The Library was open today and is due to open again on Saturday morning, although staff numbers are down. Lots of the Libraries in Cornwall are already shut or shutting today or tomorrow. This Saturday may be the last chance to take books out before this Library is required to follow suit and close.
We have been informed that Cornwall Council premises will remain open whilst it is safe to do so, and precautions taken based on the Public Health advice. The Library and Information Services are an essential lifeline for some members of our communities so will currently remain open, but they are investigating what practical precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of the spread of infection. Library events and activities are cancelled, to reduce the risk of infection.
In urging everyone to recognise the climate crisis Greta Thunberg said:
“Every single person counts.
Just like every single emission counts.
Every single kilo.
Banner at one of the School Strike 4 Climate events in Truro
On 25 February 2019, St Just Town Council joined many Parish, Town, District and County Councils in recognising and declaring a Climate Emergency. Following on from that they approved an initial short term action plan, on 13 May and that required the Council to establish a Climate and Environment Action Committee consisting of elected Councillors and local residents. The Council is therefore seeking 3 residents who have the right mix of expertise, knowledge and passion to join the committee.
Deputy Mayor, Sue James, who has been so far leading St Just’s work to declare a Climate Emergency and start thinking about what can be done differently locally, says
“Having spent time listening to the science and evidence of the consequences of continuing to emit carbon and other harmful greenhouse gases as we do today, I believe we cannot afford the ‘do nothing’ option. I also believe that it is no good us waiting for someone else to act, we all have to do what we can as soon as possible and those of us elected to represent communities need to help residents make decisions that are less harmful to our local environment and the planet. At County Hall our young people made it plain that there is ‘no planet B’ and that by the time they are old enough to be decision makers, it will be too late.
“St Just Town Council were unanimous is voting to declare the Climate Emergency and the Terms of Reference for the Climate and Environment Action Committee we now wish to set up.”
The committee being established for the St Just Parish (so including Pendeen and the smaller hamlets) will consist of up to 6 Town Councillors and 3 residents and will be required:
1. To review the Town Council’s initial Climate Change Action Plan and develop a longer term vision for the Parish, in conjunction with the Premises and Amenities Committee, our local schools and residents.
2. To ensure that the Town Council is a source of information for local residents wanting to reduce, re-use and recycle, improve habitats for pollinators, planting trees and how to reduce their energy and water needs and bills.
3. To work with those developing the local Neighbourhood Plan to ensure suitable energy and environmental policies are developed and promoted by Town Council when making planning comments.
4. Work with the Tin Coast Partnership and Cornwall Council to reduce local residents’ dependency on petrol and diesel engine motor vehicles, supporting schemes that encourage more sustainable transport.
Click on the following link to view and download St Just Town Council’s Climate Change Action Plan April 19
Click on the following link to view and download the accompanying Climate Environment Committee Terms of Reference
So, if you live within the Parish of St Just and believe you can contribute to this important, establishing committee email firstname.lastname@example.org giving your full name and contact details, what contribution you can make to the committee’s work and specifying any membership of Political Parties and/ or Climate Groups (to ensure mixed representation). Alternatively write with this information to The Town Clerk at 1, Chapel Street, St Just, TR19 7LS.
Applications will need to be submitted by 12 noon on Thursday 12th September 2019.
At Monday’s Annual Meeting, Councillor Brian Clemens was thanked for his service as Mayor of St Just for the past two years, and the Council elected Councillor Marna Blundy as Mayor for the coming year, with Councillor Sue James as her Deputy.
The new mayor has lived in Botallack for over forty years, and raised her five children here. She is active in the local community, with particular interests in community engagement, support for vulnerable groups, healthcare, public transport, and local church life. Councillor Blundy’s background in music led her to initiate both the Walking Nativity in 2017 and the St Piran’s Parade in St Just this year, two new annual events for the St Just calendar. Her deputy served as the local mayor in 2012/13 before being elected as the area’s Cornwall Councillor in 2013. From 2017 until May 2019, Councillor James was a member of Cornwall Council’s Cabinet with the broad Portfolio of Environment and Public Protection. Being certified as “Cornish by Marriage” on the touring Tick Box Bus, she has thrown herself into the community of St Just and Pendeen since arriving in 2005.
Both new Mayor and Deputy are keen to work with all sections of our diverse communities, and hope to use their time in office to develop further community cohesion and involvement.
The Mayor said “We have a challenging but exciting year ahead, as we proceed with the devolution of the car parks and public toilets in Pendeen and St Just, as well as taking over responsibility for St Just Library which is set to become a shared space between the Town Council and Library Services. I hope, in due course, to see services develop in this building so that it becomes a vibrant community hub for all our residents and visitors, the Council working hand-in-hand with the community it serves.”
Deputy Mayor, Sue James said “My experiences and learning as a Cabinet Member will enable me to support the community with meeting our environmental challenges to grow wildlife habitats and reduce our impact on the planet. I will also continue my work leading a project to establish an International Dark-Sky Designation for West Cornwall and work with the Tin Coast partnership to ensure our community is sustainable as a great place to live, work and visit.”
With a range of significant events coming up in the parish this year, including the 100th anniversary of the Levant Mine Disaster, the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies Summer Festival, the annual two-week Lafrowda Festival, and the Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture, both the Mayor and her Deputy anticipate a busy year to come.
The Town Council has made a resolution to join other councils in declaring a climate emergency and made three commitments. 1. When it owns buildings, following devolution, it will look at how to reduce energy and water consumption and consider carefully where it buys its energy, consistent with this declaration. 2. Over the remainder of this administration, as opportunities arise, it will review policies, procedures and contracts to minimise the council’s impact on the local environment and the planet. 3. Engage with residents and others to learn and strive to reduce our carbon footprint, including considering the LGA guide to Councillors.
The budget is an essential tool for controlling the Council’s finances and to demonstrate that it will have sufficient income to meet the objectives. One key part is to provide for contingencies and the need for reserves. The general reserve guidance is the reserve should be between (25 to 100%) or 3 and 12 months’ worth of expenditure. In addition, if we know the Council has specific projects, we need to set them as earmarked reserves for these (specific projects) or know expenditure in 2019/20. The Council’s Earmarked Reserves for 2019/20 are £100k for car parks and toilets. £30k Pendeen Playpark. £11,659 Plain an Gwarry and £3K Street Furniture; the total being £144,659.00.
It was highlighted in the budget that the council already have the funds ready for the car parks and toilets (acquiring a capital asset)/Plain an Gwarry work and these are not included in the precept demand, but are required to be shown in the budget. If we had a separate capital budget it would be shown there. We also need to raise revenue for Pendeen Playpark £30k and street furniture £3k, which along with the additional cost of running the devolution projects such as the library is why the precept demand has increased by a large amount.
The Council discussed the above and then on 14 January 2019:
RESOLVED: That the proposed budget presented for the financial year 2019/2020 £334,900 is agreed.
RESOLVED: That a precept request of £221,392 is made to Cornwall Council by 18 January 2019, an increase of 59.48 % on the previous year.
Gorsedh Kernow announces host town for 2019
“St Just is one of the jewels of Cornwall,” said the Grand Bard of Cornwall, Elizabeth Carne, Melennek, “and we are so happy to be gathering in such an important and historic town for next year’s Esedhvos Festival.”
The Grand Bard’s words were spoken as a joint declaration with town mayor Cllr Brian Clemens that St Just in Penwith, in the far west of Cornwall, would host the 2019 Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture and bardic ceremony.
“We are delighted that the bards of the Cornish Gorsedd have accepted our invitation to hold their celebrations here next year,” said Cllr Clemens.
“We are immensely proud of our town’s history as a very important mining area and also home to Britain’s oldest working theatre, so familiar to the many bards who have studied its history and taken part in performances here over the years.”
Accepting the invitation on behalf of fellow bards, Mrs Carne expressed a wish for friendship and inclusiveness among Cornish people as they celebrate their distinct cultural identity.
“St Just is rightly proud of its place in the hearts of Cornish people,” said the Grand Bard, “and we look forward to working with local people to make next year’s Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture is one of the best ever.”
The external audit of the Town Council’s accounts was completed on 6 September 2018.
To view the official notice of the conclusion of Audit and the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for the 2017/18 Financial Year, see the links in the Documents Section of this website. The 4 sheets will also be on the Noticeboard from 18 September 2018.
The Town Council has submitted its Business Case to Cornwall Council following the 3 September 2018 Meeting. The Council plans to take over the Library on 1 April 2019 under the authority of Section 101 of the LGA 1972. The Library will be funded on the assumption of raising its demand for the Precept to Cornwall Council in 2019/2020 by 20% rising to 30% in 2021; for the Library related activities. The Business case was accepted by Cornwall Council subject to Director’s approval. The Minutes of 3 September 2018 (TC 104) show more details. Both Councils are working towards this objective, but no legally binding agreement has been entered into by either Council at this stage.