Saturday 25 November 2023


Time period: 25th September – 25th November 2023.

1.0 Council and other meetings

Over the last two months, I have attended a range of Cornwall Council meetings. These include Cabinet and Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee (which I attended to make representations about the Homechoice Review); Customers and Support Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee and two associated meetings about the refresh of Cornwall Council’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy; Constitution and Governance Committee; China Clay Area and Luxulyan Community Area Partnership (2); meetings with the link officer for the CAP (2); a training day for elected members; and a meeting about highway matters with the local Cormac officer.

I have attended a range of online meetings via Teams / Zoom video-conferencing. These have included sessions with the link officer for the China Clay Area and Luxulyan Community Area Partnership (3), a get-together for councillors from the China Clay Area and Luxulyan CAP, a pre-agenda session for the national minority working group, briefings on Good Growth and People Hubs, the Mid Cornwall Metro project, the “level 2 devolution deal” (2), group leaders and a training / development session with councillors and senior leadership team from the unitary authority.

I attended a drop-in session organised by Cornish Lithium at ClayTAWC; St Dennis and Nanpean Community Trust (incinerator fund) (2); St Dennis Parish Council (3) and St Enoder Parish Council (3)

In addition, I have had informal meetings with a wide range of groups and individuals.


2.0 Applications

In recent months, a key priority for me has been working on funding applications for a number of local groups.


I submitted an application for £95,000 from the Community Levelling Up funding, administered by Cornwall Council, to purchase the building and safeguard the Centre for the community going forward. The application has been appraised and it went to a meeting of the funding panel of the China Clay Area and Luxulyan CAP. I am chuffed to be able to confirm that I have been successful and I have just received the offer letter. This funding will be match-funded with a grant from the St Dennis and Nanpean Community Trust.

Indian Queens Recreation Ground

Following the completion of the extension to the Indian Queens Youth Club, I submitted an application to the National Lottery Awards for All programme for £10,000 towards the cost of resurfacing the original parking area in the Recreation Ground and the creation of a disabled car parking space next to the Youth Club.

I am very pleased to be able to report that the application was successful and the works have commenced.

Indian Queens Under-Fives Pre-School

I have been working with the team at the Pre-School to secure funding for improvements to the existing Pre-School building. The cladding around the exterior of the structure has been failing for a number of years, and we are seeking funding for new external cladding. Linked to this, we are also looking to improve the internal walls of the Centre, install a new non-slip floor surface and refurbish the kitchen.

The Pre-School is working hard on raising funds, and I have submitted two funding applications on their behalf. The first application was through the Cornwall Community Foundation. It was for £5,000 and I am pleased that it was successful.

The second application is for £70,000 and has been submitted to Cornwall Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy fund. I understand that a decision will be made in December.

Fraddon Millennium Green

I have also submitted an application for £42,000 to Cornwall Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy fund. This will be to install a wooden tractor and trailer slide (in the location of the locomotive that had to be removed) and the replacement of the existing safety surfacing across the park with a newer “wetpour” surface. Linked to this, I have also submitted an application to the National Lottery Awards for All programme for just under £7,000 to match-fund the CIL funding and pay for landscaping improvements around the Millennium Green. I am hoping to hear positive news in December.


3.0 Homechoice

A couple of months ago, I submitted a detailed response to the consultation into the Homechoice system, through which publicly-owned rental properties are allocated. I argued that there should be greater support for local households to secure homes in their home parishes.

A series of recommendations have been produced by officers, some of which I disagree with.

Positives first. There is a proposal for “local letting plans,” which cover communities, such as St Dennis Parish, where not enough properties have been going to households from the host parish. I believe this came about, in part, because of representations that I made.

But there is also a proposed policy shift for Section 106 properties. At the present time, most of these agreements state that properties should go households with links to the host (primary) parish, but if there are no bids it will go to a neighbouring (secondary) parish.

The proposed change would prioritise households in the following order:

· “Band A” households from the primary parish
· “Band A” households from secondary parishes
· “Band B” households from the primary parish
· “Band B” households from secondary parishes
· “Band C” households from the primary parish
· “Band C” households from secondary parishes

There also plans to abolish “Band D” and reduce options for households in the lowest-priority “Band E.”

I do not agree with this and the inevitable consequence that people in housing need with an established local connection to a primary parish will miss out.

St Dennis Parish has a population of 2,880, while secondary parishes have population of 20,930 made up as follows: Roche (3,680), St Columb (4,690), St Enoder (5,000) and St Stephen (7,560). St Enoder Parish meanwhile has a population of 5,000, while secondary parishes have a population of 25,470, made up as follows: Colan (2,900), Ladock (1,820), Roche (3,680), St Columb (4,690), St Dennis (2,880), St Newlyn East (1,940) and St Stephen (7,560).

It seems to me that giving greater priority to secondary parishes (eg. secondary Band B over primary Band C) will greatly reduce the number of housing units going to primary parish households – 20,930 / 25,470 is a lot of people!

It is my view that the proposal goes against the legal agreements signed by Cornwall Council and changes are not in line with council policy, and because of this could do reputational harm to the local authority.

The report was submitted to a meeting of the ruling Cabinet on 8th November. I attended the meeting and, as a consequence of my representations, they agreed to a further two-week consultation (which closed on Friday 24th November). I have submitted two further documents in my own name and assisted both St Dennis and St Enoder Parish Councils with further submissions.

A meeting has been arranged for me on Thursday 30th November to meet with the portfolio holder for housing, senior officers and the chairman and vice-chairman of the Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discuss my concerns further.

4.0 “Level 2 devolution deal”

The latest “devolution deal” was published by the UK Government on 22nd November. Overall, it is extremely under-whelming and does not include the transfer of far-reaching powers from Westminster to Cornwall as has happened in Wales and Scotland since 1999. The deal is simply a range of accommodations between central government and Cornwall’s unitary authority.

The key headlines are local control over the existing Adult Education Budget and £500,000 for Cornish culture and the Cornish language. The deal will be reviewed by the Customers and Support Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday (27th November) and I anticipate it will be endorsed at a meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday (28th November).

I will report more fully in my next monthly report.

5.0 China Clay Area and Luxulyan Community Area Partnership

As the Chairman of the new China Clay Area and Luxulyan CAP, I continue to spend considerable time with officers collating information about the needs of the China Clay Area. I am pleased to report that the CAP has secured £50,000 from Cornwall Council to spend on research for projects. The money has been awarded is in lieu of “Town Vitality Funding,” which went to towns with smaller populations than Clay Country.


6.0 Planning matters

I am monitoring a number of planning applications in St Dennis Parish. These include the following:

· Battery storage areas [PA23/04504 / PA23/06527]. The first successful planning application for battery storage was approved on 2nd February 2022. It was for about 100MW. This is immediately to the rear of and adjoining the existing Indian Queens Power Station. There are two live applications for battery storage on this same piece of land. This is not additional battery storage, but two separate solar companies seeking to, in effect, split the existing consent into two new consents. The Parish Council has raised concerns about the risks relating to developments of this type.

· Construction of a house [PA23/04860]. This is proposed for Hendra Road, next to Jubilee Terrace, and the Parish Council has raised a strong objection.

· 27 dwellings at Hendra Prazey [PA20/11311]. This application has been with Cornwall Council for nearly three years. There have been numerous issues about the location for the development. Most recently, the Council has raised concerns about the ecological impact of the development, as it is adjacent to a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

7.0 Highway matters

In my meeting with the local Cormac representative on 17th November, I discussed a range of highways-related issues in St Dennis Parish. This included the following:

· The Parish Council’s plan for the erection of a series of poles for mobile speed visors.

· The poor quality of road surfaces in a number of areas, where resurfacing is needed. These include Carne Hill, part of Hall Road including pavements, Gothers Road and Trelavour Road.

· The recently completed drainage works on the road near Domellick / Indian Queens Power Station and the need for future monitoring.

· The large amount of lineage in the village which needs repainting.

· My plan to do a re-consultation on a possible traffic calming at the southern entry into Hendra Road as a previous consultation received a limited response.

· My request to investigate the possibility of a streetlight in Downs Close.

· Complaints about speeding in a number of locations, including Enniscaven.

· Representations about an accident between Foxhole and Nanpean.

8.0 Possible multi-use trail

I am continuing to make representations about the possibility of building a project to create a multi-use trail along the old railway line between St Dennis and the Goss Moor nature reserve. I can confirm that a meeting has been arranged with senior council officers on 18th December.

9.0 Cornish Lithium

Following the public meeting organised by Cornish Lithium at The Pitch, which I could not attend as I was on holiday, I was pleased that they agreed to my request to hold further “drop-in” sessions in the village. Two have been held, one of which I was able to attend.


10.0 Planning matters

As always, there continue to be a number of significant planning applications in St Enoder Parish. Listed below are a few applications with updates.

· 69 park homes at Gnomeworld [PA22/07277]. This application is for residential units, which would replace holiday caravans. Cornwall Council expects an off-site financial contribution for affordable housing from such schemes. The applicant is presently discussing the scale of such a payment and viability issues with the unitary authority.

· 18 dwellings opposite New Row, Summercourt [PA22/08134]. The Parish Council has supported this application. I understand that officers from Cornwall Council are presently seeking slight changes to the pedestrian access into Carnego Lane and further testing of the proposed development site in terms of its drainage details.

· Solar farm at Burthy Row / Chytane, Fraddon (PA23/01893). The planning officer has visited the site to consider revised screening near one property. It is my understanding that proposal is likely to be recommended for approval and that it will be considered at a meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee on 14th December. I do not know if the application will be approved, but I have been making representations about the proposed community benefit associated with the scheme. The applicants originally offered a one-off payment of £150,000, which was initially upped to £180,000. When I became aware that an applicant for a solar farm in a neighbouring parish was proposing an annual payment of £20,000 (index-linked), I challenged the applicants for the Burthy Row / Chytane scheme. They have subsequently come back with a revised offer of £17,000 per annum (not index-linked) for a period of 40 years. I have written to them again, challenging why they cannot protect the payment against inflation over the lifetime of the solar farm.

· Holiday lodge at White Cross [PA23/04485]. The Parish Council has objected to this retrospective application. The lodge was complete, before any planning application was submitted.

· 28 dwellings to the rear of Lindsay Fields [PA23/04991]. This application is place of a previous consent for 20 properties. The Parish Council has objected as the proposal did not contain two car parking spaces per unit as expected from the St Enoder Neighbourhood Plan. We are waiting to see a revised plan for further comment.

· Extension to existing commercial industrial unit, Indian Queens Industrial Estate [PA23/05424]. This application was in a location, where a copse of trees had previously been removed. This proposal has been consented, but with a condition to enhance the screening between the extension and Moorland Road.

· Holiday accommodation to rear of Silver Birch Gardens, St Columb Road [PA23/05462]. This application is on the same footprint as a previous application for fifty houses, which was turned down by Cornwall Council in 2021. There have been numerous local objections, including the Parish Council. I am expecting another refusal in this area.

· Storage yard at Toldish [PA23/06705]. A number of local residents have objected to the development, which has already happened without planning permission. The Parish Council has also objected to this retrospective application.

11.0 Highway matters

In my meeting with the local Cormac representative on 17th November, I discussed a range of highways-related issues in St Enoder Parish. This included the following:

· The Parish Council’s plan for the erection of a series of poles for mobile speed visors. The suggested locations are Chapeltown, Penhale, Newquay Road in St Columb Road and Trevarren Green.

· The poor quality of road surfaces in a number of areas, where resurfacing is needed. These include a section near St Enoder Churchtown and along the road between the Arrallas turning and Mitchell.

· The road surface by the new zebra crossing in Chapel Road, Indian Queens, is disappointingly breaking up a bit and the white bits on the speed humps need re-doing already.

· Some of the red surfacing outside Summercourt School is breaking up.

· Double yellow lines need to be redone close to the crossroads at Summercourt following the A3058 works [signalised crossings].

· The large amount of lineage in the village which needs repainting. This includes the bus stop markings in St Francis Road, St Columb Road, by Summercourt School, and Beacon Road, Summercourt.

· Complaints about speeding in a number of locations.

· Concerns raised about parking on Moorland Road, linked to the Industrial Estate.

Also ongoing is the proposed safety works at Sea View Terrace on the road to St Stephen and my follow-up on the Cormac study [Penhale – St Columb Road], plus how I might be able to link this to the Council’s commitment to 20mph speed limits in built-up areas [timetabled for 2024].

12.0 Youth Club

I was pleased to attend the “opening” of the new Youth Club building on 3rd October, when representatives of the Parish Council met with the youth workers from Young People Cornwall who run the Club. The chairman of the Parish Council Alan Shaw symbolically handed over the key.

The original building was constructed in 2014 but proved to be too small for the number of children attending Youth Club sessions at the venue. The Parish Clerk Amanda Kendall and I submitted an application to the unitary authority’s Community Infrastructure Levy fund to double the size of the structure. This was successful and £60,000 was secured towards overall costs of £74,000.

The enlargement works were carried out by local builder Nathan Chapman (N&S Builders Ltd) from Fraddon.

13.0 School visit to Council offices

As a councillor, sometimes you just get to do nice things. On 9th November, I was one of the elected members who supported a visit to the council offices in Truro by children from schools within the Aspire Academy (including Indian Queens and Summercourt). The children were a credit to their schools, and it was great to see them learning more about democracy and public services.

14.0 Remembrance Sunday

I was pleased to attend the annual Remembrance Sunday event at St Enoder Churchtown on 12th November and to read out the names of the fallen. I was also pleased to supply information about three servicemen (William James Bailey and Richard Enoder Tonkin who were lost in the First World War, and Maurice Sloman who was lost in the Second World War) and whose lives were featured in the church service.

The service at St Dennis was held at the same time as the St Enoder event and I was therefore unable to attend. I remain grateful to the Chairman of St Dennis Parish Council, Julia Clarke, who ensured that a wreath was laid on my behalf at the St Dennis commemoration.

15.0 Newsletter

As previously noted, relatively recently, I distributed a newsletter around St Dennis Parish, but because of my workload I have not yet been able get one produced for St Enoder Parish. My present plan is to draft the leaflet in December and deliver it immediately after Christmas.


16.0 Advice

In addition, I have assisted numerous households and individuals with guidance and advice on a range of topics.

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