Wednesday, 2 July 2014

My latest monthly report to St Enoder Parish Council

My latest monthly report to St Enoder Parish Council, for the period 23rd May – 22nd June 2014, was as follows:

1.         Council meetings

I have attended a range of meetings over the last month. These included: Environment, Heritage and Planning Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) (an associated informal meeting plus two associated pre-agenda briefings/meetings); Partnerships PAC; Transport and Waste PAC; a briefing on the Homechoice housing register, which allocates social housing on behalf of Cornwall Housing and a number of registered providers such as Ocean Housing; and the SITA Incinerator Liaison Group (also attended by Cllr Austin).

2.         Other meetings

I also attended meetings of the Indian Queens Pit Association; the Rural Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Partnership; the Leader / Community Led Local Development working group (Chairman), and associated officer group, which is devising the “Local Action” aspect of the next phase of European funding between 2014-2020.

3.         St Austell Bay Economic Forum

I have been invited to be involved with the Economic Forum, which is bringing together a range of business and other interests from the wider St Austell area.

It is my understanding that this invitation comes because on my experience with the Clay Country Local Action Group and related groups, while the Forum also appreciates the need to link its own activities to the surrounding areas including the five parishes of the China Clay Area.

4.         Works on the local road network

At last month’s meeting, I reported on a range of planned works on local roads (for this financial year) which included surface dressing along the old A30 between Fraddon and Indian Queens, and a significant amount of patching. I am hopeful that a number of these works will take place in the very near future and I will report more at the next meeting.

5.         Potholes

Further to the above, potholes have been filled in a number of rural locations including Trefullock Moor, Resurrance and Resparva (near Summercourt), as well as part of Narrow Lane approaching St Enoder Churchtown.

6.         Drains in Fraddon

The survey of the road drains throughout Fraddon was carried out in the first week of June and the resultant report is expected soon. I will report back on the findings at the next meeting.

7.         Mobile library services

I attended the Partnerships PAC on 16th June, when it was discussing the way forward for the unitary authority’s approach to mobile library and mobile one stop shop services. As you will recall, I drafted a detailed response to the consultation from the Parish Council’s response and co-authored a further response from the China Clay Area Network Panel.

Three options were presented at the meeting:

Option 1 - Retain two mobile library vans (visiting stops for ten minutes only, fortnightly or monthly) and expand the Home Library Service (a partnership between the Royal Voluntary Service with volunteers delivering books to people in their own homes).

Option 2 - Cease all mobile vans and replace with targeted service provision including creation of community/micro libraries and expansion of the Home Library Service.

Option 3 – Retain one mobile library van (visiting stops for twenty minutes only on a monthly basis), community/micro library support and expansion of Home Library Service.

All three options would mean the end of the Clay Bus. I argued that all three options were unacceptable and would be extremely damaging to the China Clay Area, because our communities do not have a permanent One Stop Shop or any static libraries.

I made these – and a range of other points – at the meeting, but the members of the Committee did not reflect these comments in any of their deliberations. A number of “non-committee” members argued for the continuation of the mobile library service in a variety of forms, but the PAC voted to recommend option 2 to the Cabinet. The vote from the ten-strong Committee was four votes in favour and three against. There was one abstention and two committee members were absent.

It is my intention to make further representations at the Cabinet meeting in July.

8.         Planning matters – general

I have been in contact with planning officers on a range of planning applications. This includes the application by Rags SW for revised conditions for the warehouse store at Toldish, the proposal for 40-plus holiday cabins at Carvynick and the proposal for housing to the rear of Kilburn in Fraddon.

9.         Planning matters – wind turbines

As promised at a previous meeting, I have continued to make inquiries about the planning consent for two wind turbines near Goonabarn, which was granted in 2013.

I also attended one of the “pre-application” presentations on the proposal for three turbines of Pines Tip near Fraddon.

10.       Vandalism at Indian Queens Pit

As members of the Parish Council will recall, there was a verbal report at out last meeting about recent vandalism at the Pit (which included the destruction of a Parish Council seat) and it was agreed to gift our spare CCTV recording device to the Pit Committee. I am pleased to be able to report that cameras have already been erected at the Pit and I would like to extend my thanks, and those of the Pit Committee, to the Parish Council for its kind support.

I would like to invite everyone to our annual fete which will take this coming Saturday, starting at 2.30.

11.       Fairview Park, St Columb Road

As suggested at the April meeting, I have undertaken a survey of the residents of Fairview Park about the future of the small open space, where a play area was not provided. The closing date for the consultation was 20th June. I will report the findings and the nature of possible options at the next meeting of the Parish Council.

12.       Traveller encampment

For the second time in a matter of weeks, there has been an encampment of travellers within the Parish. The first was at the Indian Queens Industrial Estate, from where they were moved on in a matter of days. More recently, in the second week of June, another group moved into a field (in St Enoder Parish) but on the very edge of Mitchell. They were moved on but shifted themselves to Mitchell’s playing field. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been in regular contact with the Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer and the elected member for my neighbouring division.

13.       European funding

Since 2000, EU funds have been, to a reasonable degree, managed from within Cornwall but the Government recently announced that the new programme for the next six years would be run from London. I was pleased to be one of the signatories on a letter, from all the party group leaders on the unitary authority, which was sent to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to express our dismay at the proposed centralisation.

Recent reports have made it into the local press which suggests that the Government is about to do a U-turn.

14.       A visit to Flanders and France

I also had a week’s holiday in early June, when my wife and I visited Belgium and France. We visited a number of World War 1 cemeteries, and took a series of photographs of graves of servicemen from Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt who were killed or died in the First World War.

Hopefully some of the images will be usable for the book which will be at the heart of our project to remember the 1914-1918 War. I will report back on progress with this project – which will hopefully also include interpretation materials for local village halls and St Enoder Church and Indian Queens Methodist Chapel – at the next Parish Council meeting.

15.       Charity cricket match

I also took part in a charity cricket match between councillors and officers at Cornwall Council. For the second time in a row, the officers were victorious, but it was quite close at the end.

16.       Inquiries

Throughout the last month, I have also helped numerous people and local organisations with advice and guidance on a wide range of issues.

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