Porthleven Remembrance Parade 11th November 2018

On Sunday 11th November, Porthleven will remember all those who gave their lives in the Great War, World War II and conflicts on-ward to the present day. Remembrance Day is not just for all those who served, or supported the efforts and came home. But for the Nation as a whole to remember.

This year is also poignant, as it is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. Where on the 11th of the 11th the guns finally fell silent.

In Porthleven, there will be two events on Sunday. the first being at 11am at the War Memorial.  For all those who wish to partake in this, please muster at the War Memorial at 10:45, where there will be a service of remembrance at 11am.

The second event is the main parade. Like the previous event I hope as many people can give up their time to attend.

For all those who wish to attend, please muster at the Public Hall at 13:45. The parade will form up just after 14:00, and setting off at 14:15 sharp with a procession, led by Porthleven Band to Fore Street Methodist Chapel where there will be a service of remembrance. On completion of this, there will be a procession from Chapel to the War Memorial, where a further service of remembrance and wreath laying will take place (roughly at 15:15). On completion, it is a march past and procession to the public hall for refreshments.

As Mayor, but also as an ex-serviceman, I hope as many will attend the two events on Sunday.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them”.

The full poem For the Fallen written by Laurance Binyon:

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Is it not widely know, but the poem was composed while Binyon was sitting on the cliff-top looking out to sea from the dramatic scenery of the north Cornish coastline. A plaque marks the location at Pentire Point, north of Polzeath. However, there is also a small plaque on the East Cliff north of Portreath.

Porthleven Shipyard building approved at the fourth attempt

Depending on which side of the fence you sit, you will either be happy this building has been approved, or like me, very sad a building will be built which will have more harm to the fabric of Porthleven than good. As today, the West Planning Committee approved the plans by 11 votes to 4 on the fourth attempt.

Both myself as the Cornwall Council and Porthleven Town Council objected to this building on the grounds that it was:

  • The proposed development is not in harmony in terms of shape, scale, massing, bulk and proportions with the existing character and appearance of the area
  • The proposed development does not protect or enhance the character and appearance of the area
  • The proposed design does not respond positively to the Porthleven Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy
  • There is high number of objections raised by the local community over 100 with only 6 supporting.

I am also concerned that this application was re-heard at committee with only minor changed to the previously refused applications. All we have had is a letter from someone who has been paid by the applicant but was author to the original appraisal strategy, and the colour of the windows being changed from dark/black to white. Hardly real material changes to an already refused planning application. But this was enough for the committee to change its mind, but also, more importantly the conservation office who said having white windows will be less harmful. I know. Nothing about the scale and design of the building being harmful.

The use of the building is not clear. In the planning process, the building has been everything and nothing with claims of creating over 70 jobs, to the latest plan of only 20. In the previous identical application, it was 70 plus. It is not clear if these jobs are actually new jobs, or relocated jobs from existing properties owned by the applicant. There has been no business plan or impact assessment to prove the need vs the harm this building will bring.

Conservation and ANOB areas are important. They are to there to give a level of protection to conserve and enhance an important area. Not to be used to support having less substantial harm upon the heritage asset within the locality. Even the applicants planning agent letter of the 18th July says little substantial harm. In anyone’s definition, substantial harm abet how much, is not meaning conserve or enhance. If there was no harm you would say this, not little substantial harm. You either have harm or not.

As for the 100 plus people who took the time to object (and those 6 who supported) little weight was given to those points. I felt it was like they were not event taken into consideration.

Thanks go to John Boyle who spoke against the application at committee and to Cllr Mike Toy who represented Porthleven Town Council. Thanks to the four Councillors who voted against this applications

Not sure on the time scale, but I would imagine it won’t be long till the diggers move in and start to build this building that we are all going to have to live with.

 

 

Loe Bar Coastal Footpath Officially Opened

Last week, I had the pleasure to take part in the official opening of the Loe Bar to Porthleven coastal footpath, along with all the people involved in making it happen. When I first heard of part of the footpath falling into the sea – which seemed about 10 minutes after it happened – I feared the footpath would either not be repaired or taken years. However, my fears never came to fruition.

Just some of the people involved with the project

The scale of the landslip meant you couldn’t just move the footpath a couple of feet and be done with it. The footpath needed a complete rethink for it to work for just about all abilities, but also for the footpath to have longevity. This required many people to be involved from the farmer, the south-west coast path team, Cornwall Council and of course the National Trust. To further complicate matters, the old pathway was a by-way, so a legal Modification Order was required. This has resulted in both a footpath and bridleway being constructed.

Martin Wallis (farmer), Mike (NT) and Hamish (Cornwall Council)

In what was true partnership working, a new footpath and bridleway was constructed that I hope people will appreciate the effort and cost that has gone into this. Many thanks must go to all the parties involved, but special thanks to Greg from the National Trust who managed the project and kept the public informed through-out, Martin Wallis who gave up a entire field to enable the paths to be constructed, and to Darren Searle who build the footpath.

Apologies must go to the cows who have lost probably one of the best views anyone could wish for.

The upset cows..

Election result for Porthleven Town Council with thanks to the 23% who bothered

Anyone standing for election deserve thanks. So I will start off with saying well done to Clair Murray who was recently elected and to Spencer Hawes, Christine Hosey and Trevor Toms who stood and contested the election on the 6th September.

Congratulations to Trevor Toms who won the vote with 287 of the 592 votes cast Well done to Spencer and Christine who polled 177 and 125 votes. However, this blog post is not about four great candidates and the two who got elected onto the Town Council but the shameful indifference and apathetic way people treat elections. Especially at a local level.

Is it really good enough that less than a quarter – 23% – of the voting population in Porthleven voted on the 6th of September? The simple answer is no, it is not good enough. in-fact, it is shameful. However, it get worse. As the election on the 6th was the fourth election to fill two seats. Yes fourth. In the two other elections, no-one put their name forward.

I have read many comments about ‘I didn’t know anything about the candidates’ and that is the reason why I did not vote. Really? Is that actually an excuse? I never received any flyer through the door, but still voted. In all elections that I have been eligible to vote in, I may have not received information, met the candidate, or knew anything about them, but I asked, did the research myself, or voted with the hope that whoever had placed themselves on the ballot was going to do their very best for the community.

As someone who has stood for a few elections. I can tell you delivering leaflets is not a simple matter. It takes weeks to deliver to each house. There is no party machine to help, you have to do this on your own. All the candidates work, or are they expected to take off a couple of weeks holiday so you can get a leaflet. I know the candidates were out delivering on weekends and after work. But Porthleven is bigger than you think. It’s not just about walking up and down the street, it is up and down pathways to the front door. It takes time, a lot of time.

When you stand for election, you have to fund all your materials yourself. Printing is not cheap. Or should you only be able to stand for election if you can afford the printing costs? You are not going to get much change out of £300 to enable each house to get one leaflet.

Another excuse I heard is I did not know there was an election on. Granted everyone is not on social media. But everyone who is on the electoral register (and you should be by law) got a letter which acts as a polling card. The truth is you do not even need a polling card to vote. You just give you name and address and in a very British sense of honesty, you are given a bit of paper to cast your vote in pencil.

The very fact three people put their names forward to be on the Town Council should be enough for you to give up 10 minutes of your time and pick one. Yes, you might not everything about them, but they are standing because they want to help Porthleven. That is enough reason to vote.

So well done to the 592 people who did their civic duty and voted. Shame on the other (with exceptions to those who may have been unable to due to health and other reasons etc) the 77% who could not be bothered or came up with another excuse as why not to vote. It really isn’t good enough.

And as a final shot, the election cost you the tax-payer of Porthleven near £5k. As it is your money being spent, don’t you think you should actually vote…

 

An Epic 2018 Porthleven Torchlight Procession

This year’s Torchlight Procession was by far the biggest with 1300 – if not more – people taking part. It was staggering to see just how many people took part.

This event is organised by a small band of people (6) which make up the Porthleven Community Group along with helpers from Porthleven TC, Cober Valley Rotary and a few students from Falmouth University who helped out during the event.

The Procession was wonderfully lead by Porthleven’s Town Band.

A sea of torches make their way pass the Institute

To help fund this event, Porthleven TC and Coastline Housing give grants to keep this a cheap as possible for all who are attending.

On torch selling duties

Just before the off, torches are lit

The Procession coming down Cliff Road

 

The three candidates standing for Porthleven Town Council

The three candidates who are standing for the Town Council on the 6th September have now published their election leaflet.

To aid who you might vote for, here are their leaflets (listed as the appear on the poll).

The vote will take place on the 6th of September. Those voting in person, the Polling Station will be at the Public Hall and voting can take place between 7am and 10pm.

Object to the Shipyard Application before it is too late.

The battle over the innovation-come-restaurant-come-unclear use building is still being fought. The building has been refused twice at committee stage, but with a slight change to the windows, a fourth incarnation of this building is winding its way through the planning system.

I have read the comment on Facebook and I am heartened to see so many comments that are supporting refusal. However, by commenting on Facebook will not stop this application from being approved. As people need to let planners and councillors on the planning committee this proposal is not wanted.

For this application to stand a chance of being refused, please take the 5 or 10 minutes to make you comment via the planning system by either online, email or in good old-fashioned letter form. Not just post on Facebook and think you have done your part. Ironically, it probably took longer to post on FB than it would via the official means. You could even cut and paste your comments from FB into an email etc.

The online way is via HERE or email planning@cornwall.gov.uk using the planning reference number in the header – PA18/06813

I have seen a few comments to ask how to object on planning terms. These three simple reasons are valid for any objection:

  • The proposed development is not in harmony in terms of shape, scale, massing, bulk and proportions with the existing character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed development does not protect or enhance the character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed design does not respond positively to the Porthleven Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy.

These points have formed the strong reasons for refusal(s) at the committee.

I ask you what would you prefer, take 5-10 minutes to make your objection known or having to look at the building for the next 50 plus years and wish it was never there. Once it is there, you cannot undo it. I know what I would rather do than see something that will result in harm to our much-loved Porthleven.

For a more in-depth objection you could use these reasons as follows:

The proposed development would, due to its scale, bulk and form, result in an imposing building which would fail to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and wider appreciation of Porthleven within the AONB landscape and harm the setting and appearance of non-designated heritage assets namely St Bartholomew Church and the stone boundary wall fronting Methleigh Bottoms.

The less than substantial harm identified would outweigh the benefits of the proposal and the development would be contrary to the aims of Policies 1, 2, 12, 23 and 24 of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010-2030, paragraphs 7, 14, 17, 56, 57, 58,115, 126, 127, 131 and 135 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2012, guidance within the Porthleven Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy and Cornwall AONB Management Plan 2016-2021 and Section 72 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Area) Act 1990.

(Of course for those supporting this application are able to give supporting comments too).

Porthleven Shipyard building turned down for the second time.

For the last two-years Trevor Osborne has tried to build in the Porthleven Shipyard. The first application to be submitted, was rightly refused by the West Planning Committee last October for a variety of reasons.

Fast forward six-plus-months and the latest incarnation of the building was on the agenda for a decision at the same Committee. The footprint of the building is smaller, as is the bulk. The entrance that was proposed along Methleigh Bottoms has also been removed.

However, the same fundamental reasons the town council and myself have objected to is:

  • The proposed development is not in harmony in terms of shape, scale, massing, bulk and proportions with the existing character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed development does not protect or enhance the character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed design does not respond positively to the Porthleven
    Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy.

A further point is the buildings use. Whilst the aim is for some sort of innovation hub, details are not clear of the functions of such a building, especially when many hubs have to diversify to make them financially viable.

To be clear myself or the Town Council are not anti-development. But any development has to be more beneficial to a community than harmful. On balance, this buildings is more the latter.

After a robust debate, two councillors (Councillors Graham Coad and Mike Thomas) proposed approval. However, all was not lost, and a series of Councillors spoke against the applications.

A vote was taken for approval, but it was lost 7-8. Therefore, the motion for approval was lost. The next motion was for refusal put forward by Cllr Joyce Duffin. This motion was carried by 8-7. Which means the application was refused.

The applicant has the right of appeal, but this has to be done within six-months of the decision notice. The previous decision from October has passed the the six-months window, and therefore, my understanding is this application cannot be appealed.

Porthleven Cemetery and its current condition

There is a lot of concern and heartache over the state of Porthleven Cemetery, especially around the issue of it being overgrown and the gravesides looking unkept. I share those concerns as this is not good enough.

In response to those concerns, I have written to the Head of Service to highlight how people feel. Yes, many people who are buried there as long dead, but families who are still in the area (or further afield) expect a certain level of dignity for their departed relatives. More so with recently bereaved families.

I have had a response from the Head of Service who has assured me the area will be cut early next week as a priority. I was also informed this area was cut four-weeks ago. Though from looking at the length of grass, this has grown very quickly!

In days gone by, there was someone who maintained this area, but this hasn’t happen for over a decade – if not longer. Cornwall Council has assured me this area is cut three times a year. Yes, that might not be frequent enough and have asked for more cuts to take place, but I have also asked if Cornwall Council would allow community cuts to take place. This is where a group of volunteers help keep this area more tidy. This is not ideal, but might help solve some of the heartache families are feeling.

There was a group called Pride in Porthleven, but this was superseded by the Porthleven Environmental Group. I will be asking this group to see if they will be willing to take on this project.

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