Tuesday, 13 December 2016

My latest monthly report to St Enoder Parish Council

At tonight’s meeting of St Enoder Parish Council, I tabled my latest monthly report which covered the period from 24th October to 11th December 2016. It was as follows:

1. Council meetings

I have attended a range of formal meetings at Cornwall Council over the last six weeks. These included: Full Council (2), Planning Policy Advisory Panel (3), associated preparatory and follow-up meetings (4) and a workshop, Central Sub-Area Planning Committee, Constitution and Governance Committee and associated informal meeting, Electoral Review Panel (2) and associated workshop, member briefings (3), Group Leaders meeting, China Clay Network meeting, a meeting of members from the Clay Area, Incinerator Liaison Group, and meetings relating to Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (3).

As well as the meetings listed above, I have had a large number of informal meetings with council officers at the unitary authority, and I have attended four meetings of St Enoder Parish Council and two meetings of the working group for the St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan (2).

2. Other meetings

I have also attended meetings of the ClayTAWC centre where I am Chairman (3), St Austell Bay Economic Forum (2), and the South and East Cornwall Local Action Group.

3. Full Council: 1st November

A special meeting of the Council was held to consider its position on the review into parliamentary constituencies. I am pleased to report that there was an overwhelming majority (78 votes to 12) against a cross-Tamar constituency.

In addition, I attended three days of hearings into the review at Exeter (7th November) and Truro (10th and 11th November). During the second day in Truro, I gave a twenty minute presentation in support of keeping Cornwall whole.

4. Full Council: 22nd November

At the second meeting of Cornwall Council in November, the budget for 2017/2018 was agreed and the Local Plan was also adopted by the authority.

The Liberal Democrat and Independent administration budget for 2017/2018 included a council tax increase of 3.97%, which included a precept levy of 2% to be specifically used for social care. A majority of councillors supported the budget, myself included.

None of the other political groups moved any amendments in the debate. And the telling thing for me was that the unitary authority will raise an additional £14 million from council tax next year but, because of ongoing cuts from central government, the Council will, overall, end up with £2.5 million less to spend on services.

In terms of the Cornwall Local Plan, councillors accepted the recommendations from the Examination in Public (EiP) run by an independent inspector – even though individual councillors raised concerns about a number of the changes. However, the strategic policies in the Local Plan now give greater surety to those groups working on Neighbourhood Plans for their local parishes.

5. Neighbourhood Plan

My priority in recent weeks has been the drafting of the second consultation for the St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan. The draft is on tonight’s agenda and I would like to thank my colleagues for their support in this work.

It is my hope that the document will be finalised this month and circulated in January.

6. New play area in Indian Queens Recreation Ground

Since my last monthly report, it is great to see that the tarmac path from the car park at the Recreation Ground to the new play area has been completed, and I would like to publicly thank local contactors T Julian and Son for the fantastic job that they did.

7. Lindsay Fields, Fraddon

I am pleased to be able to report that the “open space” in Lindsay Fields, Fraddon, has been transferred from the developer to Cornwall Council. I am presently seeking clarification from the environment section at the unitary authority about their likely maintenance regime.

It is ironic that, at the same time, the Parish Council has had to take on maintenance for the entrance area into Heather Meadow because Cornwall Council (Highways) were unwilling to look after it.

8. The Kelliers

The transfer of the freehold of the Kelliers to the Parish Council is taking longer that I had hoped. I am presently seeking an update from Cornwall Council about what is causing the delay.

9. Bus shelters

Since Cornwall Council’s recent comical communications with local parish councils about who is responsible for local bus shelters, I have formally requested that the unitary authority clean all shelters for which it has responsibility. I have asked that this include the removal of Graffiti.

I have, in addition, requested street cleaning throughout St Enoder Parish.

10. Highway matters

I have been in regular contact with the local CORMAC representative on a range of issues.

I understand that Cornwall Council is devising a scheme to combat the ongoing flooding problems at the entrance to Gaverigan Manor Farm.

CORMAC has also removed two of the three grit bins on the approach to Pedna Carne because they had “reached the end of their lives.” I have complained and one of the bins is likely to be replaced so that there will continue to be two bins on the steep approach road.

11. Planning matters: Pines Tip

In my last report, I confirmed that the timetable for the appeal into the refusal of the application for three wind turbines on Pines Tip (Strategic Planning Committee; 10th March 2016) has not yet been published. That is still the case and I am awaiting a meeting with planning officers to consider how the authority will approach the appeal.

12. Remembrance Day

I was also pleased to lay a wreath at the St Enoder War Memorial at the annual Remembrance Day event and I am pleased that the monument is now protected as a Listed Building, thanks to the hard work of the Clerk.

13. Inquiries

During the last month, I have also helped numerous people with advice and guidance, the nature of which has been very varied.

14. Newsletter

I have produced my (six-monthly) newsletter which I am aiming to distribute around the Parish in the next ten days or so. Any help with deliveries would be much appreciated.

15. Nadelik Lowen

And at this time of year, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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