CORNWALL Council has agreed to increase its share of council tax by just under 2 per cent as well as setting itself a target of making £41 million of savings in the coming year. The council met on Tuesday and agreed to increase council tax by 1.97 per cent, which equates to an extra 47p per week or £24.51 a year for a Band D property. A rise of 2 per cent or more would have required a referendum of taxpayers. The budget, which is designed to help achieve savings of £195 million in the next five years, was approved by 71 votes to 35, with one abstention. Proposing it, leader John Pollard said: "The plan was always to get an early budget agreed to enable us to minimise savings and start in the difficult process of the next stage of budget-setting and business planning." Seconding it, Alex Folkes, Cabinet member for finance and resources, said: "We will continue to lobby the Government for more funding to bring us up to the same level as urban councils. We will also be calling on the Government to provide details of the financial settlement much earlier to provide councils with greater clarity for our planning."