Sunday, 11 January 2009

My first full week of 2009

What a week to start the New Year. Four days of paid employment and lots and lots of meetings.

Along with a number of Restormel councillors on Monday (5th January), I met Kevin Lavery the new Chief Executive of the soon-to-be-created unitary authority. To be fair, he made a reasonably good impression though it waits to be seen what happens in the months ahead. In the evening, it was the Finance Committee of St Enoder Parish Council.

On Tuesday, it was a three-hour meeting of Policy and Scrutiny Committee 4 to discuss the Imerys eco-town proposal and the masterplan for Newquay Airport. The initial officer report on the Government’s eco-town Planning Policy Statement and the Sustainability Appraisal for the St Austell proposal was short so I, as Chairman, with the assistance of my Vice-Chairman Tim Jones, added a lot of information to the report. We were very critical of the proposal and the committee objected unanimously. Our views will be presented to Restormel’s cabinet on the 19th of this month. So watch this space.

There were no formal meetings on Wednesday, though I visited local parishioners in the evening.

On Thursday night, I chaired the last-ever meeting of Restormel’s China Clay Area Committee, which is to be abolished because of the local government changes. It was a bittersweet experience. Over the last eight years we have given out over 110 grants to local community groups totalling £58,000 and provided a good forum for local people to raise issues with us as councillors.

As for Friday, in the afternoon I attended a seminar at Carrick which explored how affordable housing might be delivered once the unitary authority is up and running. In the evening, I was at a meeting in St Dennis with a broad cross-section of people who are working to oppose the construction of a massive incinerator in the area.

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