Caring for your local
The Town Council has faced many challenges over the past 12 months deriving from regulations and changes both locally and nationally. The new Localism Act which aims to shift power away from central government to local people will see local councils facing further challenges in the coming months and years as they respond to the localism agenda.
Public address to council
During the year the Council has seen the increase in presentations by applicants requiring planning, these pre-applications are done on an informal base and we hope the exchange of ideas helps applicants before they apply for full planning consent.
We also received our first public address from a group of young adults who were working on a skate park project. Although their project was not delivered it was encouraging to see young local people engaging with the Council over an issue which they felt passionate about.
Together with the Town Clerk we were invited to speak to the Youth Council at Cape Cornwall School about the work of the Town Council. I hope that in some way this has helped broaden public awareness and perhaps encourage more local people to become involved in their community at an earlier age.
July saw the annual Lafrowda Day celebrations and I had the pleasure of hosting the reception for invited guests and those who work tirelessly to make the event the success that it is. It is likely our support will continue for this organisation well into the future because of benefits it gives to the Town.
During the summer period, the Town Council gave the Library Service a grant of £2,500 to enable the staff to deliver the TIC provision. This provided a much needed service for tourists visiting the area and support to local businesses which are dependent on the tourist trade. I am pleased to confirm that the Town Council has made a similar commitment in this year’s budget.
Working with the Bosavern Community Enterprise, the Allotment & Growers’ Association and the National Trust, 19 allotments at Kenidjack Valley will be delivered this year (Breaking news as one of the directors of BCE, I countersigned the contract with the Nation Trust at the weekend, this means allotments will be up and running very soon at Kenidjack, my personal thanks to my fellow directors Deb Pepper and Andrew Corser for their continuing hard work).
I am aware that many of you have waited a long time to reach this point and I would personally like to thank you all for your help and patience. As to the allotments at Bosavern Farm, the planning application has now been submitted and is going through the planning process and the application for grant funding to the West Cornwall Local Action Group to deliver the project will be submitted by this Thursday deadline, 17 May.
Over the past year, the Council has continued to work closely with the Lands’ End Peninsula Community Land Trust, with its plans to deliver new affordable homes at Lafrowda Close, St Just & Moorland Close, Pendeen. Planning approval at Lafrowda Close has been secured and work will hopefully begin on site in the coming months.
It is also hoped that a further 36 affordable homes will be delivered soon by Sanctuary Homes at Gews Farm.
Despite the loss of the community police station, the Council continues to work closely with the local team, in particular PCSO Andy Tonkin to address local issues. Andy visits the council office on regular biases where a relevant exchange of information takes place between himself and the clerk, this helps keep members updated on what’s happening around the town and parishes.
A new Traffic Regulation Order “No Waiting Restrictions” has been approved for various parts of the town which it is hoped will reduce congestion on our local streets and make access easier for the emergency services.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the Town Council and Cornwall Council in respect of the car parks in St Just and Pendeen has now been signed which will keep the car parks free at the point of use for a further 12 month period to enable discussions to continue on the possibility of the Council purchasing the freehold.
Discussions on the long term future of the public toilets will hopefully begin again in the coming weeks, although the Town Council has formally indicated its commitment to take on responsibility for maintaining these facilities for the benefit of the local community.
In addition to the emergency works that were carried out to the perimeter wall of the Plen-an-Gwarry last year, the Council, working with English Heritage, has been awarded a grant to implement an ongoing program of maintenance. We hope to keep any disturbance to a minimum during these works.
I’m sure you will have also noticed the new notice boards and I would encourage anyone wishing to put up a notice to contact the Town Clerk’s office.
Refurbishment of the finger post at Trewellard was completed last summer and I’d like to thank Ian Thompson of Milestones Society and Phi Keverne, Cornwall Council local Area Highways Team for their help in delivering this project.
The Town Council continues to provide grant funding to support local organisations / groups and this year has raised its budget to £20K which will hopefully help to assist a larger number.
Maintenance of the area footpaths has continued under the LMP scheme. The Council has also made a small increase in its own budget to carry out additional works. Members of the public are encouraged to let the Council know of any problems with the footpath network so that the money can be spent in the areas where it is most needed.
Quality Council Status
As part of the Council’s agenda to obtain Quality Council status, the Town Clerk attained the CiLCA qualification. (Again congratulations and thanks Madam Clerk)
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is only a few weeks away and the Council has arranged for all the schoolchildren at the primary schools and nurseries in St Just and Pendeen to receive a commemorative mug to mark the anniversary.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Councilor Chris Goninan for his continued support and much needed help to this Council. I continue by thanking him for his seemingly endless energy in supporting the community. And on a personal level I thank Chris for the respect he has shown me over the past year, the feeling is mutual.
In the ten years plus I have served the public as both District and Town councilor I have never worked with such professional people as we find in the Clerk and her assistant, I have watched and listen to them putting forward and fighting for the interests of this council and the people we represent. My heartfelt thanks to Elaine and Shirley for the outstanding working relationship we have shared this year, for all of your support and of course on occasion for saving my sanity.
My personal recollection of the past year:
While at school one of my favorite books was Charles Dickens’s “Tail of two cities” the story of conflict surrounding the French revolution and contains the famous lines “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”. Why I mention this is because I believe it reflects the experience I have had as Mayor this year.
I have immensely enjoyed my meetings with the public, Councils, Schools and other organizations and this has been a great honor for me.
As to the members around this table, I must be truthful we have at times had an uncomfortable year, though the outcome of most of our debates I believe in the public interest have been for the good.
What I think we lack is the respect that we are all entitled to our own opinions, I know that all of you in your hearts put the public in our area first. Maybe a little tweak in our people skills would be good; I know I could do with it.
If asked would I put myself forward again, even after all the stress of the past year YOU BETCHA, there’s no greater honor than serving your Town and Parishes.
2011 / 2012
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