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.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The European elections ...

My article in this week's Cornish Guardian is on the European elections. It is as follows:


On Thursday, voters will be going to the polls in the controversial elections to the European Parliament, which have, unsurprisingly, been dominated by Brexit.

Along with many others, I am nervous about what a post-Brexit future will hold for Cornwall and whether our communities will be a priority for the Westminster Parliament.

I do worry that powers “repatriated” from the European Union will largely be centralised in London, and there will be no democratic dividend for Cornwall and the other nations and regions of the UK. I would also question whether there will be any appetite from central government to tackle inequality across the UK or to reverse the decades-long under-investment into areas away from the South East.

It has been widely reported that Mebyon Kernow is not contesting the “south west” seat in these elections– not least because it stretches from the Isles of Scilly to Wiltshire via Gibraltar. Because of this, MK members in the St Austell and Newquay Constituency decided to take the opportunity to write to MEP candidates to find out if they support the proposal for a Cornish Assembly.

My colleagues were very disappointed that they did not receive a single reply from candidates representing Change UK, the Conservatives, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats or The Brexit Party.

On a more positive note, the Green Party’s list confirmed that they fully support greater self-government for Cornwall, adding that “Cornwall has a distinct historical and geographical identity” and pledging to support and actively campaign for “the establishment of an Assembly for Cornwall, with similar powers to those of the Welsh Assembly.”

I was pleased that they also criticised the over-centralised nature of the British state and recognised the disproportionate power held at Westminster, and the need to give power back to the regions of the UK.

In addition, one English Democrat candidate said she was supportive of an Assembly, as were two of the independents (Larch Maxey and Neville Seed). One UKIP candidate also replied but did not express an opinion.

It will therefore surprise no-one that I will be voting for the Green Party in the European Parliament elections.

I would add that MK has co-operated with the Greens on a number of occasions during the last 25 years and they sit in the same progressive group in the European Parliament as the European Free Alliance (of which MK is a member along with our sister parties Plaid Cymru, the SNP and the Yorkshire Party).

Monday, 20 May 2019

STATEMENT ON EU ELECTIONS FROM MK’S LEADERSHIP TEAM

As Mebyon Kernow is not standing in the 2019 EU Elections, we have been asked on numerous occasions who we will be voting for.

We can confirm that the National Executive of MK has not agreed a formal position on this matter but, in a spirit of openness, we are happy to confirm that MK’s leadership team will be voting for the Green Party.

MK has co-operated with the Greens on a number of occasions during the last 25 years and the Greens also sit in the same progressive group in the European Parliament as the European Free Alliance (of which MK is a member along with our sister parties Plaid Cymru, the SNP and the Yorkshire Party).

In a survey of candidates in the “south west” region, the Green Party has also confirmed its continuing support for a Cornish Assembly, while we had no positive responses from Change UK, the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party or UKIP.

In addition, MK and the Greens share many goals such as the need for a greater focus on dealing with climate change.

Cllrs Michael Bunney, Dick Cole, Loveday Jenkin and Andrew Long

Sunday, 19 May 2019

WHAT DO EU CANDIDATES THINK ABOUT PROPOSAL FOR NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF CORNWALL?


The St Austell and Newquay Constituency Party of MK recently sent a copy of the MK booklet “Towards a National Assembly of Cornwall” to all candidates standing in the “south west” seat for the European Parliament.

We requested that the candidates give their personal view – and that of their party – on the proposal for a Cornish Assembly.

We can confirm the following:

- The Green Party has confirmed that they fully support the push for a Cornish Assembly.
- One English Democrat candidate (Jenny Knight) said she was supportive of an Assembly.
- One UKIP candidate (Stephen Lee) replied but was non-committal.
- Two independents (Larch Maxey and Neville Seed) said they were supportive of an Assembly.

Not one candidate from Change UK, Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems or The Brexit Party has replied.

THE GREEN PARTY (TOM SCOTT ON BEHALF OF THE GREEN LIST)

I’m happy to say that I very much agree with the thrust of the proposals for this outlined in the leaflet that you sent, and that for some time now this has also been Green Party policy, as agreed by our members at our party conference. To quote from our policy document on public administration:

“The Green Party recognises that Cornwall has a distinct historical and geographical identity, and supports (and will actively campaign for) the establishment of an Assembly for Cornwall, with similar powers to those of the Welsh Assembly, which will be supported, in turn, by a new local government structure promoting subsidiarity.

“Any such region should be able to decide, via a referendum of the citizens living within it, to create a directly elected regional assembly as an additional tier of government.

“These regional assemblies would take over the powers of region-wide non governmental agencies, and adapt their existing bureaucracies to serve the new Assembly. Funding would, in the initial stages, come from diverting the existing block grant regional funding allocated by central Government.

“The particular form and structure of these regional assemblies set up under will vary from region to region according to regional circumstances. They should be elected by a system of proportional representation. The appropriate form and structure will be determined by regional constitutional conventions drawn from all sectors of society, similar to the Scottish Constitutional Convention.”

In the EU context, subsidiarity – regional and local self-government enabling decisions to be democratically made as closely as possible to the people they affect – is one of the basic principles of the European Union, and one which was strongly restated with the signing of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. It is a principle with which with which the Green Party wholeheartedly agrees – we think power should flow upwards from the people rather than downwards from an over-centralised state.

I also agree with you that it would be very much to Cornwall’s advantage at EU level to have a regional assembly with representation at EU level, e.g. in the Committee of the Regions.

In my view, one reason that the Brexit referendum of 2016 went the way that it did is because people do not feel properly represented by our current electoral and constitutional arrangements – and I think the chaos and confusion that has resulted should be an urgent wake-up call prompting a fresh look at these. As Caroline Lucas said earlier this year:

“Brexit shows no sign of giving us back ‘control’ or changing the way we’re ruled. A People’s Vote should be the starting gun on the race to genuinely democratise the UK. Looking anew at the way Britain is governed, not just by the EU but by Westminster as well. We are one of the most centralised countries in Europe, with disproportionate power held at Westminster, and far too little in our regions and local authorities. Powers need to go back to the regions of the UK, where people have a better chance of influencing it.”

JENNY KNIGHT (ENGLISH DEMOCRATS)

I am the English Democrats candidate for the Sth West + Gibraltar in the forthcoming elections. I was asked to record a minute manifesto for local radio which I have to say sounds unnaturally fast due to the time factor! However, I thought you might be interested and please share it as you see fit.

Good Luck with your National Assembly and self determination for Cornwall.

UKIP (STEPHEN LEE)


You sent me your devolution leaflet I assume because I am a Euro candidate for the South West. Bearing in mind I am only 5th on the UKIP list I would not get very excited about my chances of success or my opinion. Hopefully even if I won I will not need to take my seat at Brussels, at least for very long. Even if I were to win a seat, as members of the European Parliament have only a tiny influence either in the UK or the EU I doubt that my opinion on Cornwall having it's own assembly will have much significance.

I am not aware of UKIP policy on the subject - I have no-one to ask today. At the moment we are bogged down with both local and EU elections but I am interested in the subject. On a personal level I am torn between smaller central government and accountability. You might argue that a devolved government is more accountable. My opinion is that can only work under proportional representation to avoid the formation of potentially corrupt cliques forming.

I just looked at our local policies and they do not mention local assemblies. Please see Local Government at https://www.ukip.org/ukip-manifesto.php

LARCH MAXEY

As a Welsh Speaker who'se seen the difference a National Assembly made to Wales I am highly supportive of a Cornish Assembly.

As a Climate and Ecological Emergency Independent my focus is on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. As The UN General Secretary has said, if we do not turn things around by the end of this year, 2019, we risk the extinction of our species. Everything is at stake so we must do everything we can and research and history suggest that means mass participation civil disobedience as politics alone will not be enough..

I welcome the move towards more democracy that a Cornish Assembly offers and have a question which would help me get behind a Cornish Assembly: Is MK willing to commit to using Citizens' Assemblies within the National Assembly - thus allowing people to have a real direct voice and role in democracy?

One of our aims is National Citizen Assemblies on Climate & Ecological Justice

1. The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament must tell the truth and take action to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency.
2. The Emergency Declaration must demand a zero carbon Europe by a date no later than 2030.
3. National Citizen Assemblies on Climate & Ecological Justice must be instituted and have a leading role in shaping a zero carbon Europe.

NEVILLE SEED

I have long thought that more needs to be done and am a supporter of a proposed national assembly similar to that of Wales.

It is a shame you did not peruse this in 2004 when the North East rejected such an assembly. Having grown up in the North East and having family there I understand the differences between the 2 regions and why a rejection there should not dissuade you pursuing a Cornwall assembly.

I have made a reference to this problem on my campaign website in the policies section https://nevilleseed.co.uk/policies/. Your policy booklet is however far superior.

If elected I will do all I can to help bring about a Cornwall assembly as I feel the area is overlooked by the main political parties.

If possible I would like to know your viewpoints on the fishing industry and how you see being impacted by Brexit or the lack of it.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Climate change and the "UN planetary health check"



My article in tomorrow’s Cornish Guardian covers issues relating to climate change. It will be as follows:

At the World Economic Forum at Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, in January, David Attenborough declared that “The Garden of Eden is no more.” Addressing the Forum, which asserts to “engage the foremost political, business and other leaders of society,” he issued a challenge for stronger action in the battle against climate change.

Mr Attenborough told the meeting: “I am quite literally from another age. I was born during the Holocene – the name given to the 12,000-year period of climatic stability that allowed humans to settle, farm and create civilisations.”

The 93-year-old added: “Global businesses, international co-operation and the striving for higher ideals these are all possible because for millennia, on a global scale, nature has largely been predictable and stable … now in the space of one human lifetime – indeed in the space of my lifetime – all that has changed. The Holocene has ended. The Garden of Eden is no more.”

And he went on to cleverly suggest that we are now in the Anthropocene – the Age of Humans, adding that we all need to “move beyond” the “guilt or blame” for the environmental crisis we are in, and to get on with the “practical tasks at hand” to deal with the emergency.

Mr Attenborough has also reached out beyond the “powerful,” who assembled at Davos, with a television programme called “Climate Change – the Facts,” which built on his life’s work as a broadcaster and natural historian. This essential work is being complemented by so many environmental campaigners, including the inspirational 16-year-old Greta Thunberg.

Tackling climate change and safeguarding the global environment are the defining issues of the early 21st century, as borne out by yet another damning report – this time from the UN which has brought together the work of more than 450 scientists and diplomats.

This report warns that “nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history — and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely [and] the health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.”

One of the authors of the report, Professor Andy Purvis from the Natural History Museum, has described it as “the most thorough, most detailed and most extensive planetary health check” that has ever been done.

His perspective is so telling. “The take-home message is that we should have gone to the doctor sooner. We are in a bad way. The society we would like our children and grandchildren to live in is in real jeopardy. I cannot overstate it. If we leave it to later generations to clear up the mess, I don’t think they will forgive us.”

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

HAVE YOU WRITTEN TO KEVIN FOSTER (MINISTER FOR THE CONSTITUTION)?


As we mark the fifth anniversary of the recognition of the Cornish through the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and five years of inaction from the UK Government – if you haven’t already done so – please write to the Minister for the Constitution Kevin Foster (see picture) and challenge him to take the lead in bringing forward a proposal for a Cornish tick-box in the next census.

His address is: Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall, London SW1A 2AS and the email for the Cabinet Office is: publiccorrespondence@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

Please also write to your local MP on this matter. The address for all MPs is: House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. Email addresses can be found from https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

And if you live outside Cornwall, it would be especially helpful if you could write to your MP and show parliamentarians across the UK that there is a very wide demand for a Cornish tick-box.

SOME USEFUL INFORMATION TO HELP YOU MAKE THE CASE FOR A CORNISH TICK-BOX ON THE 2021 CENSUS

The Government White Paper “Help Shape Our Future: The 2021 Census of Population and Housing in England and Wales” does not include support for a Cornish tick-box.

However, this Autumn, a statutory order will be laid before both Houses of Parliament. It will set out the content of the 2021 census and, very importantly, this order can be amended by the UK Government, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

We therefore need to start building a massive groundswell of support for a Cornish tick-box and to lobby Government Ministers and MPs to treat the Cornish in the same manner “as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.”

Here is some possible points to make in your letter:


• The White Paper, based on recommendations from the Office of National Statistics, states that the “ONS fully recognises the need of the Cornish community for data on the socio-economic, educational, health and housing conditions of those who identify as Cornish” (para 3.116). But in failing to support the inclusion of a Cornish tick-box on the 2021 census, they undermine their own stated commitment to “those who identify as Cornish.”

• In April 2014, the Cornish people were recognised as a national minority through the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. This was a landmark decision by the UK Government and the official announcement stated that “the decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish, now affords them the same status … as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.”

• It is illogical and wrong that the Cornish would be the only UK national minority to be denied a tick-box in the upcoming census, and to have to “write-in” their national identity.

• If the next census (as in 2011) contains tick-boxes for British, English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish – but not Cornish – there will be significant doubts about the veracity of the data collected on the Cornish. With the Cornish having to rely on a “write-in” option – however energetically that option may be promoted – there will still undoubtedly be a significant undercount in comparison to those groups who have been afforded a tick-box, such as “the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.”

• There was no tick-box for Welsh on the 2001 census and 14% of the population of Wales “wrote-in” Welsh. Ten years later, with a tick-box, 66% of the population identified as Welsh. In 2011, there was no tick-box for Cornish on the census but 13.8% of the population of Cornwall “wrote-in” Cornish. As shown in Wales, a tick-box is needed to achieve a full count of Cornish people across Cornwall, England and Wales.

• The failure to properly collect data about the Cornish would make it difficult for the UK Government, plus other public bodies such as Cornwall Council and the National Health Service, to meet their obligations under the Framework Convention, and to devise appropriate policy solutions for this national minority.

• The White Paper states that the ONS considers the need for a Cornish tick-box to be “very localised and not strong enough to justify its inclusion in the nationwide census” (para 3.120). But how can the ONS consider the Cornish to represent a localised scenario, and yet do not take a similar view in relation to other groups principally associated with a specific historic territory, such as the Welsh. In the 2011 census, 16.9% of people who identified as Welsh were resident outside of Wales, while 12.3% of people who identified as Cornish were resident outside of Cornwall. However, Cornish people living outside of Cornwall in 2011 would have been less likely to have seen the publicity materials promoting the “write-in” option and remain significantly under-recorded.

• The tick-box issue is one of great significance to Cornish people and their public representatives. There was near-unanimous support for a cross-party motion, seeking a tick-box, which was tabled at a meeting of Cornwall Council in January 2019. Only one member voted against the motion and there was just a single abstention.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

MEBYON KERNOW HIT OUT AT GOVERNMENT INACTION ON FRAMEWORK CONVENTION


Five years on from the recognition of the Cornish as a national minority through the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, on behalf of Mebyon Kernow, I have criticised the UK Government for failing to meet its obligations towards the Cornish.

To be blunt, I accused the UK Government of a “manifest failure” to deliver on the commitments it agreed to on 24th April 2014. My statement was follows:

“The recognition of the Cornish in 2014 was a landmark ruling and the UK Government made it clear that the Cornish would be afforded ‘the same status … as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.’

“A significant document, the Framework Convention sets out numerous obligations for the Westminster Parliament. These include support for Cornish language and culture with associated improvements in education and the media, the greater visibility of the Cornish in public life and the media, the protection of the integrity of Cornwall and its historic borders, more opportunities for Cornwall and the Cornish on the international stage, and so much more.

“It is therefore desperately disappointing that the anticipated changes in public policy have simply not materialised, because the UK Government, and other bodies such as the BBC and the Office of National Statistics (ONS), have failed to meet their stated responsibilities.

“Five years of inaction from the Westminster establishment represents a manifest failure to treat the Cornish in the same manner as the ‘Scots, the Welsh and the Irish,’ while many of their actions have been prejudicial to the intent of the Framework Convention.

“Five years on from 24th April 2014, the UK Government needs to apologise for their failure to deliver on the articles of the Framework Convention, and it needs to immediately put in place measures to properly reflect the status of the Cornish throughout all aspects of cultural, economic and political life in Cornwall and across the UK as a whole.”

Examples of the UK Government’s failure to deliver on articles in the Framework Convention:


· In 2016, less than two years after ministers set out their positive support for Cornish culture, the UK Government ended all central government funding for the Cornish language.

· Also in 2016, the BBC launched its new Charter which included support for the “regional and minority languages of the United Kingdom” but Cornish was explicitly excluded.

· The present proposal for the 2021 census shows that there will be tick-boxes for all the UK national minorities – with the exception of the Cornish who will have to “write-in” their nationality.

· The ongoing review of the boundaries of seats in the Westminster Parliament respects the historic territories of the Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh, but this is not the case with Cornwall, which faces the imposition of a “Devonwall” cross-Tamar parliamentary seat.

· The UK Government continues to treat Cornwall as no more than a local government area, whereas the other Celtic parts of the UK have devolved settlements, which reflect their national status and can exhibit real power on behalf of their residents.

Monday, 15 April 2019

HELP US TO MAKE THE CASE FOR A CORNISH TICK-BOX ON THE 2021 CENSUS


The Government White Paper “Help Shape Our Future: The 2021 Census of Population and Housing in England and Wales” does not include support for a Cornish tick-box.

However, this Autumn, a statutory order will be laid before both Houses of Parliament. It will set out the content of the 2021 census and, very importantly, this order can be amended by the UK Government, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

We therefore need to start building a massive groundswell of support for a Cornish tick-box and to lobby Government Ministers and MPs to treat the Cornish in the same manner “as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.”

Please write to the interim Minister for the Constitution Kevin Foster and ask him to take the lead in bringing forward a proposal for a Cornish tick-box in the next census. His address is: Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall, London SW1A 2AS and the email for the Cabinet Office is: publiccorrespondence@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk.

Please also write to your local MP on this matter. The address for all MPs is: House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. Email addresses can be found from https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

If you live outside Cornwall, it would be especially helpful if you could write to your MP and show parliamentarians across the UK that there is a very wide demand for a Cornish tick-box.

POSSIBLE CONTENT FOR YOUR LETTER
  • The White Paper, based on recommendations from the Office of National Statistics, states that the “ONS fully recognises the need of the Cornish community for data on the socio-economic, educational, health and housing conditions of those who identify as Cornish” (para 3.116). But in failing to support the inclusion of a Cornish tick-box on the 2021 census, they undermine their own stated commitment to “those who identify as Cornish.
  • In April 2014, the Cornish people were recognised as a national minority through the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. This was a landmark decision by the UK Government and the official announcement stated that “the decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish, now affords them the same status … as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.”
  • It is illogical and wrong that the Cornish would be the only UK national minority to be denied a tick-box in the upcoming census, and to have to “write-in” their national identity.
  • If the next census (as in 2011) contains tick-boxes for British, English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish – but not Cornish – there will be significant doubts about the veracity of the data collected on the Cornish. With the Cornish having to rely on a “write-in” option – however energetically that option may be promoted – there will still undoubtedly be a significant undercount in comparison to those groups who have been afforded a tick-box, such as “the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.”
  • There was no tick-box for Welsh on the 2001 census and 14% of the population of Wales “wrote-in” Welsh. Ten years later, with a tick-box, 66% of the population identified as Welsh. In 2011, there was no tick-box for Cornish on the census but 13.8% of the population of Cornwall “wrote-in” Cornish. As shown in Wales, a tick-box is needed to achieve a full count of Cornish people across Cornwall, England and Wales.
  • The failure to properly collect data about the Cornish would make it difficult for the UK Government, plus other public bodies such as Cornwall Council and the National Health Service, to meet their obligations under the Framework Convention, and to devise appropriate policy solutions for this national minority.
  • The White Paper states that the ONS considers the need for a Cornish tick-box to be “very localised and not strong enough to justify its inclusion in the nationwide census” (para 3.120). But how can the ONS consider the Cornish to represent a localised scenario, and yet do not take a similar view in relation to other groups principally associated with a specific historic territory, such as the Welsh. In the 2011 census, 16.9% of people who identified as Welsh were resident outside of Wales, while 12.3% of people who identified as Cornish were resident outside of Cornwall. However, Cornish people living outside of Cornwall in 2011 would have been less likely to have seen the publicity materials promoting the “write-in” option and remain significantly under-recorded.
  • The tick-box issue is one of great significance to Cornish people and their public representatives. There was near-unanimous support for a cross-party motion, seeking a tick-box, which was tabled at a meeting of Cornwall Council in January 2019. Only one member voted against the motion and there was just a single abstention.
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

An update on census meeting with the ONS


On Friday 12th April, I attended a meeting with two representatives of the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which included the Director of Population and Public Policy Operations. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss the need for a Cornish tick-box in the national identity section of the 2021 census.

The meeting itself took place in St Austell and was organised by Steve Double MP. He was present along with a representative from the office of Scott Mann MP. Also there from Cornwall Council were an officer, the Deputy Leader Cllr Julian German (Independent), Cllr Jesse Foot (Liberal Democrat) and Cllr Jordan Rowse (Conservative).

It would be a massive understatement on our part to describe the meeting as very frustrating as we challenged the ONS on a range of points.

We set out our great disappointment that the ONS had not supported a Cornish tick-box, even though the resultant Government White Paper stated that they fully recognised the “need of the Cornish community for data on the socio-economic, educational, health and housing conditions of those who identify as Cornish.”

We reminded the ONS that the Cornish had been recognised as a “national minority,” the UK Government has promised that the Cornish would be afforded the “same status … as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish,” and that it was therefore illogical that the Cornish would be the only UK national minority to be denied a tick-box.

Of course, it was noted that Cornish people could “write-in” their national identity, but we countered with the obvious retort that data collected in such manner would result in a massive undercount in the number of Cornish people across the UK, and there would rightly be significant doubts about the veracity of the data that was collected.

However, whatever we said, it was clear from the meeting that the ONS will not be revisiting their position and a statutory order will be laid before both Houses of Parliament towards the end of this year.

Very importantly, this represents an opportunity for the UK Government and MPs to modify what will be included within the census.

I have already written to the interim Minister for the Constitution Kevin Foster, who has taken the place of Chloe Smith who is on maternity leave, and requested that he take the lead in bringing forward a proposal for a Cornish tick-box on the next census.

It would be great if others could also write to him and their local MPs on this matter. Mr Foster’s address is c/o Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall, London SW1A 2AS.

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

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

My annual report to Parish Assembly


I will be presenting my annual report to the St Enoder Parish Assembly tonight. It is as follows:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has assisted me with my work over the last twelve months.

Through my role as the Cornwall Councillor for St Enoder Parish, I produce regular reports, which are presented to the (monthly) Full Council meetings of St Enoder Parish Council. Normally, I do ten reports each year as the Council does not have Full Council meetings in August and December.

These reports can still be viewed on the Parish Council website or on my blog. See:
[www.saintenoderparishcouncil.org.uk]
[http://mebyonkernow.blogspot.co.uk].

Listed below are a few examples of my activities during this period, though I must add that the list is not exhaustive.

1. Roles at Cornwall Council

I have served as vice-chairman of the Electoral Review Panel for the 2018-2019 council year. I have also been a member of the Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the working group on national minority status and, in addition, I have been present at a wide range of other committees as a non-voting member.

I have attended about 130 formal meetings and briefings at Cornwall Council and St Enoder Parish Council (including the work of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group), as well as a significant number of informal meetings with council officers, local parishioners and groups.

As well, I represented Cornwall Council at the County Council Networks Conference and, through my work with the Electoral Review Panel, I helped front consultations at the three-day Royal Cornwall Show and attended the most recent Conference of the Cornwall Association of Local Councils.

2. Other organisations

I have served on a number of other organisations, both Cornwall-wide and locally. These include: South and East Cornwall Local Action Group (for LEADER funding), South and East Cornwall Local Action Group (for Community-led Local Development funding), St Austell Bay Economic Forum, China Clay Area Training and Work Centre at St Dennis (Chairman), Fraddon Millennium Green (Secretary), the Indian Queens Pit Association (Trustee) and the St Piran Trust (Trustee).

3. World War 1 project

One of the highlights of the past 12 months for me has been completion of the community project, carried out through the Parish Council, to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. I am very pleased with the book that has been produced, which remembers the 73 men from Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt who lost their lives in the conflict. We also produced memorial boards for each of the three village halls, as well as pull-up banners for the Indian Queens Methodist Church and St Enoder Parish Church. A replica of the roll of honour in Indian Queens Methodist Church was produced and was rededicated in the Chapel. Funding for the project included £7,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

4. Neighbourhood Plan for St Enoder

Along with other members of St Enoder Parish Council, a key priority in recent months has been the work towards a Neighbourhood Plan for St Enoder Parish. A “pre-submission” draft of a Neighbourhood Plan was completed at the end of 2018, which was based on feedback that we have received from local residents from the villages of Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt, as well as surrounding rural areas.

A six-week consultation was held between Monday 7th January and Monday 18th February; and we then allowed an extension until 11th March. The Parish Council’s working group is now reviewing the feedback and a final version of the document is being prepared. 

5. Other planning matters

Planning continue to dominate much of civic life in St Enoder Parish, and I have made representations on a range of applications. Some applications have been refused by local planners, but developers have appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.

To show the variety of what we are dealing with, I have listed a number of examples of significant and/or controversial applications:

- Mobile homes on the Kelliers

An unauthorised caravan site on the Kelliers failed to secure planning permission and a subsequent application for six traveller pitches on the site was refused by Cornwall Council, but the landowner appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol. I prepared an 8,000 word statement and represented the Parish Council at an informal hearing, but the inspector nonetheless allowed permission for the development.

- Traveller site on Highgate Hill

The proposal to allow the dayroom on the traveller site near Highgate Hill, Indian Queens, to be turned into a dwelling was referred to the Central Planning Committee. The meeting took place on 6th August 2018 and, in spite of strong objections raised by the Parish Council, it was given permission by the Committee.

- Carvynick Holiday Park

At the Central Planning Committee on 18th March 2019, planning permission was granted for 38 holiday units and an office/leisure building at Carvynick. Access, layout and scale with appearance and landscaping remain reserved. The applicants did not wish a holiday condition to be imposed on the 38 units, seeking them to be unfettered residential properties, but this was not supported at the meeting.

- Higher Fraddon

An application was submitted last year to modify the consent for the planning permission at the pig farm, so that the operators would not need to retrofit biofilters in two of the livestock buildings. Discussions are ongoing. Two pre-application submissions for housing alongside Higher Fraddon lane have just been submitted and are already causing considerable concern in the area.

6. Highway works

Over the last twelve months, I have made representations on a wide range of traffic issues, ranging from pot-holes to flooding, issues around Indian Queens School, to speeding and road safety issues.

- Patching and surfacing

Key works that have been done include the patching and resurfacing of a number of roads. In recent weeks, this has included Trevarren, the main road to Newquay near Atlantic Reach, and the road from the A3058 (St Austell Street) to Goonabarn, to the south of Summercourt. More patching is planned for a number of areas around the Parish (which were listed in my most recent monthly report.

- Community Network Funding

I can also report that for each of the next four years (starting 2018-19), the five parishes of the China Clay Area will receive a total of £50,000 to share on localised highway improvements. This amount of money is extremely limited and local Cornwall Councillors and representatives of local parish councils will be involved in selecting which schemes go forward.

Schemes under consideration include the purchase of a mobile speed camera for St Enoder Parish and calming works outside Summercourt School but, at the moment, there are issues with the costs of the running and maintenance of the camera, and officers at the Council have suggested there is a need for a £7,000 “feasibility study” for any calming works outside the School. I am in the process of making further representations on these issues.

- Road improvements on A3058 (Summercourt to Quintrell Downs)

Last year, I reported that Cornwall Council had been allocated a total of £1.1 million to carry out safety works to the road between the crossroads at Summercourt and Quintrell Downs. The funding will not be made available until 2020/2021 but work has commenced on scoping what works will be funded. I have requested that works need to be carried out within the actual village of Summercourt and a meeting to discuss the nature of the interventions was held last week.

- Double yellow lines

I continue to attend meetings with council officers and the Cabinet member for Transport following the “Positive Parking Review.” Following a revised approach to car parks in towns (ie. more mechanised control in key car parks), enforcement officers will more regularly be out in rural areas. I am therefore continuing to make representations about the need to repaint double yellow lines in many parts of St Enoder Parish.

7. Positive initiatives

It has been very rewarding to be involved with a host of projects with parish councillors, the Parish Clerk Amanda Kendall and local people.

- New play equipment in the Thomas Playing Field

I spent many weeks helping Mark Kessell and the Parish Clerk liaise with the installers of the new play equipment in the playing field, which took much longer than anticipated because of various supply and logistical issues. However, now that it is open, I hope local people are pleased with what has been delivered. It was largely funded from payments associated with planning consents (ie. a modified consent at Carvynick Holiday Park, the wind turbines at Goonabarn and solar farm at Glebe Farm, Summercourt). In order to save money, the turfing around the equipment was laid by parish councillors and volunteers.

- Cemetery extension at Indian Queens

I have also been liaising with the Parish Clerk about the extension of the cemetery at Indian Queens. It is great to see that the new Cornish hedge has been completed and I have now been tasked to pull together the change-of-use planning application for the enclosure.

- Tidy-up of the Kelliers

It has also been good to start “tidy-up” work on the Kelliers, which the Parish Council now owns and is looking to enhance as a countryside area. Two sessions were held last year and significant amounts of rubbish collected. This included over 150 tyres, which were disposed of by Cornwall Council. Hopefully more sessions will be arranged in the coming weeks.

8. PCSOs

For over two years, I have been making representations against changes to policing across Cornwall and the planned reduction in Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). It now well known that one of the PCSOs who served our area has moved to a different station and will not be replaced. I am continuing to make representations on this matter.

9. Economic Strategy for the China Clay Area

Cornwall Councillors from the China Clay Area have been pushing, for a significant time, for the unitary authority to work with us to produce an economic strategy for the Clay Area. There has been quite a focus on “place-shaping” for certain towns, such as St Austell, but we have had to take the initiative for our area. Cornwall Council has agreed that we can pilot an approach to bring forward such a strategy for our Network Area which could be replicated elsewhere. A document should soon be ready for consultation.

10. Electoral Review Panel

As the vice-chairman of the above panel, I have spent a significant amount of time focused on the Review of council divisions. Though I was an active opponent of the reduction in the number of Cornwall Councillors from 123 to 87, we had to do our best to help devise new seats that made as much sense as possible. I can confirm that the local seat at the 2021 elections will cover the parishes of St Enoder and St Dennis.

The committee has now been tasked with carrying out a review of parish boundaries (where there are requests for change), which will be quite onerous.

11. Dealing with concerns of local people

As the Cornwall Councillor for St Enoder Parish, I have had numerous issues brought to my attention and I have done my best to help peoples’ concerns get addressed at the unitary authority. Examples of issues include the unauthorised clay pigeon shooting near Goonabarn, anti-social behaviour in the Fraddon and Indian Queens area, plus issues with the pig farm and biogas plant in Higher Fraddon.

12. At “County Hall”

Likewise, I have been involved with a number of campaigns. This has included opposition to the merger of the “Devon and Cornwall” Police Force with that of Dorset, opposition to the imposition of a cross-Tamar “Devonwall” parliamentary constituency, and support for the campaign for a Cornish tickbox on the 2021 census.

13. Helping local community groups

I have also worked with a number of local groups, offering what advice and support I can, and recently welcomed two classes of children from Indian Queens Primary School to New County Hall and answered a lot of questions, ranging from local concerns to climate change and Brexit.

14. My Community Fund 

Each year, Cornwall Councillors are allocated £2,000 which we, in turn, can grant to local organisations. I can confirm that for 2018/2019, I have given supported Summercourt Garden Club, for their work with Summercourt Primary School, and the Indian Queens and district carnival. In addition, I purchased a handicart through St Enoder Parish Council, that local volunteers will be able to use when carrying out litter picks.

I will soon receive my allocation for 2019/2020 and I am keen to hear from local groups who may need some financial assistance.

15. Gorsedh Kernow

Gorsedh Kernow held its 2018 ceremony on the Barrowfields in Newquay on 1st September. I was made a bard in recognition of the work I have done campaigning to protect the geographical and cultural integrity of Cornwall. My bardic name is Gwythyas an Tir, meaning Guardian of the Land. I would also like to say a big thank you to everyone who has sent me their best wishes and congratulations.

16. Cornish Guardian column

Throughout the year, I have produced a weekly column which has been published in the Cornish Guardian newspaper and covered a host of local and international issues.

17. Inquiries

I continue to help local people with advice and assistance on a daily basis. This covers a diverse range of issues from traffic to housing and various environmental concerns.

I can be contacted on 07791 876607 or dickcole@btinternet.com.

An update on policing in St Enoder area


My article in this week’s Cornish Guardian considers police staffing in our local area. It is as follows:

It is to be welcomed that the Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and Police Commissioner Alison Hernandez are making representations to the Policing Minster Nick Hurd about the “unsustainable impact” of dealing with the “extra 11 million tourists to Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly eachyear.”

They are right to challenge the dreadful under-funding of the police by the UK Government – and it is not just pressures during the tourist season.

I agree with Mr Sawyer that it is unacceptable that our local force “receives an average of 49p per person per day funding, well below the national average of 57p.” And it is a scandal, that in spite of “greater complexity and demand,” we have “1,000 fewer officers and staff than in 2010.”

Conservative activist Alison Hernandez, in particular, needs to get her own party to live up to their failed election promises.

I cannot forgive them for claiming – before they came to power in 2010 – that they would put “more police on the street” and even lambasted “dishonest” opponents who suggested the Tories would “cut police officer numbers.”

After years of damaging funding cuts, such mock outrage does look pretty threadbare.

It is now two years on from the launch of the Police and Crime Plan (2017-2020), which agreed to recruit “100 new uniformed officers, 50 civilian investigators and 30 record-takers,” though the downsize was that more than half of the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) would be “phased out.”

Along with many others, I objected to the proposed reduction in PCSOs and I was very concerned at newspaper reports which stated that, though “no decision” had been taken on which communities would lose a PCSO, “large towns and cities are expected to see little change.” Obviously, I challenged the Police Commissioner on this and the negative impact on more rural communities.

I received assurances that the statement was not correct, and yet it seems to be coming true in my local area.

The full-time PCSO serving the St Columb and St Enoder part of the Newquay policing area has moved to a different patch, and Inspector Dave Meredith has confirmed that the officer will not be replaced because of the cuts. Dave kindly attended a recent meeting of our Parish Council to explain his decision. He outlined the pressures that the local police were under, and when challenged on whether any of the PCSOs in Newquay would spend time in St Enoder Parish, he said this would not be happening because of greater pressures in the town.

It may be a logical decision for the Inspector, but I am very angry that my local area will receive less cover because of government cuts. This all needs to change.

Post-Brexit regional funding?



My article in last week’s Cornish Guardian considers what the UK Government’s post-Brexit approach to regional funding could mean for Cornwall. It was as follows:

The political chaos around Brexit continues and it really does emphasise the dysfunctional nature of the Westminster Parliament. It is little wonder that so many people consider our politics to be broken.

I am getting particularly irritated by the many MPs and political activists who are repeatedly calling for a General Election, as if that would somehow end the present impasse between divided political parties. What nonsense.

It would be fair to say that I often write about regional policy, but again I find it so frustrating that, at this time of great discord, the Prime Minister and the UK Government are failing to properly address what Brexit will mean for Cornwall and other deprived areas, which just happen to be located many, many miles from the corridors of power in London.

In one of the numerous parliamentary debates which took place last week, the Prime Minister was challenged about post-EU regional funding. In her response, she acknowledged that funds had been “available from the European Union for different parts of the country” and went on to add that a future “Shared Prosperity Fund” will be “available” to different parts of the country!

Such a deliberately vague answer – which did not pledge actual funding to the poorest parts of the UK – does a great disservice to campaigners seeking economic fairness.

But just days before, Mebyon Kernow’s sister party in Wales, Plaid Cymru, had launched a hard-hitting report on this matter titled “Not a Penny Less.”

The report opens with a simple statement that said: “The Vote Leave campaign promised that Wales wouldn’t lose a penny if we left the European Union. In fact they said there would be a Brexit dividend.” We all know that similar promises were made about Cornwall around the time of the referendum.

“Not a Penny Less” notes that there has been no consultation on the proposed Shared Prosperity Fund, through which funds will be allocated post-Brexit, and rightly condemns the alarming “lack of information and forward planning on this essential funding stream.”

It notes how EU structural funds have been an “important investment in skills and infrastructure” but that “on their own they are not sufficient to transform the Welsh economy, as shown in the past twenty years.”

It concludes that the “replacement of the European Structural Funds with the Shared Prosperity Fund is an opportunity for much more substantial investment that could be genuinely transformational and reduce inequality between communities. This would involve a far greater sum of funding from the UK Government than that currently provided by the European Union and match funding.”

But the question is: will Westminster do the right thing for places like Cornwall and Wales?

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

My latest monthly report


At tonight's meeting of St Enoder Parish Council, I presented my latest monthly report. It covered the period 24th February – 24th March 2019 and was as follows:

Listed below are some examples of the work that I have undertaken during the last month.

1. Council meetings and related activities

I attended a number of formal meetings at Cornwall Council, which included Full Council, Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Central Sub-Area Planning Committee, China Clay Area Network, Electoral Review Panel (plus two meetings with officers about the Community Governance Review for local parishes), plus member briefings on a heritage strategy and the Community Governance Review. In addition, I went to a briefing about the new arrangements for “regional” planning teams within the unitary authority.

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

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

2. Other meetings and activities

I also took part in meetings of ClayTAWC – Clay Area Training Work Centre (chairman), the Leader Local Action Group for South and East Cornwall and the Community-led Local Development Local Action Group for South and East Cornwall (vice-chairman).

3. Planning matters

3.1 Neighbourhood Plan


The consultation into the “pre-submission” draft of the Neighbourhood Plan for St Enoder Parish initially ended on Monday 18th February. However, following comments from a local business, an extension to the consultation was agreed until 11th March.

In total, twelve responses were received from local residents, six from statutory agencies and ten from local landowners. The working group has had an initial meeting to review the feedback received and further work will be carried out in the next few weeks. A senior planning officer at Cornwall Council is also looking at the document for the working group.

3.2 Carvynick Holiday Park

At the Central Planning Committee on 18th March, planning permission was granted for 38 holiday units and an office/leisure building, with access, layout and scale with appearance and landscaping reserved. The applicants did not wish a holiday condition to be imposed on the 38 units, seeking them to be unfettered residential properties, but this was not supported at the meeting.

I supported the position of the case officer. In her report, she stated that any proposal for housing does not comply with policies 3 and 21 of the Cornwall Local Plan as Carvynick is not within or immediately adjoining the settlement of Summercourt.

An appeal on a similar scheme at Carvynick, that had previously been refused by the unitary authority, is with the Planning Inspectorate and will be assessed in the coming weeks.

3.3 Extension to Indian Queens Cemetery

As I noted in my last monthly report, the preparation of the planning application for the extension to Indian Queens Cemetery is one of my priorities at the moment. I will be meeting with a senior planning officer on Tuesday (26th March) to discuss what needs to be in the application.

3.4 Housing SPD

At the most recent meeting of Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 12th March, a proposed new draft of a Housing Supplementary Document was discussed. I raised a significant number of points of detail and attended a subsequent follow-up meeting to ensure these issues were properly reflected in the final document which will soon be going out to consultation.

4. Traffic issues

I met with the local Cormac officer, Rachel Tatlow, on 7th March to discuss a range of traffic issues. These were as follows:

- Surfacing works

In the last couple of months, surfacing works have been undertaken at Trevarren and on the A392 (near junctions with Atlantic Reach, Tresithney and Trugo). With regard to the works on the A392, I have 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 are also ongoing on the road from the A3058 (St Austell Street) to Goonabarn, to the south of Summercourt.

The following surfacing works are timetabled for the next few months:

- 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, 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

- Community Network funding

I have previously reported how I am keen for the Parish Council to be able to use this funding scheme to purchase a mobile speed camera for the local area and carry out calming works outside Summercourt School. We discussed the issues around the running, maintenance and other costs of the camera, as well as my unhappiness about the need for a “feasibility study” costing £7,000 for any calming works outside Summercourt School.

I have been promised further feedback and I have requested a meeting with the Cabinet member with responsibility for transport.

- Improvements along A3058 (north of Summercourt)

Last year, I reported that Cornwall Council had been successful in its bid to the Government’s Safer Roads Fund and has been allocated a total of £1.1 million to carry out safety works to the road between the crossroads at Summercourt and Quintrell Downs.

The funding will not be made available until 2020/2021 but work has commenced on scoping what works will be funded. I have already made representations that works need to be carried out within the actual village of Summercourt and a meeting to discuss the nature of the interventions will be held next week.

- Other issues with A3058 (St Austell Street)

I have again raised concerns about known incidents of localised flooding on the A3058 and issues with ditches, which have been brought to my attention by local residents. Ms Tatlow has promised to investigate the concerns raised.

- Church Lane

St Enoder Parish Council maintains the ditch in Church Lane by the Mission Church, even though it is not in the Council’s ownership. On 9th November, Cllr David Hearl, the Parish Clerk and the Parish handyman put dye down the road drain system on Pocohontas Crescent and the top end of St Francis Road. This confirmed that all the road water is going into the ditch in Church Lane and, as a consequence, the ditch is being worn away.

I soon after visited the site with Ms Tatlow and she agreed to look into the situation. I have received the following update by email:

Following our site visit to the ditch at St Francis Road opposite Victory Hall, I’ve reviewed the history of the site, and obtained legal advice. The letter below was sent to the clerk to St Enoder in 2006, and outlines the situation which still stands in the present day.

The authority carried out some clearance work at the time as a gesture of goodwill, but explained that further works would be for the responsibility of the landowner or parish council.

I refer to my letter dated 9th August 2006 and I have now received a response from our Legal section. The situation is that although the water is from the County Council's roads [and] runs along the ditch beside the private lane, the County Council is not responsible for the maintenance of the ditch.

Similarly there is no documentary evidence to suggest that the County Council constructed the chambers or laid the drainage pipe to the outfall and therefore the County Council cannot be held responsible for the flooding.

It is noted that after one of the heavy rainfalls a gully close to the area of flooding on the private road had been cleared because the debris was lying beside it.

Having said this I am prepared, as a gesture of goodwill, to arrange for the ditch to be cleared and for the low section of embankment to be rebuilt to prevent water leaving the ditch and flowing down the road to the low spot. Once this work has been carried out I think the responsibility for the maintenance of the ditch, the chambers and the pipe will fall to either the landowners or the Parish Council


It is clear to me that the Parish Council needs to make further representations on this matter.

- Request for “yellow box” markings at Carnego Lane junction at Summercourt crossroads.


In terms of the above request, I received the following reply:

Further to the request for a yellow box marking … I’m advised by our road safety engineer that it wouldn’t be appropriate to change the KEEP CLEAR marking for a yellow box marking. Yellow box markings are generally marked across the whole width of a junction (exit as well as entry lane). At the location in question, it would prevent anyone getting to the stop line here.

It is thought that the majority of occasions when a vehicle wishes to turn right into Carnego Lane will be when both A3058 arms of the junction are simultaneously ‘green’ and they would have to wait for oncoming traffic anyway, i.e. the perceived ‘congestion’ is not due to stationary traffic at the junction, but to oncoming moving traffic unaffected by markings.

In conclusion the Keep Clear marking is the appropriate one for this situation.


I also raised concerns about damage to the verge of Carnego Lane, but the highway steward visited and took the view that none of the verge / hedge damage was unreasonable.

- Other issues


I am also continuing to follow up the below matters:

- Safety issues at a number of locations including Toldish and the school drop-off point on the Drang.

- Traffic management plan for Indian Queens School agreed as part of the planning consent for additional classrooms (which I am also following up with the Education team at County Hall).

- Parking problems at Penhale.

- Double yellow lines

In addition, I am following up on my request that faded double yellow lines are repainted.

5. Police cover in St Enoder Parish

As reported in my last monthly report, I wrote to Inspector David Meredith about the loss of a local PCSO. He has replied and stated that the officer will not be replaced because of police cuts.

I am however pleased that Inspector Meredith will be attending the next meeting of the Parish Council on 26th March.

6. New bus contract


Cornwall Council is presently scoping the content of the bus new contract for the period 2020 onwards and I have already met with the team to discuss what might be provided through St Enoder Parish. They have promised to keep me informed as they develop the various timetables and I will, in turn, let people know what is proposed as soon as I have news.

7. Visit of Indian Queens School to New County Hall

There are many positive aspects to my role as a Cornwall Councillor and, for the third year running, I was able to welcome children from Indian Queens School to County Hall for a visit. Two classes came to the council chamber (along with a visit to the Shelterbox centre) and asked lots of probing questions, ranging from local traffic issues, to climate change and Brexit!

8. Inquiries

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