THE portion of the council tax charged by Bodmin Town Council is set to increase by 7.46% from April 2024.

The charge, known as a precept, funds the operations of the town council and the services it provides to the town, including maintaining and operating the majority of the town’s play parks, Shire Hall, cemeteries, toilets and other community services.

In a spirited extraordinary full council meeting, town council members debated various proposals for the budget for the coming year and a potential 21% increase, which would have paid for all the council’s proposals was debated down to the 7% figure, with councillors mindful of the cost-of-living pressures faced by its residents.

Cllr Jeremy Cooper, a former mayor of Bodmin, said that in addition to the agreed precept rise, the town council should do more to maximise the revenue it gets from its assets, including rental charged to buildings such as the Berryfields Community Centre and playing fields such as Coldharbour as and when the leases come up for renegotiation.

During the meeting, he said to fellow councillors: “We need to do more to maximise the revenue generation from assets owned by the town council so going forward, the tax burden on residents as part of the precept is minimised.”

A potential requirement to find £200,000 for a new cemetery was one of the proposals shelved during the meeting to reduce the precept increase to 7%, with Cllr Phil Cooper, the current mayor of Bodmin stating that in his view, the responsibility for building a muchneeded new cemetery for the town should fall on Cornwall Council like in other parts of Cornwall.

The precept increase means that for a Band A property, an extra £16.29 a year will be levied to Bodmin Town Council, while it also represents a £19.01 increase for Band B, £21.73 increase for Band C properties and a £24.44 annual increase for a Band D property.

Band E properties will see an increase of £29.88 per year, with £35.30 for Band F, £40.74 for Band G and £48.89 a year levied on Band H properties.