Sunday, 30 July 2017

My latest monthly report

At last week’s Parish Council meeting, I presented my most recent monthly report. It covered the time period of 26th June to 23rd July, and was as follows:

1. Council meetings

Over the last few weeks, I have attended a range of formal meetings. These have included: Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee; Constitution and Governance Committee; Electoral Review Panel (2) and a number of additional informal meetings through my position of vice-chairman of the Panel; a briefing on the Council’s approach to the development of a new waste collection strategy; a Network meeting for the China Clay Area; a Group Leaders’ meeting; and a briefing in advance of this coming week’s Full Council meeting.

In the same period, I have also been at two meetings of St Enoder Parish Council.

2. Other meetings / events

In addition, I have attended meetings of ClayTAWC (2) of which I am Chairman, Indian Queens Pit (trustee), a sub-group of the St Austell Bay Economic Forum (SABEF), and the Annual General Meeting of the St Piran Trust.

Last Sunday (23rd July) I was very pleased to be invited to open the second day of the Rescorla Festival at the old chapel in the village, which has been converted into a cultural centre. It partly clashed with a concert by Indian Queens Band in the Pit, but I was able to get to both.

Because of the work that I have done across the China Clay Area, I also received an invitation to attend Carclaze Primary School for a presentation from the children about the china clay industry through words and dance. It was really great to see.

3. Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee

At the second meeting of the above committee, councillors discussed the work programme for the coming months. A “task and finish” group has been set up to review the Council’s arrangement for parking, which will include enforcement matters. Much of the discussion from the officers and other councillors focused on the towns and I had to speak up for rural areas such as ours. As a consequence of this, I have become a member of the “task and finish” group.

4. Briefing on waste

At the briefing into the Council’s approach to the development of a new waste collection strategy, I raised queries about the low number of public waste bins in areas such as ours. I received an assurance these concerns will be addressed in the review.

5. Electoral Review Panel

As I wrote in my last monthly report, I have been elected as the vice-chairman of this Panel and I am heavily involved in its ongoing work producing a response to the consultation from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England that states Cornwall Council should only have 87 members from 2021 onwards.

Given that the initial view of the unitary authority (105-115 councillors) was deemed unacceptable by the LGBCE, the Panel has reaffirmed its view that there should be 99 councillors on Cornwall Council. This is in spite of the fact that many Cornwall Councillors, myself included, would prefer the number of elected members not to be reduced. This recommendation will be presented to Full Council this week.

6. Regeneration study for St Austell and the China Clay Area

On 18th July I attended a workshop on behalf of St Enoder Parish about the regeneration of our area. I am also involved with this through SABEF, but I am worried that there is an inadequate focus on the actual China Clay Area. I am making representations about this and will report more in my next monthly report.

7. Update on works at biogas plant at Higher Fraddon

Further to last month’s report, I can add that Greener for Life is about to start emptying the secondary digester of material so that they can lower the height of its dome. Cornwall Council has agreed extra vehicle movements for this work in line with a submitted Construction Management Plan and a Construction Environment Management Plan. However, the Council has insisted on two banksmen (at the top and bottom of the lane) to ensure that HGVs do not meet in the lane.

I also hosted a meeting between residents and three officers from Cornwall Council to discuss progress with the discharge of the conditions for the planning permission. Some of these updates have been featured in recent monthly updates and the minutes for this meeting are available on request.

8. Planning matters

Members will recall that, about nine months ago, the unauthorised caravan site on the Kelliers failed to secure planning permission through an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. The owners were also told that they had to remove the caravans by 18th July 2017, but they have failed to do this. Cornwall Council is looking to ratchet up enforcement actions.

I am continuing to liase with officers on a range of planning applications and I will update more fully in my next monthly report.

9. Bus shelters

The issue of the maintenance of Cornwall Council-owned bus shelters was a key topic at the recent meeting of the Network Panel for the China Clay Area. I have also made further representations and some of the bus shelters were recently cleaned. I made further representations that not all were done and I have asked for the job to be completed.

10. School visit

On 14th July, 35 children from Indian Queens School visited New County Hall. I was pleased to be able to assist with the event and I was one of three councillors who answered some very searching questions.

11. World War 1 project

I can confirm that the application for funding towards a Parish Council project to remember the local war dead of the Great War has been submitted. I am now waiting on the response.

12. Inquiries

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

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