Truro City Council operates at the most local level of government and has a vital role in promoting the city, representing its interests and supporting the work of different groups in the community.
The work of the Council is funded from the precept, a levy set by the City Council and then collected by Cornwall Council as part of the overall council tax, together with income from grants and income-generating activities.
We deliver a wide range of services, including cemeteries, parks and gardens, allotments, the community library, visitor information, destination marketing, public toilets, CCTV provision, community development initiatives and planning.
The Council consists of twenty-four councillors, elected every four years, who represent different parts of the city. They are unpaid volunteers who work together to make decisions which meet the needs and interests of the city, and ensure that key services and projects are delivered to a high standard and achieve best value for money across all areas of the Council.
Councillors are supported by a team of paid staff headed by the Clerk who are responsible for making sure that Council decisions are carried out.
Mayor and Deputy Mayor
The Council is led by the Mayor who is elected at each Annual Meeting held in May. The Mayor must be a member of the Council, and must sign his / her declaration of office at this meeting.
The Mayor presides at meetings of the full Council. They are responsible for conducting the meeting and ensuring that decisions and actions are clear for the members to vote on and Clerk to act upon. The Mayor also represents the city on ceremonial occasions.
The Mayor has no individual powers other than the authority to exercise a casting vote and the right to convene a special meeting of the Council. The Council also has a Deputy Mayor who is responsible for deputising for the Mayor as required.
The current Mayor of Truro is Councillor Carol Swain who was formally elected on 15 May 2023. Previously the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Swain took over from Councillor Steven Webb who stood down as the Mayor after serving two terms in office. The Deputy Mayor is Councillor Sam Rabey.
Councillors serve as the representatives for each ward within the city, and are elected to highlight issues and concerns residents have in their areas.
Cornwall Council is the unitary authority for the county of Cornwall, created by merging Cornwall County Council with the six Borough and District Councils of Cornwall. It provides a wide range of services including schools, social services, rubbish collection, roads, planning, parking, benefits, council tax and more.
The Council currently employs 65 members of staff who are responsible for providing services and implementing the decisions of the elected councillors.
The Head of the Paid Service is the Town Clerk whose role includes advising councillors, overseeing the drafting of policies, strategies and procedures, preparing agendas and reports for meetings, and managing the £2.5m budget.
As well as front facing staff, such as librarians, gardeners, staff who work in the newly refurbished Boscawen café and in the Visitor Information Centre and Visit Truro offices, a community development team and a zero carbon officer, the Council also has a team who provide financial and HR support, together with staff who manage the civic side of the authority, including the Mayor’s office.
How the Council works
The full Council meets monthly to take major decisions and oversee the activities of the Council. It also considers recommendation from its standing committees.
The Council has three standing Committees:
- Finance and General Purposes Committee – this Committee considers the financial position of the Council and manages the corporate administration, Visitor Information Centre, Truro Library, community development and management of Lemon Quay.
- Parks and Amenities Committee – this Committee considers matters related to parks, gardens and open spaces; public cemeteries; allotments; sports activities and public toilets
- Planning Committee – this Committee provides consultation responses to the planning authority, Cornwall Council, on planning applications which are either in the city, or have a significant impact on the city.
The Council also has a number of sub committees, which have fewer members than that of the overall committee, together with working groups which are set up to focus on a particular subject. These may include non-councillors who have an interest or understanding of the matter. They are not decisions making bodies and must report back to the committee in which they originated.
- Grants sub committee
- Truro Conservation Area Advisory Committee
- Truro and Kenwyn Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
- Accommodation Working Group
- Emergency Committe
- Shareholder Group
- Boscawen Park Working Group
- Pydar Street Development Design Group
- Transport Strategy Working Group
- Youth Council
The Council also has links with the two Twinning Associations ((Truro-Boppard and Truro-Morlaix) and with the Truro Civic Society, and works jointly with a number of organisations and other public service providers on matters of mutual interest. These include Cornwall Council, neighbouring parish councils, Truro and Newham BIDs, Truro SAFE, Truro Chamber of Commerce, Royal Cornwall Museum, Hall for Cornwall. Truro Civic Society, NHS providers, local schools and colleges and the Youth Council.
Councillors are also appointed to represent the Council on local outside organisations.
Agendas for all meetings are published on the City Council website at least three days before the meeting is due to take place and are also posted on public noticeboards.
The Council had to move out of the Municipal Building while the refurbishment of the Hall for Cornwall was carried out. It is currently based in Truro Community Library while discussions are taking place with Cornwall Council over funding for the internal redecoration works which needed to be carried out before it can return to the Municipal Building. In the meantime meetings taking place in the Community Library.
Members of the press and public are welcome to attend Committee and full Council meetings and have the opportunity to put questions, or comment, on agenda items at the beginning of the proceedings.
The minutes for Committee and Council meetings are published once they have been approved and can be viewed on our website at: https://truro.gov.uk/
The Calendar of Meetings for the year is also published on the Council’s website and notice board.
We provide an extensive range of services to the local community and visitors who come to the city each year.
Truro Community Library – the library was transferred to the City Council in 2019 from Cornwall Council. Located in the Passmore Edwards building in the centre of the city, it provides a large open area for book browsing as well as hosting story times, summer reading challenges, and visits from local schools and community groups and organisations. It also offers access to public computers and meeting rooms, and printing, scanning and photocopying services. There is a community garden at the rear of the building which is open during library opening hours.
Our library continues to be the most visited and used library in Cornwall – with 10,292 items issued, 206 new borrowers and 833 customers using one of our computers last year. This year we had over 202,000 visits to the library (an average of 17,000 people per month), an increase of 62, 000 over the previous year.
2023 sees the bicentenary of the birth of Passmore Edward, with a celebration of this anniversary incorporated into the annual Civic Service held in Truro Cathedral.. The library’s craft group Material Girls, will also be creating a patchwork to celebrate some of the other Passmore Edwards buildings.
Community development – our team support local communities by organising events, helping communities grow the use of their centres and open areas, and encouraging strong, open community groups to deliver positive action in their neighbourhoods. We currently work with ten communities in Truro: Tregurra, Trevethow Riel, Treffry Road, Malabar, Hendra, Beechwood Parc, Penn an Dre, Malpas Road, Trelander, St Cement’s Close and Rosedale. Together these 10 communities comprise approximately 6,810 residents.
Visitor Information Centre and Visit Truro – Visit Truro is our destination marketing service. The team work hard to promote the city, act as a ticket agent for many activities in Truro and provide useful information for those visiting, living and working in the city via the Visit Truro website, in the Visitor Information Centre on Boscawen Street and via social media. They also produce information guides which are free to the public. The Visitor Information Centre also acts as a retail shop, selling local products.
City centre services – we are committed to supporting the economy of the city centre and improving public safety. We achieve this through providing a number of services, including CCTV and public toilets.
Public toilets – we took over responsibility for managing and cleaning public toilets in Truro from Cornwall Council in 2013. There are five sets of toilets in the city centre, with a further three toilets in surrounding areas. All toilets are open between 7.30 am and 7pm and, apart from those in Victoria Gardens, have disabled facilities.
These are at :
- Lower Lemon Street
- Old Bridge Street car park
- The Leats
- Moorfield Car Park,
- Green Street
- Hendra playground
- Victoria Gardens
- Boscawen Park
CCTV – we have 21 CCTV cameras in the city which are monitored by the Fire and Rescue service at Tolvaddon
Anti Social Behaviour Officer – we work with Truro Safe and Truro BID to fund the ASBO which has helped to reduce anti social behaviour in the city.
Night time economy – we support the provision of a team of regular Street Pastors who support people enjoying the night-time economy in Truro
Planning – as a statutory consultee we are offered the opportunity to comment on all planning applications sent to Cornwall Council which would affect the city, with the option to recommend approval or refusal, We look at the applications and then meet to discuss them and make recommendations at our planning meetings. Larger applications may also be considered by the full council.
Parks and green spaces – we maintain Victoria Gardens and Boscawen Park, as well as green spaces at Coosebean, Daubuz Moor and the Glasteinan valley, where our staff successfully managing the interface between public recreational use and the need for wildlife conservation.
Play areas – we provide a number of play areas throughout the city. These include Hendra play and skate park, Tremorvah and Redannick playing fields, and Boscawen and Victoria Park, which are equipped with swings, slides and other types of children’s play equipment.
Sports facilities: we manage the hiring of a number of sports facilities in the city. These include the tennis courts and floodlit courts at Boscawen Park, pitches for football and mini soccer activities and the cricket pitch, including the use of the pavilion. Booking information is available via our website or by contacting the parks department at firstname.lastname@example.org
Allotments – we currently operate 70 allotment plots at Barrack Lane, Nancemere, Redannick and Treverbyn, and have earmarked more land to increase this number. We hold an annual Gardens and Allotments competition each year. Please contact the parks department on 01872 245502 / 08 or email email@example.com if you are interested in being added to the waiting list
Cemeteries – we own Truro Public Cemetery and are responsible for managing the service provided to the public. Located on St Clements Hill, the cemetery is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the 9.5 acre site offering a peaceful environment to visitors. We manage all burial services at the cemetery. This is our only Statutory Duty as a council, with approximately 27 services completed each year. Based in the City Council offices, the burial department is open between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday for anyone wishing to arrange burial services or view the burial register. All forms and information is available on the Council’s website or by emailing burials@truro,gov.uk
We also maintain Kenwyn Churchyard.
Lemon Quay – we manage Lemon Quay which hosts a variety of events throughout the year. These include the Farmers Markets, which usually trade every Wednesday and Saturday; and children’s entertainment which is on the Quay every day.
Events – our events team not only manages Lemon Quay, but also work with other partners to deliver a range of exciting events, such as the Green Truro Festival. We also work with Truro BID to organise events and activities, including festive events throughout the city.
Furniss Coal – we support the work of the Furniss charity which offers Truro residents support to help to heat their homes during the winter months. They offer fuel credits, as well as supplying wood or briquettes. Applications for support open in December, with residents asked to contact their local councillor directly to apply. Further information is available on our website : https://truro.gov.uk/
Town Crier – we are very proud of our Town Crier Lionel Knight who, with the support of his Consort and wife Carol, carries out ceremonial duties across the city. Lionel is a volunteer and has been in the role since 2014, receiving the prestigious Cornwall Civic Award for his work.
Mace Bearers – we also have a team of three Mace Bearers who escort the Mayor at civic events.