Sunday, 27 October 2013

Richard G Jenkin: A Great Son of Cornwall

On Friday, I attended the launch of the new book about Richard Jenkin titled “Richard G. Jenkin: A Great Son of Cornwall.”

My article in this coming week’s Cornish Guardian will “plug” the book and will be as follows:

Throughout my adult life, I have been fortunate to meet and work with many inspirational individuals, but one man who really stands out for me is Richard Garfield Jenkin (1925-2002).

A new book, which celebrates his life and work, has just been published and I was privileged to write one of the chapters. It is an important book and I am confident that it will be welcomed by everyone who is interested in modern Cornwall, its identity and politics.

Richard Jenkin dedicated his entire life to Cornwall and the revival of Cornish consciousness. A man of many talents and with a tremendous work ethic, he was a key figure at the heart of a wide range of organisations and numerous campaigns.

He was, without question, Mebyon Kernow’s most consistent activist, serving at the heart of the party for over 50 years. A founder member of MK in 1951, he became the party’s first General Election candidate in 1970 when he contested Falmouth and Camborne. In 1979, he polled over 10,000 votes as MK’s candidate to the European Parliament.

Richard rose to become Chairman between 1973 and 1983, before being honoured with the award of the Life Presidency of the party in 1998.

He became a bard of the Cornish Gorsedd in 1947 and served on the Gorsedd Council for decades, rising to the position of Grand Bard for a total of nine years, between 1976-1982 and 1985-1988.

With his wife Ann, he edited the influential “New Cornwall” magazine between 1957 and 1973, and he latterly edited “Delyow Derow” – a Cornish language literary magazine.

Richard also served the International Celtic Congress and the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies for many years and became President of both organisations. He also sat on the Cornish Language Board and was influential in the setting up of Esethvos Kernow.

Resident in Leedstown since 1959, he also served on Crowan Parish Council for over thirty years.

Richard was a real polymath and one of Cornwall’s greatest champions, and this short newspaper column simply cannot do justice to all his achievements.

Why not find out more? "Richard G Jenkin: A Great Son of Cornwall” is published by Francis Boutle Ltd. It costs £12.50 and will be available in good local bookshops or via

A new Chief Executive and the council tax debate

At last week’s meeting of Cornwall Council, issues included the appointment of the new Chief Executive, Andrew Kerr, and the debate about whether the option of a six per cent increase in council tax should be worked up.

MK was not represented on the panel which recommended the appointment of Andrew Kerr. We received no official briefings about the interview process or the reasons for the recommendation that Mr Kerr be appointed and, at the Council meeting, the MK Group therefore declined to support the ratification of his appointment by abstaining.

In the council tax debate, the MK group supported Cllr Bob Egerton’s proposal for the option of a 6% increase in council tax to be considered, because we felt that all options should be looked at carefully at this time of devastating Coalition cuts.

My monthly report to St Enoder Parish Council

My latest report to the Parish Council was for the period 19th September – 18th October. Submitted at the last meeting on 24th October, it was as follows:

1.         Council meetings

I have attended a range of meetings over the last month. These included: Environment, Heritage and Planning PAC (and an associated informal meetings plus three pre-agenda briefings/meetings); informal Homes and Communities PAC; informal Reputation and Performance PAC; Constitution and Governance Committee (and an associated informal meeting); briefing on emergency management; budget consultation meeting at Roche; and a meeting about the future of the Council’s St Austell offices.

2.         Improvements at Indian Queens School

Some three months ago, the Schools Minister David Laws announced that he had sanctioned investment in eight Cornish schools though its Targeted Basic Need Programme. This fund specifically supports the construction of much-needed new classrooms in schools experiencing massive pressure from the number of children in their communities that need school places.

Taken together, the Council’s eight applications had sought a total of £18.8 million. The Council was informed by the Education Funding Agency (EFA)  that all eight applications had been approved, but a subsequent announcement from the EFA has recently confirmed that Cornwall Council has only been allocated £7.8 million – some £11 million less than in the applications.

Cornwall Council is seeking a dialogue with the EFA, pointing out that the reduced allocation could undermine the school improvements, and asking them to reconsider the extent of the grant allocation.

The planning permission for the first two new classrooms for Indian Queens School has been granted (phase 1), but there are now a lot of meetings taking place about how to proceed given the large shortfall in funding for second phase of the overall project.

I will report back, when I know more about how the unitary authority and the School will be proceeding.

3.         Indian Queens Victory Hall

I am pleased to be able to report that I have been able to assist the Hall Committee in getting their recent grant from the Clay Country Local Action Group increased by £5,000. The main part of the grant was used for a new floor and it also funded a new kitchen which will be fitted in the near-future. The extra money will be used to purchase new chairs for the Hall.

However, the Hall Committee has to spend the grant by the 31st October and needs assistance with its cashflow. I have requested an agenda item on this meeting, which suggests that we agree a short-term loan to the Hall Committee to allow them to take advantage of the improved grant offer.

4.         Flooding problems at St Dennis Junction

I am also pleased to announce that officers at Cornwall Council have confirmed that, following investigative work, they intend to undertake improvement works at St Dennis Junction, in order to prevent flooding in the future.

The confirmation was as follows:

“We have had the drainage system surveyed in the area and whilst there was no evidence of a blockage that may have contributed to the recent flooding, the pipework is aging and is showing signs of cracking and movement.  With this in mind, it has been agreed that there would be benefit in replacing the pipes and upgrading them in size to provide additional capacity and flooding resilience. 

“Additionally, we propose to provide a trash screen at the entrance to the first pipe outside ‘Lyndale’ as it is considered that the main flooding problem here is related to the blockage of the system by debris/vegetation etc. washed down to the point of entry into the pipe during periods of prolonged rainfall.

“A detailed scheme is still to be drawn up but is likely to include a combination of the above and potentially an additional outfall if considered necessary and if sufficient funding is available.

“Funding has provisionally been allocated to this scheme for the current financial year and I am confident at this stage that it will proceed.  However, as with all programmes, should funding be reduced or overspend be experienced on other projects or priorities change, the scheme could be at risk.  That said, if the scheme does not proceed from the current financial year budget allocation, then subject to confirmation, I would expect it to be rolled-over to next year’s programme.”

5.         Budget cuts

There have been a range of meetings to consider how Cornwall Council cuts £44 million from its 2014-2015 budget, in order to cope with reductions in funding from central government. I understand that services under threat include the Claybus (mobile library and one-stop-shop) in our area. I fought hard for three years to get this service and I am doing all that I can to lobby to protect it.

6.         Patching works through Fraddon and Indian Queens

Further to the update in my last monthly report, I have made further complaints about the poor quality of the replacement linings where the patching works were carried out along the old A30 through Fraddon and Indian Queens, etc.

I have had it confirmed that the Council plans to surface dress this section of road in the early part of next year and does not wish to redo the double yellow lines until after then. I am using the officer’s call for a delay in order to push for all lining in the Parish to be repainted in 2014.

7.         Double yellow lines / parking enforcement

As promised, I have also continued to make representations to Cornwall Council about double yellow lines in St Enoder Parish, the need to review coverage of these lines in certain areas, and the provision of parking enforcement. This also follows the report produced by the Parish Council on this issue.

I am struggling to make much progress, as shown by the most recent correspondence I have had (via the Network Manager) from a senior officer in the parking enforcement team.

“As I have explained before, the areas in which enforcement is being requested are not part of the priority enforcement routes when we took over the responsibility for parking enforcement from the Police, and I have previously clarified the criteria of those routes.

“In the days of Restormel Borough Council, ad-hoc visits were carried out on an ad-hoc basis, as at that time we could provide them within the budgetary resources that we had.

“However, as Councillor Cole and all Councillors are aware due to cuts in Central Government funding as an Authority each Directorate is tasked with savings and efficiencies due the reduction in available budgets. It is now being discussed that one of the options for the future of Parking Operations, including enforcement, is the possibility of outsourcing.

“We are therefore required to demonstrate how we can be more efficient as well as reducing costs. This could mean that the ad-hoc routes that had been added may be reviewed and any ad-hoc patrols potentially reduced/removed.

“It is therefore regrettable that I will not be in a position to carry out any additional ad-hoc patrols in the interim, and indeed the ad-hoc patrols that we have supplied in the past may well cease. There is still however the option available to the Parish & Town Councils of entering into a partnership working agreement to buy enforcement time – but my next paragraph regarding the quality of lines etc would need to be taken into account.

“Having said that the majority of comments in the paper you forwarded to me are with regard to the poor state of lines/markings of the restrictions on the highway, which could in themselves limit any enforcement.

“I am sorry that this may not sit well with Cllr Dick Cole and other Councillors in the Clay Area, but the Council faces many difficult decisions in the future, due to the pressure of budgets and the financial resources available.”

8.         Flooding issues at Trevarren

Further to my last monthly report, when I brought members up-to-date on my efforts to persuade South West Water to address the problems relating to the surcharge of waste from the foul water sewer onto the highway at Trevarren, I have sent further paperwork to SWW. It includes statements forwarded to me by some of the worst-affected properties.

9.         Incinerator “Community Liaison Group”

On the 10th September, I attended the second meeting of the liaison group, set up “to provide a link” between the developers (of the waste incinerator at St Dennis) and local communities / organisations. The Parish Council was represented by Donna Bennett.

The group presently comprises the three Cornwall Councillors for the divisions of St Dennis and Nanpean, St Enoder, and St Stephen; and representatives of the Parish Councils of St Dennis, St Enoder, and St Stephen. It is presently seeking nominations for six community representatives, and the group will then commence open meetings in the New Year.

10.       Youth Club

Following the decision of H2O to withdraw from running youth club sessions, I have been in contact with Cornwall Council and I have arranged a meeting with Council officers on Monday (21st October) to discuss what support the unitary authority would be willing to give to St Enoder Parish. I will give a verbal update at the Parish Council meeting.  

11.       Community events

I was very pleased to be able to open the 85th Indian Queens Music Festival and I also attended the thanksgiving service at Indian Queens Wesley Chapel, which marked the internal improvements to allow disabled access, etc.

12.       ClayTAWC

I also spent a significant amount of time at ClayTAWC (the Training and Work Centre for the China Clay Area) at St Dennis, which I chair. The focus has been on the completion of a “retrofit” of the old school building, which has been funded via grants of around £140,000.

13.       Inquiries

Throughout the last two months, I have also helped numerous people with advice and guidance on a range of issues.

Eric Pickles and housing numbers

In last week’s Cornish Guardian, my article addressed the ongoing “debate” about the housing target to be “agreed” for Cornwall for the period 2010 to 2030.  It was as follows:

I recently chaired a five hour meeting at the unitary authority, which looked at how many new properties should be built in Cornwall over the next twenty years.

It was a difficult meeting. The discussion was less about what housing target would be appropriate for Cornwall and its communities, but more about what the Coalition expects the Council to do.

The previous Labour Government put in place a “regional spatial strategy” (RSS) which set out an extremely high housing target for Cornwall.

The RSS was abolished by the Coalition, which stated that it was “committed to localism and greater local decision-making in planning.” The Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, even pledged that his “planning reforms will bring a significant shift in power to local people” and he would allow them to decide how much housing is built and where.

Mr Pickles had earlier promised to “get out of the way” and “let councils and communities run their own affairs” – but this has not happened.

At last week’s meeting, councillors were advised that they would need to set a housing target of, at least, 47,500 new housing units in the Cornwall Local Plan,

This is based on strict guidelines from central government which require housing targets to exceed projections set out as so-called “objectively assessed needs.” These have to be included within a Strategic Housing Market Assessment, based upon data provided through the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Many councillors wish to challenge the data – not least the fact that all ONS population projections relating to Cornwall, over the last decade, have been massively over-egged.

But councillors were also told that if they set a lower target it would, almost certainly, be rejected by the (unelected) Planning Inspectorate, which would be following the diktats of Eric Pickles and his mates.

We were even provided with a massive list of local authorities, where Local Plans have been stalled because of governmental interference.

And if this happens in Cornwall, it will delay the adoption of our wider Local Plan for an extra one-two years, and leave Cornwall without up-to-date planning policies to refuse inappropriate planning applications.

So according to Mr Pickles and his “Coalition Localism,” councillors can either (i) roll over and do what they are told straight-away, or (ii) be over-ruled by the Government at a later date.

Isn’t local “democracy” great? 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

I despair at the sell-off of Royal Mail

In the next edition of the Cornish Guardian, my article will cover the privatisation of Royal Mail. It is as follows:

Margaret Thatcher declined to privatise the Royal Mail in the 1980s, famously stating that she was “not prepared to have the Queen’s head privatised.”

Sadly, the present Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition have had no such qualms, and have sold off over half of this longstanding British institution.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has condemned the sell-off, adding that that the Royal Mail had been undervalued and “sold on the cheap,” with the “low share price being another Government error” that compounded the “mistake to sell in the first place.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has meanwhile claimed it was “little different from selling £5 notes for four quid.”

I share the views of both the CWU and TUC. I worry that the sell-off could lead to a more expensive service as it will – in future – be run for the benefit of shareholders. And I worry that there will be a less expansive service, with services to rural areas most at risk.

The shares were initially sold at 330p each, rising to a high of 459p, before settling back to about 440p. Some 10 million shares were sold in the first thirty seconds of trading on Friday, 100 million shares were sold in the first hour and, over the day as a whole, 229 million shares changed hands – ensuring that many people made a very “quick buck.”

But is also the case that two-thirds of the available shares in Royal Mail were sold to “institutional investors,” including “sovereign wealth funds” in countries as diverse as Kuwait, Norway, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

One of the world's biggest hedge funds – which employs the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s best man – is reported to have purchased a £50 million stake in the company which – after just one day – was valued at approaching £68 million.

And this is a firm that, according to the Daily Telegraph, made a “reported £100 million from the financial crash by betting that the price of Northern Rock would fall,” and its former chief executive was “awarded a knighthood last year after donating £500,000 to the Conservative Party.”

I frankly despair at the Government’s ongoing privatisation of our public services.

Friday, 11 October 2013

No choice at all

On my way home tonight, I felt my hackles rising – again – as I listened to the news on Radio Cornwall, The item was about the privatisation of the Royal Mail – something not even attempted by Margaret Thatcher – but now pushed forward by the Coalition Government and spearheaded by Liberal Democrat MP Vince Cable.

Then I got home, and I picked up my post to find a leaflet / pre-election missive from my local Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert. It told me – without any irony whatsoever – that “only the Lib Dems can beat the Tories” in the 2015 General Election.
Really? But isn’t this the MP who, in 2010, proclaimed that “Labour and Mebyon Kernow are out of the race and cannot win. A vote for Labour or Mebyon Kernow will let the Conservatives in through the back door.”

And yet it was the Liberal Democrats who joined up with the Conservatives – leading David Cameron in through the front door of Number 10 – to deliver Conservative policies, in direct contradiction to the vast majority of its election promises and campaign statements.

It seems to me that, according to Stephen Gilbert, the choice in St Austell and Newquay is between Steve and Steve (Gilbert or Double), the Coalition or the Coalition, privatisations or privatisations, cuts or cuts …

Surely St Austell and Newquay can do better?

MK and the 2014 Euro-elections

In my column in this week’s Cornish Guardian, I focused the upcoming Euro-elections. It was as follows:

On 22nd May 2014, voters will be going to the polls to elect Members of the European Parliament.

Mebyon Kernow has long campaigned for a separate MEP for Cornwall but, next year, six MEPs will be elected from a massive ‘South West’ constituency, via a list form of proportional representation. As well as Cornwall, the seat will include Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, and the island of Gibraltar.

At this stage, it is very unlikely that Mebyon Kernow will be putting forward candidates.

The fact that Cornish voters make up a tenth of the constituency poses great difficulties for MK, which only contests local and Westminster elections within Cornwall.

To get an MEP elected in such a ‘South West’ seat, the MK candidates would – based on past results – need to poll over 90% of the vote in Cornwall.

But if that wasn’t bad enough, other aspects of the electoral process are unfairly rigged against Mebyon Kernow.

To be allowed a party election broadcast, for example, MK would have to stand in all (nine) euro-constituencies in England – an absolute nonsense – whereas “regional” parties standing in the (single) Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland seats will be allowed their own broadcasts.

And in order to stand, a deposit of £5,000 has to be paid, but this money is returned if the slate of candidates achieves more than 2.5% of the vote across the whole of the “South West.” But MK would need to poll about 23% of the Cornish vote to simply save its deposit.

MK did contest the Euro-elections in 2009, which took place on the same day as the first-ever elections to Cornwall Council, thanks to donations from local party members.

In Cornwall – the only area in which we campaigned – MK polled 11,534 votes (7% of the total). Outside of Cornwall – where the party did not campaign – it unsurprisingly averaged less than one quarter of one percent (0.24%) and, therefore, across the constituency as a whole, MK polled 1% of the total vote.

MK continues to challenge the Government and the Electoral Commission to acknowledge the inequity of the situation, arguing that the authorities had a moral obligation to return the £5,000 deposit to MK because of the number of votes achieved in Cornwall, but they have so far refused to even consider the issue. 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Mebyon Kernow 2013 Conference

Mebyon Kernow’s 2013 Conference will take place on Saturday 16th November at Lys Kernow / New County Hall in Truro.

I would like to extend an invitation to anyone interested in finding out more about Mebyon Kernow to join us for the day.

The Conference will commence at 10.30 and the details are presently being finalised. If you would like more information on the event, feel free to contact me via

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Government money for local schools is much less than anticipated

Some three months ago, I welcomed the announcement from the Schools Minister, David Laws, that he had sanctioned investment in eight Cornish schools. I actually described the news as “fantastic.”

Cornwall Council had submitted eight applications for additional funding to the government’s Targeted Basic Need Programme, which would support the construction of much-needed new classrooms and other improvements in schools experiencing massive pressure from the number of children in their communities that need school places.

Taken together, the eight applications had sought a total of £18.8 million and, in July, the Education Funding Agency (EFA) informed the unitary authority that it had approved all eight applications.

Cllr Andrew Wallis, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for education, quite understandably described himself as “over the moon” at the success of the bid, and I was particularly delighted, because one of the schools was Indian Queens Primary School in my home Parish.

But it has since been confirmed by the EFA that Cornwall Council has only been allocated £7.8 million – some £11 million less than in the applications.

I find it shameful that central government can make grand announcements about investments in schools with a great deal of fanfare, while not giving any indication to Cornwall Council that the funding would only be about 40% of what had been requested.

The reaction of Cllr Wallis was clearly similar to mine. He “could not understand how the Council had been so misled” and has reported that he was “less than gentlemanly” in his choice of words, when he found out about the scale of the actual funding offer.

Cornwall Council is seeking a dialogue with the EFA, pointing out that the reduced allocation could undermine the school improvements, and asking them to reconsider the extent of the grant allocation.

For the sake of hundreds of local schoolchildren, I do desperately hope the Council is successful.

My report to St Enoder Parish Council

For the last nine months or so, I have submitted a monthly written report to St Enoder Parish Council, setting out my activities on the Council and in the wider community. I have now decided to post these reports on-line. The report for the period 20th July – 18th September – it is for two months as the Parish Council does not hold Full Council meetings in August – was as follows:

1.         Council meetings

I have attended a range of meetings over the last two months. These included: Full Council; Economy and Culture Portfolio Advisory Committee (PAC); Environment, Heritage and Planning PAC (and two associated informal meetings, and a range of briefings and pre-agenda meetings); Homes and Communities PAC (and an associated informal meeting); meeting of PAC Chairs and Vice-chairs (2); Clay County Network meeting; meeting of Strategic Planning Committee and a budget briefing.

2.         Other meetings

I have also attended a range of meetings concerning Local Action funding and future European funding programmes. These included LAG meetings and associated meetings (5); a meeting with DEFRA; rural sub-group of the Local Enterprise Partnership; Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Rural Partnership; and the working group on Community Led Local Development (CLLD). Other meetings included School Governors at Summercourt School, Indian Queens Pit, and the Clay Area Training and Work Centre (ClayTAWC), which I continue to chair.

3.         Budget cuts

It has been confirmed that central government has imposed additional cuts on local government. Having already seen millions slashed off its budgets since 2010, Cornwall Council was expecting to have to make so-called “savings” of £19 million in 2014-2015. But further cuts from the government mean that the Council now has to cut £44 million from its budget for next year, which is causing significant difficulties for the authority.

4.         Parish Plan update report

On a more positive note, I have completed the Parish Plan update report (for the period March 2008-June 2013), which documents the progress made against the 75 action points listed in the document. It is an impressive list and shows that the Parish Council and others have achieved a considerable amount over the last five years. The report has been placed on the website.

5.         Patching works through Fraddon and Indian Queens

The patching works on the old A30 through Fraddon and Indian Queens were completed in August. However, I have had to make a number of complaints about the work. This included the fact that the contractors left the road and pavements in an untidy state, and then painted double yellow lines of the wrong size onto the highway. The contractors even managed to leave a significant amount of tarmac in the road drains, which I had to request was removed, and they have since failed to properly correct the double yellow lining. Cornwall Council is still dealing with the issue.

6.         Adoption of roads in Fairview Park, St Columb Road

I am very pleased to be able to report that, at the end of July, the roads and associated pavements in Fairview Park were – at last – adopted by the unitary authority.

7.         Application to Awards for All for Youth Club

On 1st August, I made an application to the Lottery’s Awards for All programme for £10,000 towards a youth club building in St Enoder Parish. We have yet to receive a decision.

8.         Funding application for Neighbourhood Plan

On 6th August, I made an application to the “Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning” for £7,000 towards the costs of producing a Neighbourhood Plan for St Enoder Parish. I am pleased to be able to confirm that the application was successful. The grant will be paid to the Parish Council in two instalments: 90% in December and the remainder upon the completion of the project.

The Neighbourhood Plan working group has also held its first two meetings.

9.         Meeting to consider flooding problems in St Enoder Parish

Following my production of a report on the flooding incidents in St Enoder Parish in November/December 2012 and March 2013, I arranged for Council officers to visit the affected areas on 13th August.

Individuals in attendance included Steve Bayley (Highway Manager CORMAC), Martin Clemo (Principal Environment Projects and Technical Officer), Martin Eddy (Network Manager from the China Clay Area) and Teresa Frost (Area Manager Cormac).

The officers agreed to carry investigative work at St Dennis Junction to explore the capacity of ditches and pipework in the vicinity of the two properties that were flooded in December 2012. This work – which included below-ground cameras – was carried out on 2nd September. I will be able to report back more fully when I am provided with the conclusions of the work.

In terms of the other affected properties, it looks likely that Cornwall Council will receive some amount of money to pay for Property Level Protection (PLP) for a number of properties across Cornwall which suffer from flooding. I have also been informed – that because of the detail in my recent report – some properties in this Parish may qualify for works to mitigate against future flooding episodes.

Once the funding has been formally secured, I will be working with Cornwall Council to liaise with those homeowners who may be able to access the scheme.

I have repeated my formal request that the old A30 through Fraddon is identified as a “problem area” and a more regular programme for cleaning out the road drains is agreed (ie. at least six monthly). I have also reported a couple of drains that need further emptying.

10.       Wind turbine site meeting

On the 4th September, the Clerk and I represented the Parish Council at the site meeting held by the Planning Inspectorate to view the proposed site for a 67m high wind turbine to the north of Summercourt. We raised concerns about the submitted photomontages and sought assurances from the inspector that he would look in detail at what had been provided by the applicant.

11.       Incinerator “Community Liaison Group”

On the 5th September, I attended the inaugural meeting of the liaison group, set up “to provide a link” between the developers (of the waste incinerator at St Dennis) and local communities / organisations.

12.       Meeting with South West Water about Trevarren

As reported previously, I am continuing to make representations on behalf of the residents of Trevarren, who remain concerned about the surcharge of waste from the foul water onto the highway at Trevarren. I attended a meeting with employees of South West Water (SWW) at their Tolgus depot on 9th September to discuss ongoing concerns about potential flooding.

SWW have confirmed that they are planning to make improvements to the sewerage network in the greater St Columb area from 2015 onwards. They have also confirmed that there is a possibility that some improvements could – as part of the wider programme – also be carried out to the network in the Trevarren area, if I can make a strong enough case to SWW and their regulator OFWAT in the next couple of months.

13.       The Kelliers

As members will recall, there is one outstanding issue that must be dealt with in relation the Kelliers, before the lease agreement between Cornwall Council and St Enoder Parish Council can be finalised. This relates to obligations associated with the closed landfill site in the area. On 17th September, I had an on-site meeting with Al Stewart, who deals with closed landfill sites. The purpose of the meeting was for me to clarify some points of detail for Mr Stewart and he has promised to supply me with some further background paperwork to do with the landfill issue. I will report back in detail at the next meeting.

14.       Flytipping

There has been a significant increase in flytipping in recent weeks. I have had to bring a number of incidents to the attention of Cory, which has included a large number of mattresses dumped on local verges.

15.       Highgate Roundabout, Indian Queens

I have also started to make representations to Cornwall Council for the old Stamps Hill road, off the Highgate Roundabout, to be tidied up. This road was blocked in the late 1990s when the tip for Wheal Remfry was extended. Spoil was dumped across the end of the road to prevent access to the blocked off road. I have made representations on this matter in the past, but I am trying again as the area is becoming popular for flytipping. I have requested that the spoil be removed and a gate be erected across the old carriageway.

16.       Entrance to Heather Meadow, Fraddon

In my last monthly report, I informed members that I had met with Teresa Frost (Area Manager CORMAC) and that she had agreed to organise a team of individuals on work experience placements to weed this entrance area into this estate. This has not proved possible, but I have been in contact with Teresa who has pledged that the work will still be done.

17.       Open space at Lindsay Field, Fraddon

The Lindsay Fields development – at the rear of Heather Meadow – includes an area of open space alongside some tree planting. The planning permission specified that this area should be maintained by the developer for five years, but then transferred to Restormel Borough Council (or Cornwall Council as successor authority) in March 2012.

There was a “breakdown in communication” between the developer and the Council, and the land was not transferred. In recent months, I have made numerous representations to the Council about the matter. Progress was glacial, so in July / August I tried again and spoke to the developer as well a range of council officers including the Section 106 compliance officer, staff in the legal section and staff in the environment service, as well as at CORMAC. I am pleased to report that I have been promised that the problem will be sorted in the very near future.

18.       Traffic concerns in St Columb Road

As reported in my last monthly report, I had been approached by a number of people from the St Columb Road area about traffic speed through the area and the need for traffic calming. In turn, I approached Kingsley Developers to suggest that they might link some traffic calming measures to their latest housing application on the former John Julian Depository site. Since the last meeting, I have again met Cornwall Council’s Tim Foster (Principal Development Officer Highways) and Steve Bayley (Highway Manager CORMAC).

I have also been contacted by residents in the vicinity of the Co-op store, as well as the manager of the Co-op, about traffic problems and conflict between delivery lorries and other vehicles. I have approached Steve Bayley to seek advice on whether it would be possible, or indeed appropriate, to refashion the area in front of the Co-op for deliveries.

I am expecting to have feedback on these issues soon, when I will report to the Parish Council.

19.       Double yellow lines / parking enforcement

Some months ago, St Enoder Parish Council submitted evidence abut the lack of enforcement of double yellow lines and the need to strategically review the coverage of such lines in areas such as near the Co-op, and around the top of the Drang and nearby estates.

Because I am unhappy at the lack of response from the unitary authority, I have chased this up and requested a proper answer.

20.       Bus shelters

In August a new bus shelter was erected on the western side of Parka Road in St Columb Road. However, due to objections from local residents, the proposed bus shelter for the eastern side of the road was not taken forward. I have since liaised with officers and they have launched a consultation for a bus shelter at a different location – in the verge in front of the doctor’s surgery.

I understand this consultation is an agenda item at today’s meeting, along with a consultation about the replacement of a bus shelter in Summercourt. I have had no involvement in the preparation of this second proposal.

21.       Homechoice

In recent months, I have advised a large number of people who were bidding for rental properties through the Homechoice system. I have encountered a range of problems with how the system works and I have made representations to senior officers, seeking assurances that the problems will be eradicated.

22.       Indian Queens Band Week

But it hasn’t been all work. In late July, I had the privilege of opening Band Week and supporting the fantastic work of Indian Queens Band.

23.       Charity cricket

I also played in the councillors team in a charity cricket match between councillors and officers at Boscawen Park in Truro. The charity cricket match was an old (County Council) tradition that the Chairman of Cornwall Council has decided to resurrect.

The officers took the honours, though the councillors' cross-party team were not disgraced – something we were pleased about following the hilarious incompetence of our chaotic warm-up. My batting wasn’t up to much, but I did take a couple of wickets.

24.       Newsletter

When I was re-elected in May, I promised to continue to deliver a newsletter every six months or so. I am working on the next version, which I intend to deliver during October and November.

25.       Inquiries

Throughout the last two months, I have also helped numerous people with advice and guidance. Issues included dog mess, housing problems, speeding traffic, untrimmed hedges, various enforcement matters, flytipping, Japanese Knotweed, etc.