The latest news from Launceston Town Council
The Town Council was delighted to learn that local photographer, Mr Mark Theisinger who was the town’s official photographer on the day of the royal visit in July 2022, was awarded the prestigious title of Reportage & Photojournalism Photographer of the Year 2022 with the British Institute of Professional Photography.
Mark’s image was recognised as the best from 1200 entries and the award recognises the excellence in standards above all others. Mark was presented his award by Colonel Edward Bolitho, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall and Launceston Town Council Mayor, Councillor Leighton Penhale.
Further to the resignation of Mr Ian Nolan from the Council, a co-option was held and five local residents put their names forward to become councillors. Following rounds of voting by existing Council Members at the January meeting of Council, Mrs Catherine Sleep was duly elected. Councillor Sleep has lived in Launceston for most of her life and her family have been in business locally for many years. Councillor Sleep has said that she is looking forward to working with her fellow councillors for the benefit of the town.
As we do every year, the Council recently agreed its budget. For the forthcoming financial year, the Council have estimated that to operate the services we provide along with adequate staffing requirements, will require an estimated expenditure of £1,104,271. To achieve this, we will generate £225,020 from our own assets (hall hire, car parks etc). The remainder will be raised by us charging a precept (Council tax). This year that amounts to a charg eof £879,251. The cost of Council Tax is always shown as an average, which by default is a Band D property. To calculate this Band D cost, we divide the amount of precept we need, in this case £879,251, by the tax base we are provided by Cornwall Council. That figure for 2023/24 is 3,207.87. Therefore a Band D property in Launceston will be charged £274.09. This is an annual increase against last year of five pence or 0.02%.
Within the annual budget are a number of items that cannot be overcome, namely rates, utilities, insurances and staffing costs. In addition, the grant received from Cornwall Council has now been permanently removed,meaning a loss to the Town Council of £13,384. The range of assets and services which Launceston Town Council is responsible for is considerable. As well as the Town Hall and Guildhall, we also own the Ambulance Hall venue and operate a cemetery, maintain a closed cemetery, run a multi-storey car park, maintain four sets of public toilets, the historic Southgate Arch, Lawrence House, Newport Roundhouse, Priory Ruins and a Rest Garden, a Visitor Information Centre, a Library, Windmill Wood, three play areas, three allotment sites, a coach park, and band room. The Council also manages the Town Square and Parade Ground.
In addition, the Council actively supports many of the events and festivals which take place in the town, provides the Christmas Lights for the town and gives grants to local organisations. The Town Council is responsible for public seats, some public lights and bus shelters, extensive grass cutting and horticultural work across the town.
Within the Town Hall we provide a wide and varied range of arts and cultural events, aiming to provide something for all age groups. Our venues are used by community groups, schools, charitable organisations and businesses and ensure that Launceston is identified as a town with provision for many. All of the Town Council services are provided at a total cost of 75 pence per day to a Council Band D household.
Thank you for taking the time to read about what the Council has been doing and please remember that you can call, email or visit us in person if there is any information or updates you would like.Your town councillors can be contacted for help, guidance or information on any issues which concern you. They can be contacted via the Town Council office, telephone 01566 773693 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your councillors are: Leighton Penhale (Mayor), Helen Bailey (Deputy Mayor), Paula Bullen, John Conway, Nicola Gilbert, Dave Gordon, Davey Green, John Harris, Joan Heaton, Brian Hogan, Jane Nancarrow, Paul O’Brien, Catherine Sleep, Bonnie Soanes, Rob Tremain and Margaret Young. The councillors hold surgeries which are on the second Saturday of the month and now held at the library.
Our website address is www.launceston-tc.gov.uk and you can message us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @lansontownclerk.