Tuesday, 19 September 2017


Following the closure of the Post Office at Kingsley Village, many people have been pushing hard for the reinstatement of a service at the “Fraddon / Indian Queens / St Columb Road” end of the Parish.

I can now report that the Post Office Ltd has agreed that an outreach Post Office will be run from the ante-room of the Indian Queens Victory Hall for two three-hour sessions each week. 

This will start on Tuesday 3rd October.

The sessions will be:

Every Tuesday morning: 8.30 – 11.30.
Every Thursday afternoon: 1.00 – 4.00.

This new outreach provision will be run from the existing Post Office at Summercourt, while the cost of hiring the Victory Hall for the next twelve months has been covered by Kingsley Developers.

We are grateful to everyone who has worked to pull this together, but it is only meant to be a temporary measure.

Local councillors and the Post Office Ltd are continuing to liaise in an attempt to secure a more permanent Post Office provision in the eastern end of the Parish. This includes seeking the inclusion of postal services in a retail unit at the redeveloped Kingsley Village complex, as stated in the planning permission.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Twenty years on from the referendum vote for a Welsh Assembly: my recollections

My article in this coming week’s Cornish Guardian looks back at the referendum vote for a Welsh Assembly, which took place on 18th September 1997. I was fortunate to actually be in Cardiff and here are my recollections.

Twenty years ago this week, the people of Wales backed the creation of their National Assembly in a referendum.

It was a momentous vote. It secured national government for Wales and, over the last two decades, the Assembly has grown massively in stature and authority, achieving some law-making powers, control over a range of taxes, and it is soon to be renamed as a Parliament.

The significance of the vote was such that the present First Minister of Wales has even questioned whether Wales would have been able to call itself a nation if it had rejected devolution two decades ago.

And yet, it could have been so very different. The ballot was extremely close with 50.3% of voters backing devolution.

The votes were counted in 22 different council areas and, as the results were announced during the night of the 18th and 19th September, the NO camp built up a lead in the popular vote.

But that all changed when the final result came through from Carmarthenshire. There was a massive YES vote in the county, which tipped the result in favour of devolution. The overall majority across Wales was just 6,721 votes.

I have wonderful memories of this particular night, because I was in the Welsh capital for a Channel 4 programme about the outcome of the referendum, which was broadcast from Cardiff Castle.

For me, it was the first time that I had been invited to take part in a live television debate, but it did not work out as I had anticipated. I was there to comment on the implications of a YES vote for the rest of the United Kingdom but, as it was looking like a NO vote, they did not bother to use me. The programme then ended, ridiculously, before the last regional results were announced and the final outcome known.

At that time, it would be accurate to say that I was less than happy to have travelled all the way to Wales and not even participated in the debate.

But Channel 4 had booked me a room at the Park Hotel, where the YES camp was based and had planned their celebratory party.

When I got there, the mood was dark and sombre, as the campaigners – many of whom had dedicated their lives to the goal of greater self-government for Wales – feared their dream of devolution would not be realised.

I was present when the final result came in, along with a few others from Cornwall, complete with flags of St Piran. I will never forget the raw emotion of that night, the explosion of sheer joy when everyone realised that they had indeed won the vote, and I am grateful that I was able to be there. Thank you Channel 4 for my night in Cardiff.

The campaign for Welsh devolution continues to be an inspiration for me. I just hope that we can replicate their success here in Cornwall.

Friday, 15 September 2017


The next formal meeting for MK members and supporters in the St Austell & Newquay Constituency Party will be taking place on Friday 22nd September.

The venue will, as usual, be ClayTAWC in St Dennis and the meeting will start at 7.30.

This meeting will also be the AGM for the Constituency Party, and there will be an opportunity for one and all to have their say on the future direction of our local campaigns and other activities across the Constituency.

All are welcome at the meeting. Do come along if you are interested in joining MK.

Call me on 07791 876607 for more details, if you would like to attend.

Consultation on Government plans to increase rate of house-building

The UK Government yesterday launched a consultation on plans, in its words, to “boost housing supply.”

Proposals include the introduction of a “standard method for calculating local authorities’ housing need.”

But what does this mean for Cornwall?

The Cornwall Local Plan (which was formally adopted in November 2016) has a target for the period 2010-2030 of 52,500 new properties – a figure that was higher than that proposed by the unitary authority. This equates to an annual target of 2,625 new properties per annum.

In the consultation paperwork, the UK Government sets out its “indicative assessment of housing need” based on their new formula. It sets an annual target of 2,889 – which would equate to a housing target of 57,780 is spread over a twenty-year plan period.

The Government is also consulting on a “proposed transitional arrangements.”

This states that if the local area has “no plan, or plan adopted more than five years ago” (or an emerging plan that has not yet been published and has not yet reached publication stage), there will be no transitional arrangements.

However, if a Plan has been adopted within the last five years – as here in Cornwall – the “new standardised method” will not come in immediately, but will be used when next reviewing or updating the Plan.

The consultation document is entitled “Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals” and can be accessed on the website for the Department of Communities and Local Government:

DCLG website

Thursday, 14 September 2017

St Enoder Parish Council secures grant from HLF for First World War project

I am absolutely delighted to be able to report that St Enoder Parish Council has just secured a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards a community project to remember the men who lost their lives in the First World War.

Over the next twelve months, we will working with a range of local organisations to find out more about the impact of the conflict on the people and families of Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt.

A key part of the project will be to produce a book which will tell the stories of the men who lost their lives between 1914 and 1918.

In addition, the Parish Council will also be looking to produce interpretation boards to be placed in our three local village halls, as well as other materials for use in the Indian Queens Methodist Church and St Enoder Parish Church.

We are also investigating the possibility of events to mark the centenaries of the Armistice (November 1918), the Victory / Peace Day celebrations (July 1919) after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, and the unveiling of the St Enoder War Memorial (September 1919).

My latest newsletter is presently being produced and this will feature more detailed information about the project and how local people can get involved. It will be delivered across St Enoder Parish in the next three weeks.