services for the Town, including:
Looe Library and Community Hub – Looe library was devolved to us when Cornwall Council were planning to close this facility in Looe. As well as library services, the Hub offers children’s activities, community groups, IT training and book deliveries. We also provide recycling bags, sell seagull sacks and have wheelchairs to rent out on behalf of local charities.
Tourist Information – Visit Looe is the official destination marketing website for the town and is affiliated with Visit Cornwall. We provide trouist information from the Library and from our ‘pop-up’ information sites. Visit Looe is free for any business in Looe to join and the Council actively works with members to encourage collaboration, develop year-round interests, attract a range of different visitors, and to develop the visitor economy for our businesses.
Public Toilets – Looe Town Council manage 5 public toilet sites in the town which would otherwise be unavailable (The Millpool, Guildhall, Seafront, West Looe and Hannafore). More than 1/3rd of the Precept is spent on running and maintaining these. Councillors took the difficult decision to introduce entry charges at the Millpool toilets last year so that some of the servicing costs could be met by all those using the facilities rather than wholly by residents through their Council Tax.
Public Assets – Although the Town Council does not own many property assets in Looe, we do manage the Surgery Car Park (maintaining free parking for patients); Fishermen and Mariners’ Garden; memorial benches around the town; salt bins for public paths and highways; certain bus shelters; and, of course, the library site at the Millpool.
Public Services – Cornwall Council is our Local Authority with responsibility for things like social care, highways, rubbish collection and plannind decisions. The Town Council has responsibility for specific and more local issues such as CCTV in public areas around Looe; providing allotments (through Looe Allotment Society); planning consultations and the Looe Neighbourhood Development Plan; traffic regulation orders; and accessing public funding for the town.
Events – As a Town Council, we are expected to run certain civic events such as the annual Town Meeting and an act of Remembrance. We also organise the lantern-making workshops and annual Lantern Procession in Looe to coincide with the switch-on of Christmas lights. Lots of other town organisations come together to plan and run the usual calendar of events in Looe and the Council support these to varying degrees: from providing out-of-hours toilets to match-funding elements of event costs.
All Council meetings open to the public so if you would like to ask any questions of Councillors, please join us. Details of meetings are always posted on noticeboards around the town and listed on our website at