Tuesday, 22 October 2019

My latest monthly report to St Enoder Parish Council



At tonight’s meeting of St Enoder Parish Council, I tabled my most recent monthly report. It covers the time period 23rd September – 20th October 2019. It is as follows:

Listed below are some examples of the activities that I have been involved with over the last month. Please note that I was on holiday between 3rd and 13th October (inclusive).

1.0 Council meetings and related activities

I have attended a number of formal meetings and briefings at Cornwall Council, which were dominated by the Electoral Review Panel. As well as an all-day panel meeting, there were two associated preparatory / review meetings with officers and five public meetings (at Liskeard, St Austell, Tregadilett (for the wider Launceston area), St Issey (for the wider Wadebridge and Padstow area) and Truro). I also had a number of meetings with senior officers about highway improvements near Indian Queens School. Other meetings included a preparatory session for the Environment Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee about an upcoming inquiry into private sector housing and the Cornish National Minority Working Group. As the leader of the Mebyon Kernow group on the authority, I had separate meetings with the Council’s Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer about the authority’s future priorities.

There have also been informal meetings with a range of officers at the unitary authority and I have attended a meeting of St Enoder Parish Council.

Further information about some of these meetings is included later in this update report.

2.0 Other meetings and local activities


During the last month, I also attended two meetings of ClayTAWC (Clay Area Training and Work Centre) (chairman) and a single meeting of the St Austell Bay Economic Forum (board member).

3. Road safety, traffic and related issues

3.1 Indian Queens School

3.1.1 New pathway to School from Harvenna Heights estate


As reported previously, I managed to get agreement in principle that a new pathway is to be constructed across the field to the west of the School. It is planned that a large proportion of the field will be fenced off for use by the School. A new path will then be created on the exterior of the fence, allowing a new pedestrian route between the School and the Harvenna Heights estate. The Parish Council will be responsible for the maintenance of the path and remainder of the field.

Progress is being made. I was presented with a draft plan for the fenced area and a proposed alignment of the new path on 27th September. It was agreed that some tweaks would be made. I also met with the headteacher of Indian Queens School on 30th September and I have personally been in contact with the Chief Executive of Ocean Housing about how the new path would link into the Harvenna Heights estate. A site meeting is likely to be held soon with staff from Ocean Housing.

3.1.2 School Travel Plan

Again, as noted previously, I was successful in getting commitments contained within the School’s Travel Plan included within Cornwall Council’s Road Casualty Reduction Strategy. This document was formally published last week.

Leading on from this, I am putting pressure on the unitary authority to deliver some form of road crossing on both Chapel Road and St Francis Road (as noted in the Travel Plan) and an advisory 20mph speed limit on the part of Chapel Road by the Drang.

In order to make sure that this issue is taken seriously, I have raised it at meetings with Chief Executive and the Corporate Director for Neighbourhoods. It has also been discussed on the telephone with the Strategic Director for Economic Growth and Development. I can confirm that a brief has been preparing for council officers to look into what could be provided.

3.2 Summercourt School

My priority for the St Enoder Parish element of the highway monies available through the China Clay Area Community remains improvements outside Summercourt School. Discussions about options are ongoing and I hope to soon be a position to meet with the School itself and the Aspire Academy to discuss the options.

3.3 Double yellow lines along St Francis Road, Indian Queens and St Columb Road


I had received a promise that the lines on St Francis Road would be redone when the lines in the (recently resurfaced) Drang and Suncrest Estate were repainted. This did not happen, but I have been reassured that the repainting will take place in the near-future.

3.4 Patching of Carworgie Way and Halloon Avenue, St Columb Road

CORMAC are timetabled to carry out patching in the most heavily worn sections of Carworgie Way and Halloon Avenue during this coming week (21st – 23rd October).

3.5 St Austell St, Summercourt

It has also been confirmed that CORMAC will be investigating problems with road drains and flooding. These works are presently timetabled for between 18th and 22nd November; and will take place during night-time hours when the road will be closed

4.0 Water problems on Parka Road, Fraddon


I am very pleased to have an update on the problems caused by breaks in the water main in Parka Road, Fraddon. The Parish Clerk and I have been making representations to South West Water.

We have received an email update that “the main water supply pipe in Parka Road has been selected for funding 2019 – 2020, where we will be replacing the pipe.” They added they are waiting on their contractors, Kier, for a start date.

This appears to be very positive news as South West Water had previously stated that they would be progressing this main for capital funding in the next financial year 2020–21.

We will let everyone know when we a start date for the works, and we have also requested further information about the extent of the piping that will be replaced.

5.0 Planning matters

5.1 Two bungalows to rear of Harvenna Close, Fraddon


As noted previously, due to the considerable opposition to the proposals for new properties in the gardens of two properties on Harvenna Close (PA19/03258 and PA19/03266), but which would exit onto Grovewood Court, I have referred the decision to a meeting of the Central Sub-Area Planning Committee. The meeting is likely to take place on 25th November.

5.2 Indian Queens Industrial Estate

There is also been considerable opposition to a proposal to create a new access into Unit 2 of Indian Queens Industrial Estate for an area of additional car parking (PA19/05975). I have challenged the basis for the proposal as the original planning permission (93/06/00192) included a condition (no 7) that "there shall be no direct vehicular access or pedestrian access from the A30 trunk road." This is a specific reference to Moorland Road as the bypass for the village had not been completed at that time.

The case officer has contacted the applicants to suggest that they access the parking area from the Lodge Way road, but they were not willing to modify the application. Highways have also declined to raise an objection to the proposal.

The case officer has indicated that he will be looking to approve the application and I have therefore formally requested that it also be referred to the Central Planning Committee.

6.0 Tree preservation order in Fraddon

It is great news that Cornwall Council has confirmed the Tree Preservation Order (TPO) for the trees on the right-hand side of the road leading up to Higher Fraddon. This means that the TPO is permanent.

Many people may recall that, earlier this year, a developer wished to remove all the trees and build 14 houses up the road, but this was opposed by local residents and the Parish Council. Cornwall Council also told the developers that it could not support such a development. Well done to Charlotte Cowburn for all her hard work on making the TPO a reality.

7.0 Anti-social behaviour and vandalism

I have continued to receive reports of anti-social behaviour and vandalism around the Fraddon, Indian Queens and St Columb Road area, and I am continuing to liaise with the local policing team.

8.0 Electoral Review Panel


As noted above, a lot of my time has been taken up by the Community Governance Review, which has given parish councils and other stakeholders the opportunity to seek changes to parish boundaries.

9.0 Cornish National Minority Working Group


At the last meeting of the working group on 15th October, I was elected as the new Chairman of the group.

10.0 WW1 book

It has been almost a year since our book “Trusting Fully Trusting” (about the servicemen of Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt who lost their lives in the First World War) was published. We still have quite a few copies and it is probably time that we discussed how we might be able to distribute it to other outlets.

11.0 Inquiries

During the last two months, I have helped numerous people with guidance on a range of issues.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Levant mining disaster


Today marks the 100th anniversary of the mining disaster at Levant, which I have covered in my article in the most recent edition of the Cornish Guardian. It is as follows:

Cornwall has a very proud mining history, which goes back all the way to the Early Bronze Age (over 4,000 years ago) and still continues with the extraction of china clay in Clay Country.

The physical evidence of this historic industry – the engine houses, shafts, spoil heaps, sky-tips, pan-kilns, miners’ cottages and more – can be seen in and around so many of our communities. Such is the international significance of the remains of historic deep-rock mining, that ten distinct landscapes across Cornwall are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, “placing Cornish mining heritage on a par with international treasures like Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China.”

There are regular reports about possible new mining enterprises, such as the potential for lithium and other minerals, which would obviously be great for the local economy.

Unlike today, mining activities were the economic bedrock for so many places over the last two or three centuries. Taking my own community as an example, in the early twentieth century, half of local men worked in the clay pits and this underpinned the identity of their very being.

But Cornish mining cannot be viewed simply through a prism of nostalgia and the iconography of derelict mine buildings on our picturesque coast. Life was centred around hard physical and sometimes dangerous work. In some research that I have done, I came across numerous examples of miners who lost their lives in work accidents or bore serious injuries. Many others struggled because of occupational diseases.

At this time, it is important that we mark the centenary of the terrible disaster which occurred at the Levant Mine, near Pendeen and St Just, on 20th October 1919. The “man engine,” a steam-driven system comprising a long rod and attached platforms for transporting men up and down a shaft, collapsed as dozens and dozens of miners were being brought to surface after a day’s work.

A total of 31 men were killed and most left widows behind, along with over eighty children between them.

The contemporary report in the Cornishman and Cornish Telegraph newspaper was particularly powerful:

“The tragedy was the work of an instance. Something snapped – perhaps an iron cap or bolt – and what has been described as a living pillar of men, dropped down the man engine shaft, crushing many to death, mangling more with debris of breaking wood and metal – the beam of the man engine, the ladder ways in the side of the main shaft, and the platforms cut in the side of the shaft.”

Saturday, 12 October 2019

A reconstruction fund?


I recently attended the Annual Conference of one of Mebyon Kernow’s sister parties, Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales.

At a time when UK politics is in a state of chaos, it was refreshing to be among political activists whose focus is not the pantomime at Westminster, but securing a better deal for Wales.

Plaid’s inspirational leader was certainly on great form. The event took place in Swansea and, at the start of his speech, Adam Price had quite a lot to say about the great industrial traditions in and around Wales’ second largest city.

He reminded delegates how Swansea was historically known as Copperopolis, because of the dominance of the local copper industry from the 18th century onwards. From my perspective, it is worth noting that the fortunes of the city were very much linked to Cornwall in the past. Much of the copper ore transported to Wales for smelting came from west of the Tamar and the first copper works in Swansea were established in 1720 by Dr Lane and Mr Pollard, who had owned copper mines in Cornwall.

Adam did name-check Cornishman Richard Trevithick who in 1804 built a locomotive for the nearby Penydarren Ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil, of which a replica is on display at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea.

Obviously, most of what Adam Price had to say was about the future and many people will recognise his analysis that government from a distant Westminster has failed places such as Wales.

In a very thought-provoking intervention, he called for a Welsh Reconstruction Fund. Describing his homeland as a “resource-rich country,” he argued that the decades-long and disproportionate focus on London and South East England had caused much poverty in Wales, which has blighted thousands and thousands of lives.

He also hit out at how the UK’s centralised system of governance had denied his countrymen “the tools – the levers and pulleys” to combat the failings of the present political system.

There are some pretty obvious parallels with Cornwall, as we too continue to push for fair funding and seek the higher level of investment in our public services that is so desperately needed, as well as greater democratic control in our politics.

The Plaid Cymru leader made it clear that he was not seeking charity, but wanted payback for the “failures and under-investment of the past.”

I wonder if any Cornish MPs will have the courage to make similar demands for the UK Government to prioritise the needs of Cornwall.

[This is my article in the most recent edition of the Cornish Guardian. The above photograph pictures me with Ceredigion MP Ben Lake, who will be speaking at MK’s Conference in Truro on 16th November].

Saturday, 28 September 2019

The St Enoder War Memorial - 100 years on


This month marks the centenary of the unveiling of the war memorial in my home parish of St Enoder, which took place on 20th September 1919.

Erected to remember the men of Fraddon, Summercourt and surrounding areas who lost their lives in the First World War, the monument was built by E. J. Roberts, a well-known stonemason from St Columb Road. Comprising a cross on a large base, it is ten feet and one inch in height and weighs over three tons, while newspaper articles from the time state that it cost £125.

As with many communities, all the money for the war memorial was raised by local residents. Quite a number of people were engaged with the fundraising and envelopes were delivered to every house for voluntary contributions.

The unveiling itself began with a memorial service in St Enoder Church, which was officiated by Canon William Horsburgh. Muffled peals were rung on the bells before and after the service by the St Enoder ringers. I believe that my great-grandfather Dick Cole, who had served with the Royal Engineers, was almost certainly one of the bellringers.

While Handel’s “Dead March” from “Saul” was being played by the organist Miss Flamank, a procession left the church. It was headed by the churchwardens (Mr R. H. Flamank and Mr J. Chapman) and included the members of the Parish Council and the War Memorial Committee, along with the choir, children and members of the general public.

In the churchyard, the unveiling ceremony was performed by Dorothy Carus-Wilson, whose husband Lieutenant-Colonel Trevor Carus-Wilson DSO TD has been killed in 1918. A prominent local landowner, he had been the commanding officer of the 1st/5th Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.

Rev Horsburgh dedicated the memorial and it is known that relatives, children and friends then placed flowers on the memorial. The Last Post was sounded by Albert Victor Menear, a prominent bandsman who had joined the Royal Engineers with my great-grandfather. Albert’s brother Clare also lost his life in the war and is remembered on the war memorial in St Columb.

Owing to what was described as “inclement weather,” the procession returned to the church. Further addresses were then made as part of a united religious service by Canon Horsburgh, the chairman of the Parish Council Mr A. Goodman, Rev F. Tresize from the United Methodists and Dyer Trevarton from the local Wesleyans.

Interestingly, 100 years on, it is Dyer’s grandson Graham who plays the Last Post on Remembrance Sundays at St Enoder Churchtown.

[This is my article in this coming week's Cornish Guardian].

More government action needed on climate change

It was truly awe-inspiring to see the millions and millions of people, from nearly 200 different countries around the world, coming together on 20th September to join protests demanding meaningful action to combat climate change.

Having grown out of the international movement known as Youth Strike 4 Climate, created by the redoubtable sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg, it is heartening to see so many children and young people actually leading the demonstrations.

It was therefore particularly disappointing that the Government’s Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, felt he had to criticise the young people for “bunking off” and also condemn the organisers of the various events for being “irresponsible” in this regard.

Such comments are pretty laughable coming from an MP who. at the time, was himself bunking off because his Conservative Prime Minister had suspended Parliament. I totally disagree with the sentiments of Gavin Williamson. It is my view that this fledgling “climate strike” movement represents a refreshing alternative to the chaos surrounding the Westminster political bubble at the present time.

It gives me great hope for the future and everyone associated with the protests – both in Cornwall and much further afield – should be congratulated for their wonderful efforts.

It is a reality that the danger of climate change is the defining issue of the 21st century and the evidence of the threats facing the planet and humanity is stark – rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, deforestation in the Amazon, rising sea levels, worsening air pollution, plastic pollution and more.

The protests took place in advance of an important United Nations summit in New York, where global leaders were due to consider more extremely worrying evidence pulled together by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The WMO’s climate statement details “unprecedented levels of warming seen in recent years“ and states that the “five-year period from 2014 to 2019 is the warmest on record” and “sea-level rise has accelerated significantly over the same period, as CO2 emissions have hit new highs.” Unsurprisingly, it calls for “carbon-cutting efforts” to be “intensified immediately.”

This all shows that climate campaigners – both young and old – are right to put pressure on governments to take a lead and what the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, had to say in advance of the summit was spot-on. "I told leaders not to come with fancy speeches, but with concrete commitments. People want solutions, commitments and action.”

[This is my article in the latest edition of the Cornish Guardian].

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

My latest report to St Enoder Parish Council


At tonight’s meeting of St Enoder Parish Council, I presented my most recent update report. I covers the period 22nd July – 22nd September.

It is as follows:

1. Council meetings and related activities

I have attended a number of formal meetings and briefings at Cornwall Council.

These included Full Council and an associated briefing, Environment Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee and an associated meeting about an upcoming inquiry into private sector housing, Electoral Review Panel plus four associated meetings with officers and four public meetings, Central Planning Committee, Positive Parking Panel, three meetings with council officers about traffic issues at Indian Queens School and suggested improvements, China Clay Area Network, two meetings with councillors from the China Clay Area – one of which focussed on a “place-shaping” strategy for the five parishes of the Chinas Clay Area, briefings on the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, Group Leaders’ meeting and a meeting with the Council chairman Hilary Frank about council priorities and processes.

There have also been informal meetings with a range of officers at the unitary authority and I have attended three meetings of St Enoder Parish Council.

Further information about some of these meetings are included later in this update report.

2. Other meetings and local activities

During the last month, I attended meetings of the Local Action Group for South and East Cornwall and was pleased to take part in Indian Queens Carnival. As a trustee of Indian Queens Pit, I was also delighted that the annual John Cowling concert at the venue was attended by over 400 people.

3. Extension to Indian Queens Cemetery

I am particularly pleased to be able to confirm that the planning application, submitted by the Parish Council Clerk and I, for the land to the rear of Indian Queens Cemetery to be an extension for the burial area, has been successful. The Clerk and I have already met a surveyor on site to start planning out how it will look.

4. Planning matters

4.1 St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan


The statutory consultation for the St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan ended on 1st August. A planning inspector has commenced his examination of the document and, on behalf of the Parish Council, I have worked with Cornwall Council to clarify some points of detail for him.

4.2 Pig farm at Higher Fraddon

The existing planning permission for the pig farm specifies that two existing pig buildings (nos 4 and 5) on the farm should be retrofitted with biofilters, and that this work needs to be undertaken in advance of the construction of the two further consented buildings.

A planning application was submitted last year (PA18/00336) which sought to modify a condition not to retrofit the buildings, though this has not yet been decided as council officers have been trying to assess whether they think that the smells from the site merit forcing the owners to install the biofilters.

I met with a group of local residents on 8th August to keep them informed about ongoing discussions and many of these residents attended a meeting of the Parish Council on 13th August, when they restated their view that the biofilters should be installed. This position was also reaffirmed by the Parish Council.

4.3 Carvynick Holiday Park

I have previously reported that a planning inspector had granted outline planning permission for 38 residential units and an office/leisure building (PA18/04360) at Carvynick, with matters of “access, layout and scale, appearance and landscaping” reserved. This means that a further application will need to be submitted to set out the detail of what is developed.

The site owners, Kingsley Developers, submitted a further application (PA19/05348) to amend condition 2 of the consent to allow for a “phased development.” It would be fair to say that there has been some uncertainty about the implications of such a change, but I understand that this request has now been withdrawn by the applicants.

4.4 Two bungalows to rear of Harvenna Close, Fraddon

There has also been considerable opposition to the proposals for new properties in the gardens of two properties on Harvenna Close (PA19/03258 and PA19/03266), but which would exit onto Grovewood Court. I have referred the decision to a meeting of the Central Sub-Area Planning Committee, and it was initially thought that it would be considered on 30th September. However, due to the nature of some of the objections, the applicants have been asked to provide some further information and a decision will therefore be taken at a future meeting of the Sub-Area Planning Committee.

4.5 Indian Queens Industrial Estate

There has also been considerable opposition to a proposal to create a new access into Unit 2 of Indian Queens Industrial Estate for an area of additional car parking (PA19/05975). It would exit onto Moorland Road and a number of local residents attended the meeting of the Parish Council on 13th August to raise their concerns. It is noteworthy that the original planning permission includes a condition that vehicular access to the various employment units should be through the Lodge Way road, which was specifically built to serve the industrial estate.

I have spoken to the planning officer and he has gone back to the owners of Unit 2 and suggested that they find a way to serve the area of additional car parking from Lodge Way as originally intended.

5. Road safety, traffic and related issues

5.1 Indian Queens School

5.1.1 New pathway to School from Harvenna Heights estate


As reported previously, I managed to get agreement in principle that a new pathway is to be constructed across the field to the west of the School. It is planned that a large proportion of the field will be fenced off for use by the School. A new path will then be created on the exterior of the fence, allowing a new pedestrian route between the School and the Harvenna Heights estate.

I have had meetings with officers to discuss the new pathway on 1st and 19th August, and I can confirm that a surveyor is presently working out exactly where the fence should be located. I am also liaising with the School on this, and as soon as the fence line is known we will be able to finalise costings for the pathway and how it is delivered.

5.1.2 School Travel Plan

In addition to the new path noted above, I am continuing to put pressure of the unitary authority to carry out commitments contained within the School’s Travel Plan, which I recently managed to also get included within the Council’s Road Casualty Reduction Strategy.

In addition to a meeting on 19th August, I have also had informal meetings with a couple of senior officers and councillors. At this time, I am pushing for the Council to deliver some form of road crossing on both Chapel Road and St Francis Road (as noted in the Travel Plan), to make the routes to school much safer. I am also making enquiries about an advisory 20mph speed limit on the part of Chapel Road by the Drang.

As part of this, I requested that Cornwall Council undertook a survey of speed along Chapel Road, near the top of the Drang. This was carried out over a period of 11 days in July and I have now received a copy of the results. These are available on request from me.

I will using this evidence to keep up the pressure for improvements in this area. The speed recordings were taken in both directions and showed the following:

· North-eastbound traffic had a mean speed of 26.3 mph, but 21.4 % of the vehicles were travelling at speeds of between 31 and 40 mph, while 1.1% were recorded doing over 40 mph.

· South-westbound traffic had a mean speed of 29.5 mph, but 44.4 % of the vehicles were travelling at speeds of between 31 and 40 mph, while 4.0% were recorded doing over 40 mph.

5.2 Summercourt School

As noted previously, Cornwall Council has made some monies available to each of its Community Networks in order to carry out highway improvements in the period leading up to 2022. I estimate that there is about £33,000 to be spent in St Enoder Parish.

In addition to a mobile “vehicle activated sign,” one of my priorities is to get a 20 mph speed limit outside Summercourt School. I can confirm that officers have produced a plan for an advisory 20mph speed limit associated with a flashing signs with associated signage that states “School 20mph when lights show.” I am in discussions with the officers about what they have proposed and, now that the Schools are back, I will be seeking a meeting with Summercourt School and the Aspire Academy to discuss the proposal further.

5.3 Re-surfacing of the Drang and Suncrest Estate, Indian Queens

I am pleased to be able to report that the Drang and Suncrest Estate were resurfaced during August.

5.4 Double yellow lines along St Francis Road, Indian Queens and St Columb Road

As I knew that following the resurfacing of the Drang and Suncrest Estate, there would be a need to repaint some lines, I formally requested that when the lining team was in the parish they should also repaint the faded lines along the whole of St Francis Road. This was agreed.

The Drang has been finished, along with a small part of St Francis Road, but not the whole area as promised. I am presently chasing up when these works will be completed.

5.5 Patching of Carworgie Way and Halloon Avenue, St Columb Road

I can also report that CORMAC are timetabled to carry out patching in Carworgie Way and Halloon Avenue during October. I will let people know when I have a definite date for the works.

5.6 Kingsley Village

Some residents at a recent Parish Council expressed concern about the potential impact of traffic visiting the Kingsley Village complex on the local road network. At my request, a traffic survey was carried out in advance of the opening of the new units. I have yet to receive the results but have been told it should be with me within a matter of a few weeks.

5.7 Other highway matters

The white “teeth” on the approach to Toldish on the old A30 have been repainted and it has been confirmed that the small grilled road gully outside of the Summercourt Memorial Hall will be repaied in mid October.

A number of residents have raised concerns about continuing flooding on the A3058 (St Austell St) towards Summercourt and issues with road drains. CORMAC have confirmed that they will be undertaking maintenance of the infrastructure along this road in the near future.

6. Anti-social behaviour and vandalism

Many parishioners have raised concerns about the increased level of anti-social behaviour and vandalism around the Fraddon, Indian Queens and St Columb Road area.

I can confirm that I am in regular contact with the local policing team and I know that these problems are being prioritised. As well as the team based in St Columb, some officers from Newquay have also been out in recent weeks, and I know they have been following up numerous inquiries.

I share the frustrations of local residents, not least because Indian Queens Pit was damaged in late August and a fellow trustee of the pit, Malcolm Williams, and I had to repair a section of wall which had been partly pulled down.

I would add that it is important that all incidents are reported to the local policing team. If anything has happened which has not yet been reported to them, please let me know (place, time, etc) and I will feed it through to the authorities.

7. Water problems on Parka Road, Fraddon

Throughout the summer, there have been a number of breaks in the water main in Parka Road, Fraddon.

It has caused significant problems in the local area, both in terms of water supply and traffic congestion.

A number of residents have made representations to South West Water (SWW), along with the Parish Council and the local MP. I have liaised with CORMAC and they received the following update at the end of August:

“South West Water have advised that the water main has been identified for capital improvement. The recent series of bursts and associated reinstatement costs have only strengthened the case for its replacement. South West Water will be progressing this main for capital funding in the next financial year 2020–21. Funding for the present year has already been allocated.”

Other people have had a less positive response and I will be continuing to make representations to make sure that the works are undertaken as soon as possible.

8. A strategy for the China Clay Area

On 4th September, the six councillors from the China Clay Area met with a senior officer from the Localism team to look in detail at the working draft of our emerging “place-shaping” strategy and action plan for the five parishes of Clay Country. A significant amount of work was done and, as a consequence, the draft document is going through a considerable edit before it is presented to the China Clay Area Network for further discussion.

9. New waste collection contract?


At the Full Council meeting on 10th September, Cornwall Council agreed over £60 million in capital expenditure for new vehicles and wheelie bins, related to the new waste collection contract that is due to commence in April 2020. I did not support the uplift in the capital budget and queried aspects of the overall financial information relating the Council’s wider budget including waste disposal (ie. the incinerator).

It has since transpired that the two bidders for the contract have come in significantly over the anticipated budget and there appears some doubt about how the costs could reduced to provide better value for the local council tax payer. A number of councillors are querying why the Council doesn’t do the waste collection itself.

10. Fraddon Millennium Green

As the secretary of the Fraddon Millennium Green Trust, I am pleased to be able to report that we have contractors in the Green cutting back on overgrown hedges and starting to give the place a good tidy-up.

11. Electoral Review Panel

11.1 Community Governance Review


In recent weeks, a lot of my time has been taken up by the Community Governance Review, which has given parish councils and other stakeholders the opportunity to seek changes to parish boundaries.

A large number of requests have been received and these are being reviewed at the moment. Some town councils are seeking to expand into rural areas while in other areas some smaller communities are trying to break away from existing parishes. There are also many smaller proposed changes.

We are midway through a series of public meetings, which I have attended in my role as Vice-chairman of the committee. So far, these have taken place at Bude, Penzance, Falmouth and Crantock (for the wider Newquay area).

11.2 Impact on St Enoder Parish

I can also confirm that Newlyn East Parish Council has made a submission to include some land near Mitchell (presently in St Enoder Parish) to be shifted to their parish. They would like to take over the development site of 26 affordable properties (Coastline Housing) adjacent to Mitchell, most of the fruit farm and an associated dwelling, the old school house, and two-and-a-half fields associated with Nantillio Farm (which includes the playing field used by Mitchell residents and the Nantillio Farm bungalow).

St Enoder Parish Council has objected to the change and the Parish Clerk attended the Crantock meeting to set out the views of local councillors.

12. WW1 book

Following the announcement that our book “Trusting Fully Trusting” (about the servicemen of Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt who lost their lives in the First World War) won the cup for best non-fiction Cornish book published in 2018 at Gorsedh Kernow’s Holyer an Gof Publishers’ Awards, I spoke at the organisation’s Literary Festival on 5th September. I was really pleased with how the discussion went and how warmly people spoke about the book.

I had previously also given an illustrated talk to a friends group at St Dennis (13th August), which also went well.

13. Cricket

It has not all been work and I participated in the annual councillors versus officers cricket game. I had to leave early to attend a Parish Council meeting, but did enjoy taking part. My innings was, as usual, quite short but I did manage to hit one six! The councillors won for the fourth year in a row.

14. Inquiries

During the last two months, I have helped numerous people with guidance on a range of issues including planning matters, environmental concerns, educational matters and more.

Friday, 20 September 2019

The White Gold festival and bricks



On 21st September, St Austell will be hosting its annual White Gold Festival. It is an event which goes from strength to strength and seeks to celebrate the importance of china clay to St Austell and the parishes of Clay Country.

There is much planned for the day which includes talks and workshop demonstrations from potters, some displays and a craft fair, as well as music and dance. So why not come along to the town, this Saturday between 10am and 4pm, and take part in what looks to be a wonderful “Festival of Clay.” Full details about the 2019 programme can be found at www.whitegold.org.uk.

I am particularly pleased to support the associated Brickfield project, through which artists Rosanna Martin and Georgia Gendall are looking to revive the art of brick-making in the locality. They have already held a number of workshops, and there is a further “drop in” brick-making session at Blackpool Pit, near Trewoon, between 2pm and 5pm on Saturday.

For me, it is particularly important that we should remember how our area had a strong brick-making tradition and how the industry thrived through much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Indeed, in my home parish of St Enoder, I know that there were at least five brickworks – at Burthy, Chytane, Gaverigan, St Columb Road and Wheal Remfry.

It is even part of my family heritage. In the 1880s, my great-great grandfather John Cole was the superintendent of Chytane Brickworks, near Fraddon, which produced bricks, tiles and coping stones. It is great for me to know that some of these coping stones can still be seen on the walls around St Enoder Cemetery, each complete with a “Chytane” stamp showing their point of origin (see above)..

Also, at St Columb Road, the brickworks was located to the south of the railway station. It does not survive but the partial remains of the associated linear pit, which supplied the enterprise with clay, can still be seen within the Parish Council’s nearby allotment field.

Wheal Remfry was the last working brickworks in Cornwall, which closed in 1972. A neighbour of mine, John Osborne, was the last man to fire the beehive kiln on the site and I am very pleased to see that he is assisting the Brickfield project with his knowledge and experience.

All the bricks made as part of this initiative will be fired in clamp kiln at Blackpool Pit between 6pm and 9pm on Saturday, and I understand there will even be jacket potatoes and beans to enjoy.

[This is my article in this week's Cornish Guardian].

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Kernow FA and the Chagossians


My article in this week’s Cornish Guardian focuses on the recent football match between the Kernow FA and the Chagos Islands, and provides information about the wrongs done to the Chagossians by the British state. It is as follows:

On Sunday 25th August, I attended a football match for the first time in my life and I really enjoyed watching the Kernow Football Alliance take on a team made up of Chagos Islanders.

I think it is fantastic that the Kernow FA has been founded and accepted into CONIFA (the Confederation of Independent Football Associations), which is the “football federation for all associations outside FIFA” and supports more than 55 “teams from nations, de-facto nations, regions, minority peoples and sports isolated territories.”

As someone who is involved in numerous campaigns for greater Cornish recognition, I would like to congratulate everyone involved with this wonderful initiative to ensure there is a Cornwall team playing on the international stage.

I would also like to praise the actions of the Kernow FA organising committee for being so supportive of the Chagos Islanders, which included holding a press conference to help publicise their plight when they were in Cornwall.

It is a truly shocking story. Between 1967 and 1973 the UK Government forcibly evicted the Chagossians from the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, so that they could lease the largest of the islands (Diego Garcia) to the United States for use as a military base.

The expulsion of this community has been condemned many times as one of the most shameful episodes in British post-war history and the consequences of the exile has been very severe on the Chagossians, many of whom live in exile in Mauritius and the United Kingdom.

Campaigners have brought a range of legal challenges against the UK Government and the islanders won a historic victory in the High Court in 2000. This ruled the actions of the UK Government to be illegal and Tony Blair was in a position to end the injustice. But, in 2004, he instead invoked an obscure royal prerogative to ban the islanders from ever returning to Diego Garcia and the surrounding islands.

The UK Government appealed a more recent High Court ruling and, in recent years, has even had the brass neck to argue that it is not feasible for the Chagossians to return home, because their existence would be “precarious” and “prone to the impacts of climate change.” Strangely, they have raised no concerns about the 4,000 US servicemen and contractors, presently living on Diego Garcia.

It is shameful that the UK Government continues to hide behind legalese, and dubious and very mean-spirited arguments to stand against people who they have so terribly wronged. It is time that the Government did what is right and that is to allow the Chagossians to return home, and to help them to rebuild their communities.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Fair funding


My article in this week’s Cornish Guardian looks at capital investment into Cornwall and explains my support for Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards’ bid for a new “Office for Fair Funding.” It is as follows:

The recent announcement of a £100 million of capital investment in a new Women’s and Children’s unit at the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske is fantastic news for Cornwall. It will be good to see the Princess Alexandra Maternity wing replaced, as it known to have a short life-span because of serious structural problems.

Though the promised injection of cash has been widely welcomed, it has also led to some robust debate with plenty of cynicism from non-Conservative politicians.

One would-be MP has pointed out that it is “scandalous” that it has taken so long to allocate the funding for the replacement plans “drawn up years ago.” Others have challenged the timing of the announcement “by a Prime Minister with one eye firmly fixed on a General Election” and described the investment as a “drop in the ocean” after the Government has “starved the NHS of money.” There have also been challenges as to where the funding is actually coming from, with the obligatory comments about “magic money trees.”

As a local councillor, I share the concern at the harm caused by austerity and know that the UK Government needs to do so much more to repair the damage caused by a decade of cuts and under-investment in our public services.
But at this time I would prefer to be positive and to challenge central government and Cornwall’s MPs to demonstrate that this latest announcement does indeed represent a massive shift in policy and means Cornwall – and other parts of the UK far from London and the South East – will be a greater priority in the future.

One immediate action that the UK Government and Cornish MPs could take would be to support the proposed legislation from Welsh MP Jonathan Edwards for a new “Office for Fair Funding.”

The Plaid Cymru MP has, quite colourfully, pointed out how “London and the South East of England continues to act as a black hole, sucking in talent and investment from the rest of the UK.” He has added that regional inequalities have so “disfigured the UK economy” that “we no longer really have a ‘UK economy’ in any meaningful sense - there is the South East of England and then the rest.”

Jonathan’s bill would be a first step in addressing such regional imbalances and at its core there “would be a statutory obligation to deliver geographic wealth convergence.” Put bluntly, the Prime Minister and MPs would be “legally bound to deliver a fairer economic balance between the nations and regions of the UK.” And that could only be good news for Cornwall.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

100 years of council housing ...


One hundred years ago, on 31st July 1919, the Westminster Parliament passed the Housing Act (1919). It was momentous legislation that amended the earlier Housing of the Working Classes Act (1890) and brought forward ambitious plans for the provision of council housing with low rents.

The Housing Act had its legislative roots in the Tudor Walters Committee report of 1917 and is known as the Addison Act after the Health and Housing minister, Christopher Addison. It is also linked to the pledge from the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, that he would deliver “habitations fit for the heroes” who had served in the First World War, though his words are more generally remembered as “homes fit for heroes.”

According to the UK Government, the Act “made housing a national responsibility, and local authorities were given the task of developing new housing and rented accommodation where it was needed by working people.” It promised significant subsidies from central government towards the construction of half a million houses within three years and, though subsequent economic problems meant that the funding had to be reduced, a total of 213,000 homes were completed through the provisions of the Act.

The Tudor Walters report specified that new housing should not be tiny terraced units squeezed onto very small plots, but “generously proportioned” houses with good-sized gardens.

The new rental properties provided by St Columb Rural Council in my local area in the early 1920s were certainly as foreseen by MPs. These included Barnfield Terrace in Indian Queens, as shown in the above photograph, Beaconside in Summercourt and Westbourne Terrace in Penhale – where my own father was born about ten years later. 

Another Housing Act followed in 1924 which allotted further funding to local councils, while additional legislation in 1930 lead to the clearance of a large number of slums. Figures show that “inter-war Housing Acts” helped local councils to build 1.1 million new homes.

Strategically, this new approach placed public sector housing at the very heart of government policy and this lasted for more than six decades.

Sadly, this all changed with the sell-off of council housing, which was commenced by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government of the 1980s and, I believe, this is one of the reasons why we have such a dysfunctional housing market in the UK today.

[This will be my article in this week's Cornish Guardian].

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

My latest monthly report to St Enoder Parish Council


At tonight’s meeting of St Enoder Parish Council, I tabled my most recent monhly report. It covers the time period of 24th June to 19th July 2019. It was as follows:

Listed below are some examples of the activities that I have been involved with over the last four weeks.

1. Holyer an Gof book awards

I am very pleased to be able to report our book “Trusting Fully Trusting” (about the servicemen of Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt who lost their lives in the First World War) has won an important award.

Parish Council Chairman Michael Bunyan, my wife Ann and I attended Gorsedh Kernow’s Holyer an Gof Publishers’ Awards at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro on 10th July.

The book won Class 5B (best Cornish book about social, cultural and political history published in 2018), but also went on to win the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies Holyer an Gof Cup (for best non-fiction Cornish book published in 2018).

I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone associated with the book awards and their positive view of our publication, which was compiled with the support of the wider community and St Enoder Parish Council.

2. Council meetings and related activities

I have attended a number of formal meetings, briefings and training sessions at Cornwall Council, which include Full Council, the Environment Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee (and workshop), planning training (on a future approach to long-term policy preparation), two meetings with planning officers about the planning situation at Carvynick (of which the second was also attended by the owners), a briefing on the work programme of the Electoral Review Panel, and a meeting of the National Minority Working Group.

There have also been informal meetings with a range of officers at the unitary authority and I have attended two meetings of St Enoder Parish Council.

In addition, I was heavily involved with the first UK National Minority Summit, organised by Cornwall Council, which took place at Falmouth University on 5th July. As well as being at the event, I attended two preparatory sessions and a “working lunch” with a Government Minister and council staff.

Further information about some of these meetings are included later in this monthly report.

3. Other meetings

During the last month, I attended meetings of Indian Queens Pit (trustee) and the “Community Led Local Development” Local Action Group for South and East Cornwall (vice-chairman).

4. Planning matters

4.1 St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan


The statutory consultation on the St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan will end on 1st August. On behalf of the Parish Council, I have been liaising with the relevant officers at the unitary authority and an inspector will soon be appointed to formally review the document.

4.2 Carvynick Holiday Park

In my last monthly report, I outlined how a planning inspector had granted outline planning permission for 38 residential units at Carvynick and an office/leisure building. The matters of “access, layout and scale, appearance and landscaping” were reserved and further applications will need to be submitted to set out the detail of what is developed.

I met with planning officers on 24th June to discuss what the inspector had agreed and a further meeting was held with planning officers and the owners of the site (Kingsley Developers (SW) Ltd) on 19th July. At the second meeting, the owners of the site repeated criticism of the St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan that they had made at previous meetings of the Parish Council and made a range of comments about how they might develop the site. There was reference to both tourism and residential development, and it would be fair to say that I am unclear about the full nature of their plans and will be seeking further clarification in the coming weeks.

5. Road safety issues and traffic issues

5.1 Indian Queens School


Last month, I was successful in ensuring that the content of the School Travel Plan was included in the Action Plan associated with the Road Casualty Reduction Strategy.

A further meeting was held at the School on 3rd July. It covered a range of issues, but a key focus was on how a large proportion of the field next to the School could be landscaped and fenced off for use by the children, and a path created between the School and the Harvenna Heights estate, thereby creating an additional pedestrian route to the School.

It was noted that the Parish Council had previously stated it would welcome the remainder of the field being devolved into its care. I confirmed this was still the case and I have since met with a senior officer at the unitary authority. We are looking at how the construction of the new path could be funded from a capital pot relating to the devolution of assets to parish councils, in advance of the transfer of the land.

There is to be a follow-up meeting within Cornwall Council on 1st August.

5.2 Re-surfacing and patching

In recent weeks, Cormac has carried out some patching on rural roads in the southern part of the parish and through Trefullock Moor. I have been informed that they will also be re-surfacing The Drang and the Suncrest Estate between 8th and 13th August.

5.3 Double yellow lines

I am continuing to push for faded double yellow lines to be repainted. It is a particular problem along parts of St Francis Road. I have again been in contact with Cormac and the parking team at Cornwall Council.

I have pointed out that as Cormac will be re-surfacing The Drang and the Suncrest Estate between 8th and 13th August, which will include the refreshing of some lineage near the Victory Hall. I have suggested that it would make sense that other faded lines are redone at the same time and this has been agreed in principle.

6. St Enoder Cemetery

As well as maintaining two open cemeteries, St Enoder Parish Council looks after two closed cemeteries. These are the churchyard at St Enoder (which the Parish Council agreed to maintain only a couple of months ago) and the adjacent old cemetery which contains the war memorial.

I am pleased at how the Parish Council is working hard to improve the old cemetery and has decided that, in the coming months, it will re-erect a number of fallen headstones. On 4th July, I was pleased to assist the Parish handyman Nigel Trebell to remove the remains of some tree stumps from the areas where works will be taking place.

7. UK National Minority Summit

I have been a member of councillor and officer team, which organised the first UK National Minority Summit that took place at Falmouth University on 5th July.

I found myself in the fortunate position of being one of three elected members and two council officers who shared a “working lunch” with Government Minister Lord Bourne. He spoke at the Summit and announced £200,000 of funding for Cornish culture and language, but we also used the opportunity to lobby him on a range of issues around the failure of the UK Government to meet its obligations through the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

8. Full Council
In advance of the Full Council meeting on 9th July, there was a demonstration outside the Council offices at which a range of groups and individuals set out concerns about the extent of development that is happening across Cornwall and how it is, conversely, not meeting the needs of local communities.

I spoke with a number of the protesters and intend to continue to raise their concerns at future meetings of the authority.

9. Electoral Review Panel

This Panel will soon be starting work on the Community Governance Review, through which the boundaries of local parishes or internal arrangements of parish councils could be changed. The closing date for submissions was last week and, as vice-chairman of the Panel, I am anticipating there will be a massive amount of work associated with this.

I can also confirm that Newlyn East Parish Council has made a submission to include some land near Mitchell (presently in St Enoder Parish) to be shifted to their parish.

10. Newsletter

In recent weeks I have been out and about delivering my latest six-monthly newsletter around St Enoder Parish and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me with this task.

11. Inquiries

During the last month, I have helped numerous people with guidance on a range of issues.

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My next monthly report will be presented to the 24th September meeting of St Enoder Parish Council.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

SOME THOUGHTS ON PLANNING FOLLOWING RECENT DEMONSTRATION AT COUNTY HALL


At last week’s meeting of the unitary authority, a considerable number of campaigners joined together to protest at the level of housing growth across Cornwall. A number of local groups were also present at the demonstration to raise concerns about specific developments which they consider will have an adverse impact on their local area.

A large number of people continue to be angry at the housing target of 52,500 new housing units, for the period 2010-2030, which is included in the Cornwall Local Plan.

I share many of these concerns and I understand people’s frustrations. Not least, this is because, as a local councillor, I have been on the losing side in many planning battles where, I strongly believe, the wrong decisions were taken.

In terms of local planning policy, I was heavily involved in the production of the Local Plan document and argued for a lower housing target of 38,000-40,000, with a stronger focus on the provision of proper local-needs affordable housing. In addition, I recall arguing for less growth in areas such as Bodmin and Newquay, and I was among the small number of members who opposed the so-called “eco-town” in Clay Country.

But overall, I was pretty unsuccessful in my representations and I would describe the process of agreeing the housing target as a “charade.” So much of the debate was not about what would be right for Cornwall, but what might be acceptable to central government.

The final housing target, submitted to the Government, was 47,500 but even this was deemed inadequate by a government-appointed inspector who, following an “Examination in Public,” pushed up the figure to the 52,500.

The reality is that the top-down National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) does largely dictate how local councils deal with planning matters.

In terms of housing targets, I remember the most recent consultation into revisions to the NPPF when the UK Government stated that they expected housing targets for council areas to be calculated using a top-down “standard method.” They even included an appendix in the document showing that if Cornwall’s housing target was recalculated, using their method, it would go up to 58,000.

In all this “toing and froing,” Cornwall Council has come in for significant criticism and I believe it really does need to be much more robust in challenging the diktats of central government.

It is my strong view that we should be uniting around a strong campaign to ensure that all decisions over planning and housing should be taken here in Cornwall, democratically, through a Cornish NPPF, without interference from Whitehall and their inspectors.

[This will be my article in this coming week's Cornish Guardian].

My thoughts on the recent National Minority Summit


Five years on from the recognition of the Cornish as a national minority, Cornwall Council held the first UK National Minority Summit at Falmouth University on Friday 5th July.

It was a privilege for me to be involved with the organisation of the event and it was great to hear from so many activists from across the Cornish movement. In addition, there were telling contributions from others from further afield such as Professor Tove Malloy (Director of the European Centre for Minority Issues), Cornishman Dr Davyth Hicks (Secretary General of the European Language Equality Network), Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones (University of Wales Trinity St David) and Iain Campbell (University of the Highlands and Islands), plus Montfort Tadier and Ben Spink from Jersey.

Also at the event was Lord Bourne (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) and he used the gathering to announce a one-off payment of £200,000 to support Cornish culture, with three-quarters of the money earmarked for the language.

He spoke about Cornwall’s rich history and distinctive identity, and how “we should support the Cornish language and help it flourish for generations to come.”

I had the opportunity to speak at the summit and, obviously, I welcomed the funding announcement. But I also told the Minister that the UK Government needed to do so much more to meet the wider obligations that it agreed under the Framework Convention. In particular, I reminded him that, in 2014, they had pledged the Cornish would receive a parity of treatment with the other national minorities (Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh) but that this had not transpired as yet.

Lord Bourne knew the challenge was coming as I had the good fortune to share a “working dinner” with him on the night before the summit, along with Cllr Bert Biscoe and Cllr Jesse Foot, Professor Tove Malloy and Dr Davyth Hicks, plus council officers and the Minister’s own staff.

It would be accurate to report that we pressed Lord Bourne on a wide range of issues which also included long-term funding for the Cornish language, greater control over Cornwall’s heritage, better public broadcasting in the Cornish national interest, and a Cornish tick-box on the 2021 census.

He knows that it is our intention to continue to lobby him and others in the UK Government on these and associated matters, and I hope that many people across Cornwall will join us in doing this.

I would like to finish by thanking the council officers who worked so hard to make the summit a success.

[This was my article in last week's Cornish Guardian].

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Big Enough, Rich Enough, Smart Enough


During my recent visit to Scotland – for a week’s holiday – I took the opportunity to read Scottish newspapers and catch snippets of Scottish television. I found the news media to the north of the Tweed to be so very different to the largely London-centred output that we, in Cornwall, have come to accept as the norm.

It was so refreshing to see the news from a national perspective that was not dominated by the South East of England.

There is even one newspaper, launched only in 2014, called The National, which actively campaigns for an independent Scotland. While I was there, it launched another independence campaign titled “Big Enough, Rich Enough, Smart Enough.”

It is a clever initiative. It seeks to reverse the age-old criticism of the push for both devolution and independence, that stated Scotland was “too small and too poor,” while its inhabitants were not clever enough. It is an effort that resonated with me.

As the leader of Mebyon Kernow, I must make it clear that I am not saying that I wish to campaign for an independent Cornwall. I remain 100% committed to securing meaningful devolution for Cornwall within the United Kingdom through a National Assembly.

But the National’s campaign did resonate with me because I can remember the numerous occasions when arguments against greater self-government for Cornwall suggested our nation was also “too small and too poor.” I have also lost count at how many times I have heard people question whether the residents of Cornwall have the where-with-all to govern themselves, and why we need to bring in new people for prominent local jobs as if there is no-one already living in Cornwall who is capable of doing such roles. Remember how David Penhaligon defined an expert as “someone who comes from 150 miles away.”

As the quote from David Penhaligon shows, this has long been a problem and it is just over thirty years since the seminal text “Cornwall at the Crossroads” by Bernard Deacon, Andrew George and Ronald Perry was published.

I believe this book is as relevant now as it was in 1988. It rightly made the case for Cornwall as a special place with a distinct identity, rooted in the strengths of its people and communities, while pointing out how decisions about Cornwall were continuously being based around externally derived assumptions that it was “remote” and “too small” and its people suffered from backwardness.

Looking forward, how about joining me in a “Cornwall is Big Enough, Rich Enough, Smart Enough” campaign?

[This is my article in tomorrow's Cornish Guardian].

It is 50 years since Daphne Du Maurier called for home rule for Cornwall


Much has been written about the life and achievements of the novelist Daphne du Maurier, and it is often noted that the author of Frenchman’s Creek, Jamaica Inn, My Cousin Rachel, Rebecca and Rule Britannia was a member of Mebyon Kernow.

Indeed, it is fifty years since she had an article published in MK’s Cornish Nation magazine, which was titled “Stand On Your Own Two Feet.”

It is a quite interesting piece of writing and very optimistic, believing that “a form of self-government for Cornwall with legislative powers touching local industry, education, health and economy” was possible within ten years.

Very much of its time, it does cover a range of subjects including education – she argued against the closure of small schools – and economic matters, such as the need to support the traditional industries of “fishing, mining, farming.” She set out hopes that Cornwall’s fishing ports would be “able to compete in a big way” and local mining companies should not be outdone by large American companies, while agriculture could help Cornwall be more self-sufficient in terms of food production.

In particular, she had a lot to say about tourism. Bemoaning the impact of “junk-shops” and “trinket-booths” selling mass-produced goods on Cornish quays, du Maurier argued that the “visitor should be encouraged to come to Cornwall because of its historical interest and its present day craftsmanship, not merely because it has beaches that are ideal in fine weather.”

She also called for Cornwall to “have its own Tourist Board” with “all matters relating to tourism … in the hands of this Board, who would not take direction from other similar bodies beyond the Tamar.”

But du Maurier did not just want greater control over tourism and had the following vision for the future:

“The aim must surely be to make Cornwall a really worthwhile place in which to live, and work, and bring up future generations, not harking back too much to the past, but looking forward and planning for the century ahead. Not ‘just another county,’ but a Cornwall where ‘One and All’ means what it says, no divisions, no petty strife, no inter-borough squabbles, no east versus west, a united Cornwall able to run its own affairs with minimum direction from London yet remaining part of the UK and loyal to the Crown.”

[This article was recently published in the Cornish Guardian.]
If anyone would like a free photocopy of the original article, please contact me on dickcole@btinternet.com.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

My latest report to St Enoder Parish Council


At tonight’s meeting of St Enoder Parish Council, I presented my most recent monthly report. It covers the time period of 27th May – 23rd June, though please note I was away on holiday between 15th and 23rd June.

It was as follows:

1. Council meetings and related activities

I have attended a number of formal meetings or briefings at Cornwall Council. These include the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee, China Clay Area Network meeting and the Positive Parking Review Panel. In addition, I attended a number of informal meetings with council officers, senior councillors and others. I also attended a meeting of St Enoder Parish Council.

2. St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan

Following the consultation into the “pre-submission” draft of the Neighbourhood Plan for St Enoder Parish, which ended on 4th March, the document was submitted to Cornwall Council on 7th May in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended).

Cornwall Council is now carrying out a further statutory consultation of residents and other interested stakeholders on the document. This will run for six weeks from 20th June until 1st August.

The document and supporting information can be viewed on the “neighbourhood planning” section of the Cornwall Council website.

3. Planning matters

3.1 Carvynick Holiday Park


On 18th March, planning permission was granted for 38 holiday units at Carvynick and an office/leisure building, with access, layout and scale, appearance and landscaping reserved. A holiday condition, which had my full support, was imposed on the 38 units so that they could not be unfettered residential properties.

A previous application for the same site at Carvynick had been refused by the unitary authority. Kingsley Developers (SW) Ltd appealed this earlier decision to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol, seeking for there to be no “holiday conditions” on the “holiday units.”

The Inspector issued his ruling on 4th June, which I did not agree with. He acknowledged that the proposal did not comply with policy 3 in the Cornwall Local Plan, which supports the “rounding off of settlements and development of previously developed land within or immediately adjoining that settlement of a scale appropriate to its size and role.”

He wrote that: “In terms of the criteria under Policy 3 of the Local Plan it is not within or immediately adjoining the settlement of Summercourt and I am not persuaded that the holiday park forms a settlement in its own right. In these circumstances, the scheme would not fulfil the requirements of Policy 3, in particular in respect of rounding off.”

But he granted permission for open-market housing on the site. After ignoring Policy 3, he referred to the subordinate Policy 21 which supports “sustainably located proposals that use previously developed land.”

The Inspector also made it clear that he was allowing open-market housing at Carvynick. He wrote: “The appellant indicates that the site would be operated by a management agreement such that the dwellings would in any event be occupied as holiday lets. While this may deliver the intended approach to the use of the site, I attribute this matter little weight in my considerations as the effect of a permission, without a condition restricting occupation to holiday accommodation, would be to allow open market housing.”

I must add that as part of the application, the develpoers would be obliged to pay a contribution towards the local education infrastructure and affordable housing.

3.2 Housing applications in Higher Fraddon

In my last monthly report, I reported on the planning application and the two submissions for “pre-application advice” on the right-hand-side of the road leading to Higher Fraddon, which had generated considerable opposition from local residents.

Cornwall Council previously issued pre-application advice for a possible 14 new dwellings (PA19/00791/PREAPP) in the wooded area. It advised against an application, stating that it would be against Policy 4 of the emerging St Enoder Parish Neighbourhood Plan. The same advice has now been issued for the proposed 28 dwellings on the old farmyard site (PA19/00656/PREAPP).

The concluding section stated: “The proposal would be contrary to Policy 4 - Exception Sites and Policy Employment 1 of the emerging NDP and does not appear to have the support of the local community. It is unlikely that should the proposal proceed to formal submission it would be supported.”

The application for a single property in the wooded area (PA18/11316) has been refused. The reason for refusal was as follows:

“The proposed dwelling would result in a negative and harmful impact on the character and appearance of the area by way of eroding the open space and wooded area, which is covered by a Tree Preservation Order, and physically extending the built form of the settlement into the open countryside. The impact on the distinctive character and appearance of the area and loss of woodland and scrub is considered to outweigh any benefits of this proposal and therefore the proposal does not comply with Policies 1, 2, 3, 7, 12, 21, and 23 of the Cornwall Local Plan, and paragraphs 8, 170 and 174 of the NPPF 2019.”

4. Road safety issues and traffic issues

In my last monthly report, I gave a comprehensive update on a range of matters relating to road safety and traffic matters. I have a couple of specific updates:

4.1 Traffic issues at Indian Queens School
I have continued to make representations about getting Cornwall Council to bring forward road safety measures included in the School Travel Plan, which was produced in 2014 as part of the planning application to build extra classrooms at the School.

- Cornwall Road Casualty Reduction Strategy

On 23rd May, I attended a meeting of the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which was considering the content of a new Cornwall Road Casualty Reduction Strategy and associated Action Plan. The Action Plan includes a range of feasibility studies and specific engineering improvements, to deal with road safety matters, to be carried out within the next two years. I made forceful representations at the meeting that the road safety elements in the School Travel Plan for Indian Queens School should be included in the document.

I have had a number of follow-up meetings with officers and I can confirm that I have succeeded in getting this addition made to the Action Plan for the Casualty Reduction Strategy. The exact wording is as follows:

“Indian Queens School - Road safety improvements to be investigated, as set out in the Travel Plan, for potential future delivery.”

Obviously, I will be continuing to seek that the measures are investigated as quickly as possible.

- Upcoming meeting
There is to be a meeting at Indian Queens School next week to discuss a range of issues, which will include the provision of the proposed new footway between the Harvenna Heights estate and the School.

4.2 Improvements along A3058 (north of Summercourt)

As previously noted, Cornwall Council was successful in its bid to the Government’s Safer Roads Fund to carry out safety works on the A3058 between Summercourt and Quintrell Downs. The funding of over £1 million will not be made available until 2020/2021 but work has commenced on scoping what works should be funded.

I have been in contact with the design team and I have been informed that it is likely that the initial plans will have been completed by August and it was suggested that the follow-up consultation would be in 2020-2021. However, I have made it clear that I would like to see the design work made public as soon as is practicable, so that local people can give their views on what is proposed.

5. Clearing fly-tipping down the Kelliers

It was great to be involved with the latest effort to clear “historic” fly-tipping from the Kelliers in advance of the Parish Council’s plans to improve the locality as a countryside area.

Thanks to Colum Taylor (Cornwall Rural Community Council) who organised volunteers from the unitary authority through the “Cornwall Council Employee Volunteering Scheme;” thanks to the wonderful volunteers themselves who were an absolute pleasure to work with; and thanks to the guys from Biffa who picked up the rubbish.

We found loads of stuff – beer cans, tyres, car bonnets and even bits of an ice cream van!

6. Planning application for extension to Indian Queens Cemetery
Working with the Parish Clerk, I have produced a “planning statement” for the “change-of-use” application to ensure that the extension to Indian Queens Cemetery can be used for burials.

7. Electoral Review Panel

At the meeting of this Panel on 18th June, I was re-elected vice-chairman.

8. Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee

I attended the special meeting of the Scrutiny Committee on 31st May, which heard presentations about how the unitary authority will be doing its bit to combat climate change – having recently declared a “climate emergency.”

It is good to see that this matter is also being considered by the Parish Council at its meeting on 25th June.

9. World War One project

Following the submission of all the necessary paperwork to the Heritage Lottery Fund (to show how we spent their grant of £7,500), they have confirmed that they are happy with how we carried out the project and used the resources at our disposal.

10. Proposed World War Two project

June 6th 2019 marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy and, on September 3rd, it will be 80 years since the United Kingdom entered the Second World War.

I have made it known that I am scoping the content of a book about the individuals from Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt who lost their lives in this conflict. At the present time, I estimate that the publication will include the life stories of 19 individuals.

The St Enoder War Memorial contains the names of 11 men from Fraddon and Summercourt, who lost their lives in the war:

Mervyn Bulford (Royal Navy / HMS Galatea)
Joseph Donald Caddy (West Riding Regiment)
Selwyn Garfield Cole (Coldstream Guards)
Douglas Kenneth Common (Royal Artillery)
Dennis Tremayne Kelly (Royal Navy / HMS Avenger)
Herbert John Nancarrow (Royal Artillery)
Denis James Powell (Royal Engineers)
Thomas Harry Powell (West Surrey Regiment)
William Henry Frederick Raison (Wiltshire Regiment)
John Maurice Tonkin (Royal Air Force)
Richard John Henwood Trevethan (Royal Artillery).

Seven men from Indian Queens and St Columb Road are meanwhile listed on the St Columb War Memorial:

William Hedley Bennett (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry)
Eldred Grose (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry)
George Henry Hawkey (Royal Air Force)
Thomas Pellow Hosking (Royal Air Force)
Eric Charles Noel Kent (Royal Canadian Air Force)
Maurice Sloman (Royal Navy)
Alwyn Rodney Gilbert Wright (Royal Army Service Corps).

In addition, local woman Nella Eileen Trebilcock (nee Osborne) was killed in a bombing raid on a boatyard at Dartmouth in Devon.

11. Newsletter

I am presently drafting my latest six-monthly newsletter which will be delivered around the whole of St Enoder Parish in early July.

12. Inquiries

During the last few weeks, I have also helped numerous people with guidance on a range of issues.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

SECOND WORLD WAR PROJECT IN ST ENODER PARISH ... CAN YOU HELP?


June 6th 2019 marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy and, on September 3rd, it will be 80 years since the United Kingdom entered the Second World War.

It is my hope that, in the coming months, there will be many opportunities for people to find out more about what happened between 1939 and 1945.

As everyone will know, I was involved with a project to produce the book, which remembers the servicemen from Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt who lost their lives in the First World War.

At this time, I would like to make I known that I am scoping the content of a similar book about the Second World War, which we hope to produce during the next few years.

The St Enoder War Memorial contains the names of 11 men from Fraddon and Summercourt, who lost their lives in the 1939-1945 conflict and who we hope to find out more about:

Mervyn Bulford (Royal Navy / HMS Galatea)
Joseph Donald Caddy (West Riding Regiment)
Selwyn Garfield Cole (Coldstream Guards)
Douglas Kenneth Common (Royal Artillery)
Dennis Tremayne Kelly (Royal Navy / HMS Avenger)
Herbert John Nancarrow (Royal Artillery)
Denis James Powell (Royal Engineers)
Thomas Harry Powell (West Surrey Regiment)
William Henry Frederick Raison (Wiltshire Regiment)
John Maurice Tonkin (Royal Air Force)
Richard John Henwood Trevethan (Royal Artillery).

Seven men from Indian Queens and St Columb Road are meanwhile listed on the St Columb War Memorial:

William Hedley Bennett (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry)
Eldred Grose (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry)
George Henry Hawkey (Royal Air Force)
Thomas Pellow Hosking (Royal Air Force)
Eric Charles Noel Kent (Royal Canadian Air Force)
Maurice Sloman (Royal Navy)
Alwyn Rodney Gilbert Wright (Royal Army Service Corps).

In addition, local woman Nella Eileen Trebilcock (nee Osborne) was killed in a bombing raid on a boatyard at Dartmouth in Devon.

If you can help, please get in contact.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

My latest update report to St Enoder Parish Council


At tonight’s meeting of St Enoder Parish Council, I will tabling my latest “monthly” report, though this one covers the time period from 25th March to 26th May 2019. The report is as follows:

Listed below are some examples of the work that I have undertaken during the last two months. I did not do a monthly report in April, as the Parish Council meeting was only two weeks after I had presented my annual report to the 2019 Annual Assembly.

1. Council meetings and related activities

I have attended a number of formal meetings or briefings at Cornwall Council. These include Full Council (two) plus a preparatory briefing, Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Neighbourhood OSC (and an associated briefing on the Fire Service), informal Investment Panel, meeting of Group Leaders, mandatory planning training, additional training sessions on scrutiny work and tree protection, China Clay Area Network meeting, Cornish National Minority Working Group (four), Electoral Review Panel (plus two meetings with officers about the Community Governance Review for local parishes), Positive Parking Review panel, and an all-member briefing on the future arrangements for the running of the unitary authority.

In the same period, I attended a number of informal meetings with council officers, senior councillors and others. These have covered a diverse range of topics including planning matters and traffic safety (see below).

In addition, I attended five meetings of St Enoder Parish Council, our Annual Assembly and one meeting of the working group for the St Enoder Parish Neighbourhood Plan (see below).

2. Other meetings and activities

There were also two meetings of the Indian Queens Pit charity (trustee), two meetings of the St Piran Trust (which included its 2019 AGM when I was re-appointed as a trustee), the Community-led Local Development Local Action Group for South and East Cornwall (of which I have been re-elected vice-chairman) and the St Austell Bay Economic Forum.

3.0 St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan

It is with a great sense of relief that I can report that the St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan has been completed and submitted to Cornwall Council.

The consultation into the “pre-submission” draft of the Neighbourhood Plan for St Enoder Parish initially ended on Monday 18th February, though following a request from a local business, an extension to the consultation was agreed until 4th March. In total, we received 27 representations (six from statutory organizations, 12 from local residents and nine from landholders).

The working group held two meetings (on 20th March and 23rd April) to consider the feedback and a number of changes were made to the Plan. The decision to formally submit the revised Plan was taken at a formal meeting of the Parish Council on 30th April. In addition to the Plan itself, I have completed an associated consultation statement and a "basic condition" assessment, which have also been submitted to the unitary authority.

Cornwall Council will soon hold a further formal consultation, which will be followed by a review undertaken by a planning inspector, and there will then a referendum of local residents.

4. Planning matters

4.1 Carvynick Holiday Park

Planning permission was granted for 38 holiday units at Carvynick and an office/leisure building, with access, layout and scale, appearance and landscaping reserved. A holiday condition was imposed on the 38 units, so that they could not be unfettered residential properties.

A previous application for the same site at Carvynick had been refused by the unitary authority. This has been appealed by Kingsley Developers (SW) Ltd and it is now with the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol. The applicants are arguing that there should not be a planning restriction that states the holiday units have to be used for holiday accommodation.

In recent weeks, additional information has been submitted to the appeal, in which Kingsley Developers (SW) Ltd have confirmed that they will be objecting to the content of the St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan at the next formal consultation.

4.2 Housing applications in Higher Fraddon

There has been one planning application and two submissions for “pre-application advice” on the right-hand-side of the road leading to Higher Fraddon. This has generated considerable opposition from local residents.

The decision on the application for a single property in the wooded area (PA18/11316) will soon be made. The proposal is likely to be refused, because Cornwall Council has issued pre-application advice for a possible 14 new dwellings (PA19/00791/PREAPP) in the same wooded area, which advised against an application.

In the response from Cornwall Council, the following comments were made about representations from St Enoder Parish Council:

“The Parish Council noted this was not in line with the emerging Neighbourhood Development Plan. 28 residents present [at a recent Parish Council meeting] objected to the scheme due to additional traffic on an already busy narrow road, no footpath on the road, lack of infrastructure, ribbon development along an already congested narrow road with not sufficient off road parking, flooding issues already in this area with a stream running along the back, issues with sewerage and the abundance of wildlife on the site.”

Following a request for this area of trees to be protected by Cllr Charlotte Cowburn, the following was stated.

“Cornwall Council’s Forestry Officer has placed a TPO (tree preservation order) on the site to prevent any pre-emptive felling in order to obtain planning permission. The trees do have an amenity contribution to the larger landscape as well as transient public visual amenity from passing traffic. Additionally their loss would result in a net canopy loss and a decrease in wildlife resource which would not be in keeping with Cornwall Council’s Biodiversity Action Plan.”

And in conclusion, it added:

“The proposal would be contrary to Policy 4 - Exception Sites of the emerging NDP and does not appear to have the support of the local community. It is unlikely that, should the proposal proceed to formal submission, it would be supported.”

The second request for pre-application advice relates to a proposal for 28 dwellings on the old farmyard site (PA19/00656/PREAPP), slightly further up the road. Cornwall Council has not yet published its advice, but housing in this area would also be against Policy 4 of the St Enoder Parish Neighbourhood Plan.

4.3 Pig farm in Higher Fraddon

I attended a meeting with officers from Cornwall Council and the pig farm at Higher Fraddon on 5th April. The meeting was to discuss a number of issues about the farm, how it liaises with the adjacent biogas plant and to discuss the farm’s application to not retrofit two of the farm buildings with biofilters (PA18/00336). Discussions are ongoing and I will update further in the near future.

4.4 Harvenna Close / Grovewood Court

About twenty people attended the Parish Council meeting on 14th May to raise concerns about the proposals for two properties in gardens of properties on Harvenna Close (PA19/03258 and PA19/03266), but which would exit onto Grovewood Court. There were a range of concerns, dominated by worries about traffic and the impact on parking. As a consequence, I have formally requested that highway officers look closely at the impact of the proposed developments.

4.5 Blue Anchor

Parish councillors will be aware that St Austell Brewery wish to build five properties in the car park of the Blue Anchor. The initial drawings located the houses to the rear of existing cottages and the residents were quite worried. The Brewery’s planning agent visited the site to meet with local residents (and me), and the company had agreed to redesign the scheme and locate the houses elsewhere in the parking area.

5. Road safety issues and traffic issues

Over the last two months, I have continued to follow up on a range of road safety and traffic issues. I regularly meet up with the local Cormac officer, Rachel Tatlow, and our last meeting was on 13th May. I also met with Geoff Brown, the Cabinet Member with responsibility for transport, on 14th May.

I have included updates in many previous monthly reports, but there has been considerable discussion about local traffic and road safety matters on social media in the last few days. I therefore think it would be worthwhile for me to give a comprehensive update on these matters at this time.

5.1 Traffic issues at Indian Queens School

I have received representations over a significant period of time about speeding traffic, the volume of traffic and parking issues around Indian Queens School. Related to this, my priority has been to regularly lobby Cornwall Council to ensure that it follows through with the proposed safety measures included in the School’s Travel Plan.

- School Travel Plan and new recreational space


As a bit of a recap, in 2014, as part of the planning application to build extra classrooms at the School, Cornwall Council commissioned consultants to produce a Travel Plan. Around this time, I helped to secure additional recreation land next to the School. It was initially agreed that about half of the field would be enclosed for use by the School and a new footway constructed across the field to the Harvenna Heights estate, creating a new pedestrian approach to the School.

The remaining budget from the school improvement works is earmarked for the enclosure (fencing) of the School’s element of the field and associated works within that area. The construction of the new path – which will be immediately outside of the fenced area for safeguarding reasons – has not yet happened, but I can confirm that a meeting has been set up for the first week in July at which representatives of Cornwall Council, the School and the Aspire Academy chain will be getting together to discuss the options around the field. I will be at that meeting and I will be meeting the head of the School separately next week.

In terms of the School Travel Plan associated with the planning consent, it was prepared for Cornwall Council by Hyder Consulting (UK) Limited. I have repeatedly been in contact with the Education Capital Team (which has traditionally oversees improvement works at schools) and other sections at the unitary authority, calling for the commitments in the document to be delivered.

Put bluntly, the key problem I have encountered is that the Travel Plan was agreed by Education Capital Team, but there had been limited discussion with the staff in the transport section. It has all been pretty exasperating.

For information, extracts from the document include the following:

Page 20 states: “A footpath is being provided which would link into the proposed new residential development to the south (when this is built out).” As noted before, this has yet to be done.

Page 20 also states: “The school will liaise with Cornwall Council with regards to the Halloon Avenue footpath and encourage them to provide this link (if this is feasible as the land is not owned by Cornwall Council). The developer has partly built out an extant planning consent, and it is understood that a condition of the consent included the provision of a footpath. The school will encourage Cornwall Council to investigate the provision of this footpath as this will improve the walking access to the school and reduce the need to travel via vehicle.” This also has yet to be done.

Page 34 and 35 references the possibility of parents parking in the nearby Queens Club car park. The statement is: “The Travel Team [at the School] will discuss with Cornwall Council the feasibility of providing a crossing patrol across St Francis Road in order to facilitate pedestrian movements from the Queens club car park. It is envisaged that a patrol would operate during the school peak hours (0830-0900 and 1500-1530). It is anticipated that this will instil confidence amongst parents using this car parking area for a walking bus or park and stride location.” I never thought this would happen, but I know the Council has yet to consider providing a crossing patrol.

Page 40 meanwhile includes the following statement on the Action Plan: “The Action Plan for Indian Queens Primary School is presented below and identifies specific measures relating to the STP objectives. It is recognised that whilst it might not be possible to implement each of the suggested Action Plan measures immediately, the school, with assistance from partners, will both prioritise and subsequently implement appropriate measures going forward.”

Specific proposals of relevance to Cornwall Council include:

HW2: Discuss and encourage Cornwall Council to implement crossings and/or a new footpath on St Francis Road / Chapel Road.
HW4: Investigate potential locations for a school crossing patrol.
WA2: Promote the ‘park and stride’ schemes using Victory Hall and Indian Queens Club as potential drop-off points, investigate with CC the option of improving crossing movements on St Francis Road.

- Cornwall Road Casualty Reduction Strategy

I can add that, on 23rd May, I attended a meeting of the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which was considering the content of a new Cornwall Road Casualty Reduction Strategy and associated Action Plan. The Action Plan includes a range of feasibility studies and specific engineering improvements, to deal with road safety matters, to be carried out within the next two years. I was not impressed that the above elements in the School Travel Plan for Indian Queens School were not included.

I made forceful representations at the meeting and Cornwall Council’s Service Director for Transport and Infrastructure has agreed to review the Travel Plan and consider the safety elements within it for inclusion in the Road Casualty Reduction Strategy. I should find out if this can be done within a matter of weeks.

5.2 Improvements along A3058 (north of Summercourt)

Last year, it was confirmed that Cornwall Council had been successful in its bid to the Government’s Safer Roads Fund to carry out safety works on the A3058 between Summercourt and Quintrell Downs. The funding of over £1 million will not be made available until 2020/2021 but work has commenced on scoping what works should be funded.

The application was for works between the crossroads junction at Summercourt and the roundabout at Quintrell Downs. I have already made representations that works should be focussed within the village of Summercourt as much as possible.

A meeting to discuss progress was held on 2nd April. I have requested a number of things including a vehicle-activated sign on Beacon Road and crossing points. I have received a representation that “average speed cameras” should be installed, and I will ask that this option is also considered.

I can confirm that once proposals have been prepared, there will be a consultation to find out what local people think.

5.3 Community Network funding


Cornwall Council is making £50,000 available to each of its Community Networks for each year between 2018/2019 and 2021/2022. This means that the six members of the China Clay Area will have a total of £150,000 to allocate between now and 2021 – with the remaining money being made available after the 2021 election.

Local councillors have decided that the money will be divided equally between the six divisions in the China Clay Area, and we will therefore have about £25,000 to spend in St Enoder Parish, though it must be acknowledged that this is a limited amount of money and it would be easy to spend twenty-times that.

- Mobile vehicle activated sign

Through the Parish Council, we have decided to use part of the Community Network money to purchase a mobile “vehicle activated sign” which can be moved to numerous locations around the Parish as a “flashing” disincentive to speeding but to also record the actual speeds of vehicles for use with the Police and others to help us make further improvements.

There is a delay with this purchase at the moment as the suggested maintenance and operational costs of the unit (ie. for moving it around the local area) were excessive. This is now being reviewed by Cornwall Council, and I am seeking an alternative, more cost-effective, way forward with parish councillors able to action the frequent relocation of the camera.

- Summercourt School

In addition, we are investigating calming works and a 20 mph speed limit outside Summercourt School. I have pushed for these improvements for quite some time, including when the 20 mph speed limit was agreed for the access road to Indian Queens School.

I repeatedly challenged the view that the School was not a priority, but have asked that a scheme be worked up through the Community Network scheme. Initial feedback stated that I needed to fund a “feasibility study” costing £7,000 because of the potential complexity of any meaningful scheme by the School. This relates to the position of the School being on the outskirts of the village and close to a 60 mph speed limit.

I am presently disputing this and, after a meeting with the Cabinet Member for Transport, I have asked whether this improvement, for historic reasons, could be funded through a different mechanism.

- Chapel Road / The Drang, Indian Queens

As noted above, I am pushing for the proposals in the Travel Plan for Indian Queens School to be properly taken forward but, in order to keep my options open, I have requested that a temporary speed-visor be placed on Chapel Road (near the dropping-off point for the School) to record the nature of the traffic in that location (ie. numbers and speeds). 

- Other requests

In order for this update to be as comprehensive as possible, I would like to address what happened during 2013 and 2017 for background.

Some areas had historic schemes in the Cornwall Council Transport Plan, which were taken forward. In other areas, such as ours, elected members were told to prepare a list of schemes that we would like to see happen. We were told that these would be assessed and some would be taken forward.

The list I produced was very long (including vehicle activated signs (VAS), speed limit changes, enhanced entry points into built-up areas, etc), and I did a ridiculous amount of lobbying of the relevant officers but, under a weight of requests, the scheme simply stalled.

All my previous requests to the unitary authority are still listed with the relevant officers and may be summarised as follows:

- Speed reduction measures / traffic calming at Fraddon, Indian Queens and St Columb Road, which could include traffic calming measures at entry points, possible priority build-outs through the villages, as well as permanent VAS signs.

- Speed reduction measures / traffic calming in Summercourt, which could include traffic calming measures at entry points, possible priority build-outs, as well as permanent VAS signs.

- Traffic management measures to resolve congestion, accessibility, delivery and safety issues relating to the Co-op store in St Columb Road.

- Improved pedestrian phase to existing signalised junction at Summercourt crossroads, to improve safety and accessibility.

- Access improvements at Indian Queens Primary School, which were agreed when the planning permission was granted for additional classrooms and should be taken forward as part of the School’s Travel Plan.

- 20 mph speed limit and related highway improvements outside Summercourt School.

- Traffic calming at New Road near Fraddon and at Sea View Terrace on the road to St Stephen.

- Feedback from council officers

I must add that when I follow-up new requests with council officers for improvements, I often get told that it would need to be funded from the Parish’s share of the Community Network funding.

5.4 Concerns at Fraddon around Kingsley Village

At three recent meetings of St Enoder Parish Council, residents of Fraddon have raised concerns about the level of traffic in their area and related issues, including fears of a likely increase in traffic cutting through the built-up areas of Fraddon and St Columb Road when the Kingsley Village complex reopens.

I can confirm that I have formally requested that a traffic census is undertaken at the western end of Fraddon. This would help us better document any subsequent increase in the amount of traffic and provide evidence to argue for possible future mitigation measures. At this point, I have not had confirmation when the survey might be undertaken.

I was also asked about the speed limit extents at Fraddon and whether there was an opportunity to extend the speed limit towards Pedna Carne, and I have raised the request with Rachel Tatlow. Her response was as follows:

“There is insufficient frontage development to extend the limit further east of its current location, and consequently through the A & B road ‘speed limit review’ a few years ago, it was recommended to retain the existing derestricted limit throughout this section.”

5.5 Surfacing works

Earlier this year, surfacing works were undertaken at Trevarren and on the A392 (near the junctions with Atlantic Reach, Tresithney and Trugo). With regard to the works on the A392, I raised concerns about the excessive damage to verges along Barton Lane, which was caused by diverted traffic when the main road towards Quintrell Downs was closed. Works have also been carried out on the road from the A3058 (St Austell Street) to Goonabarn, to the south of Summercourt.

The following surfacing works are timetabled for next month:

- A3076 (from Mitchell and past Gummows Shop, which is partially along the St Enoder Parish boundary): provisional date is 10th-13th June.
- A39 Highgate to Halloon: provisional date is 17th-27th June

Other locations are on the work programme, but not with dates as yet, are as follows:

- Watery Lane near Black Cross
- B3275 near Melbur Blockworks
- Trefullock Moor.
- Carworgie Way and Halloon Avenue, St Columb Road
- Pocohontas Crescent and Princess Park, Indian Queens
- The Drang, Indian Queens

5.6 Lining works

I also receive a large number of requests for works that can be undertaken through existing maintenance budgets. This has included the need to repaint some road markings and I have had it confirmed that the lined speed limit gateway into Indian Queens on Moorland Road will be renewed later this year.

5.7 Double yellow lines.

It has also been a reality that Cornwall Council has prioritised traffic enforcement in towns and council-owned car parks. But now that they are in the process of installing “pay-on-exit” and “number-plate recognition” technologies in certain car parks, and we have succeeded in getting guarantees that the freed-up enforcement officers will be able to deal with poor parking in more rural areas such as ours.

In relation to this, I am lobbying the parking team to get the double-yellow lines repainted in many areas, so that they are enforceable.

5.8 Other highway issues

In addition, I am continuing to monitor and follow-up on a number of other highway issues. These include:

- Localised flooding on the A3058 and issues with ditches.
- Maintenance of the ditch in Church Lane by the Mission Church.
- Condition of road drain network in built-up areas of the Parish.

6. New waste bins

In recent years, I have had a number of requests for extra waste bins in our area. The Parish Council has also had similar requests.

I have been making representations and I am pleased to be able to report that Cornwall Council has placed new bins in the four locations where we had received most requests. They are (i) at the entrance to the Goss Moor trail, (ii) on St Francis Road by the Mission Church, (iii) at the bus-stop by the Blue Anchor and (iv) at the bus-stop by the London Inn.

7. World War One project

- “Trusting Fully Trusting”


It recently came to my attention that a number of our First World War books were partly misprinted. We have found that in some of them a few pages were missing / duplicated / mixed up, in the section between pages 90 to 120.

The Parish Clerk and I have gone through all remaining copies to check that they are ok and the printer has agreed to provide an additional 50 new copies (at no cost to the Parish Council) in lieu of those that were faulty. If anyone does happen to have a faulty copy, please let us know and we will replace it with a new error-free version.

As well as being available from the Parish Council, we have provided copies of the book to Waterstones bookshop in Truro.

- End of grant paperwork

I have submitted all the necessary paperwork to the Heritage Lottery Fund, to show how we spent their grant of £7,500 on this project.

- Literary Festival

The book is still being well-received and I have received an invitation to speak at Gorseth Kernow’s Literary Festival about how the book was researched and produced. The event will take place at St Just in the first week of September.

8. New leader at Cornwall Council

At the Full Council on 21st May, the Liberal Democrat leader of Cornwall Council Adam Paynter stood down after two years at the helm. His independent deputy Julian German is the new leader of the authority, and Adam will now be his second-in-command.

Julian German was challenged for the role by the leader of the Conservative group but the majority of Council, including me, voted for him.

9. Thomas Playing Field

Along with the Parish Clerk and Cllr Mark Kessell, I have helped to monitor the condition of the new play equipment in the Thomas Playing Field and report issues to the supplier, such as where some rust is coming through. There has also been damage to the trampoline caused by young people bouncing on it with their bicycles, and the Clerk has got the area fenced off.

10. Inquiries 

During the last month, I have also helped numerous people with guidance on a range of issues.