Thursday, 14 July 2011

What about parity for the China Clay Area?

It has been another grim day at County Hall and I “threw my toys out of the pram” a couple of times. In truth, sometimes the frustration of being a member of Cornwall Council is just too much.

I was at the meeting of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the first item that got me going was an update on the rationalisation of “face-to-face” services. That is basically libraries and one-stop shops, which provide council services.

Much of the review could be applauded. Linking one-stop shops to libraries in a number of areas will help safeguard what can be provided, while new services from libraries in places such as Perranporth, St Agnes and St Just is to be welcomed.

But there was one glaring oversight which I felt I had to point out – as I have been doing for two years. And that is how Cornwall Council is failing to properly provide such services in the China Clay Area Network.

We have no permanent one-stop shop. Library provision is restricted to six hours a week in St Dennis School. There have been some attempts to have drop-in sessions in local halls, but these have been infrequent and under-resourced.

I accept that the China Clay Area Network does not have an obvious centre, such as a single town, from which to provide services. But there was a promise to convert a minibus into a mobile one-stop shop – which would have been cheaper than what is spent in other areas - but senior management pulled the plug on the project.

So, unlike other Network Areas, the China Clay Area has not had its fair share of spend on “face-to-face” services, staff and buildings, and has lost out – massively.

After a “rant” at the meeting, I moved that there be an investigation into why the Clay Area does not have the same levels of services as other areas in Cornwall. It was seconded by my good friend and fellow China Clay member, Des Curnow, and supported by the Committee.

Corporate Director Gill Steward has agreed to look specifically at what can be done in our area. Watch this space. And let us hope that we will see more progress in the next two years than has been managed over the last two.

1 comment:

Jastin Jhon said...

A great new for china clay manufacturers, A new and exciting facility will be just the ticket for Clay Country residents when a new mobile library and information service is launched on Monday 01 October.

In a bid to bring council services and library facilities closer to local communities, a colourful bus will be visiting Clay Country communities once a week as part of a pilot scheme, giving residents the opportunity to access council services much closer to where they live.

The bus will stop at a number of local communities within the Clay Country area including Bugle, Fraddon, Foxhole, Indian Queens, Nanpean, Penwithick, Roche, St Stephen and others. The crew on board the bus will be able to help with filling in forms, handing in documents and provide specialist advice on council services in person or by phone