A Motion Passed

I will cut to the chase on this. The motion was passed for Web Casting and live Broadcasting of all formal Council Meetings . That’s good news. It would be easy to take all the credit, but without others helping me, this motion would probably never have got through. It was not just the other Councillors that helped, but the Staff in Democratic Services. They really helped me to get what I wanted into the Legal Council Speak. It was an all round team effort and something I would like to see more of.

From the way the debate went most Councillors were in favour of the Motion and could see if used wisely that this would be a great step forward in giving the Public a better understanding of the Council. Some wanted this first to go through Scrutiny, but I felt as this motion was for full Council to debate and not just passed off to one of the other Committees. This amendment to the original Motion was defeated. Its a credit to the Chairman that she allowed the debate.

Now the working group will meet and get the ball rolling as quick as possible. I shall of course keep you up to date on when it will officially go live. 

Here are some other views on today’s event

Jeremy RoweAlex FolkesGraham Smith (sorry I could not resist this one)

Voting – Do you live here?

The General Election is looming. We have a raft of Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (“PPCs”) and MP’s pounding the streets with their troops delivering leaflets promising the world if you vote for them and the Party they are standing for.

I really have not decided who I will vote for yet. One person definitely off my “to consider” list is Philippa Latimer PPC (Labour) for the St. Ives seat.  That seat covers my area of Porthleven and Helston.  Why have I discounted her?  Well,  for the one and simple reason that she lives in London and “visits” Cornwall.

I’m sorry, but if you even want me to consider voting for you, a fundamental rule is that you live in the area that you wish to represent, not move to the area after you win (if indeed you do).

This issue has really annoyed me. So much so that I have decided to Blog about it. I have always tried to keep my Blog non-political, but this just takes the biscuit. I am sure Ms Latimer is a very nice person but surely they could have found someone suitable who lives in the area? Or at a push, at least lives in Cornwall?

Here is the link to see what has annoyed me so much LINK

The Question is: how many more PPCs don’t even live in the area they are representing? Or even in the County that they are standing for in Parliament?

Perhaps a list of PPCs who don’t meet these criteria would be a good idea?

I welcome your views.

Empty Homes

I have been asked by Cornwall Council to survey Porthleven for empty homes that have not been in use for over 6 months. I am not sure how many we have, but there has not been a survey along these lines in a long time.

Very often empty properties are owned by people who are elderly, disabled or simply do not have the funds to bring the property back into use. Cornwall Council has adopted a Housing Renewals Policy that offers financial assistance to empty property owners.

These properties could then be re-used to house local people who are in dire need of homes in these areas. If anyone knows of a property that fits this description then please drop me a line with the details. Or you can, if you prefer, report the empty property to Cornwall Council’s website at www.cornwall.gov.uk/emptyproperties

Thank you for your help on this matter.

A Motion

Tomorrow, Tuesday 30th March, is going to be a first for me. Nine months after getting elected I will be making my first Motion to Cornwall Council. This Motion is about the live Broadcasting of all formal Committee meetings.

This is something that I strongly believe in. Not everyone is able to attend a Council meeting due to other commitments, but many would like to see how those decision are made that will effect Cornwall. This is one way of allowing those people to see how we do our business. We are, after all, accountable to the Public.

From what I can gather this Motion has, in principle, a lot of support. Not everyone will be in favour, but I hope most Councillors will see the major benefits to this course of action. This Motion is supported by other Political Groups. Andrew Long (MK), Scott Mann and Steve Double (Con) and Jeremy Rowe and Rob Nolan of the LD have all signed up to this Motion. It’s always good when all the Political Groups work together for a common purpose. I just wish there was more of it.

As for the result, I will post this once it has been debated and voted upon.

Here is the (Link) to the Agenda (it’s at Item 13.1).

Helping Groups

Some of you may know that each Cornwall Councillor gets a small grant allowance of £2195 to help local groups with a little bit of funding. To these groups that receive this money it means a great deal to them as otherwise it would take them a lot of fund raising to get a similar figure.

I wish I had more money to give out, but sadly not. At least something is better than nothing. Up to March 31st 2010 I have managed to help the following groups with a small Grant.

  •  Porthleven Lights – £250
  • 1st Guides Porthleven  – £300
  • Porthleven Bowling Club – £250
  • Porthleven Youth Football Club – £220
  • Food and Music Festival, Porthleven – £400
  • Public & WI Hall Porthleven £250
  • Porthleven Gig Club – £500
  • Weeth Farm Tree Nursery (Transition Helston) – £150

I will be getting another £2195 from the 1st April 2010 to help out other worthy groups. If you would like to apply for this Grant for your Group, then please contact me.

Update on Recycling in Porthleven

It’s always pleasing to see people making comments on my Blog. One of those comments was in reference to recycling in Porthleven. They did not leave a name, but they did mention a few ideas that were good, and needed  looking into.

The first one was on a compost bin at the cemetery for old flowers. I am pleased to say after a few phone calls a bin of that nature will be arriving there in the next few weeks. Probably around the 16th of April. 

The second one that I really thought was a great idea was on street recycling bins. Again, after a few calls this is looking like a possibility. I have put Porthleven down as a trial site for this scheme. Just awaiting budget approval, but Porthleven will (hopefully) be one of the trial sites for this. I think that’s a great positive for Porthleven.

It just goes to show how Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media can be used to a great effect.

What do you think of parking charges?

As the title says “what do you think?” Its not just about charges, but how off street car parking should be managed in the future.

Well here is your chance to comment. As the Chairman of the Parking Panel for Cornwall we are undertaking a full review on all parking issues within Cornwall. Before it makes any decision, the Panel wants to hear from you the Public and the Town and Parishes. You have until 21st April to comment.

Here is the (Questionnaire ) as part of the review. Also, here is the (LINK) on other parking issues.

A Safe Crossing

One of the main aims I set myself to achieve whilst I was in office was to get some sort of pedestrian crossing between the Fairground Car Park and the Boating lake in Helston. This is now a step closer to happening. The road in question is a straight and fast road, even though its a 30mph zone. This area is very popular and alot of people cross this road. So its about time they were able to do so in a much safer way.

The reason is that from the 1st April Members of Cornwall Council will be getting a budget of £8k to use on minor highways projects in their areas (this money is not for use on resurfacing or maintenance projects). I have now requested the Highways Engineers to do a feasibility and costings study. My initial correspondence is that this project could be completed for £8-10k.

If indeed this can be done for that figure I hope to get the work started within the next 6 months. I know it seems a long time, but projects like these take a little time to get started and finished.

Recycling in Porthleven

Its recently struck me that for the size of Porthleven (3,500 people) we do not have any of the small bottle banks and other types of recycling banks in this Town (or Village if you prefer). If you wish to empty your recycling outside the fortnightly collection round you have to go to Helston to do this.

Well, things could change. I am planning to place 3 of the smaller kinds of banks in Shrubberies Hill Car Park. This I believe would be the ideal location as you can easily park and unload and it isn’t that far from the centre of Porthleven.

I am hoping to have these in place within the next few weeks (subject to a small survey) on a 6 month trial. If successful, then I’m hoping that these will become permanent. The last banks in Porthleven were in 2004. These were subject to some misuse. I hope that this will now not be the case, and people will not just dump rubbish at this site.

The old saying goes, If you abuse it, you lose it.

Carers Centres

Plans are afoot to have a Carer’s Centre in Cornwall to enable those who care for family members to have the extra help they need. This is not going to be a stand alone building, but a series of help numbers and drop in centres.

The concept of this is I believe a good one. Many  people out in the wider community do not know who they can turn to to seek help. Many people out there don’t even see themselves as Carers, but really they are because they are helping family members. There are 55,000 Carers in Cornwall and over 6 million in the UK.  So there is no denying there is a need for this type of service.

There will be some sort of HQ for this to work, but this has not been identified as yet. Its got funding for the next 3 years and options for a further 2 years. The funding for the first three years is £300K, £360k and £450k.  The functions that this service will carry out are

  • Information and Advice
  • Counselling
  • Emotional Support
  • Carers Support Groups
  • Welfare Rights Advice
  • Health and Wellbeing Courses
  • Easier Access to Services for Carers

The question is will it work? This was the question being asked at today’s Health and Adults Scrutiny Committee. Many on the Committee saw this as a great step forward in helping those carers.  Others thought there had not been enough consultation over the plan.  Those trying to set up this up said they had fully consulted, but to some (the Committee) this was not enough.

The recommendation from the Committee was that further Consultation would be carried  over the next 6 weeks before being brought back to the Committee for a recommendation to Cabinet.

 For those who want to read the whole report here is the link to the Agenda. It’s number 7 on the Agenda (Link)

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