Porthleven Diamond Jubilee Picnic in the Park

The working group organising the Porthleven Diamond Jubilee Picnic in the Park have just launched a Facebook page to keep the residents of Porthleven informed on the progress and list of activities and events to take place at this event. The Facebook page can be found HERE.

The event will be held on the 5th June, starting at 12 noon, and finishes at 5pm.  To make the event extra-special, the working group wants people to take part, or supply a few pictures to put on display. These are:

  • WANTED: Teams of 5 people for a Tug of War competition at 15:00 (adult & child categories). Who are the strongest group of people in Porthleven? Harbour Inn staff/drinkers? Gig team? Surfers? Footballers? Please call Annette or Darren on 01326 561121 to register your team. Which pub/club will add the coveted Diamond Jubilee Tug of War trophy to their shelf?
  • WANTED: cakes! There’ll be a cake decorating competition for adults & children so let your imagination & creativity run wild & get baking over the weekend. Why not get your kids to decorate a cake on Bank Holiday Monday & bring along their creation? The theme is ‘Red, White & Blue’.
  • WANTED: photos of events held in Porthleven over the years. We’re having an exhibition called ‘Porthleven Celebrations Through The Ages’ in a marquee & we need old photos that you have tucked away of past celebrations held in the village. Demelza at Porthleven Holiday Cottages is coordinating & if you take your photos to her on the Harbour Head she’ll scan them & give them back to you.

This event is open to everyone so please spread the word & let’s make it a Jubilee event to remember! If you want to dress up in red, white & blue then please do. If you don’t want to bring a picnic, there will be food on sale by the Horse and Jockey pasty shop and a BBQ by the Fisherman’s Association. A small bar will be provided too.

The full range of activities will be published near the time, but  so far it includes bands, entertainment, cake and crown making competitions, games and sports, bouncy castle to name but a few.

Leading up to the event, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Porthleven will be presenting a mug to all the primary school children who attend Porthleven School, or who live in Porthleven, but attend another primary school.

I hope you see you all there!

The Dangers of a Missing L

Typos, the bane of one’s life. I think we have all suffered from them at one point or another. Some like me, probably more than we would like. I have recently made a rather ‘excellent typo, Andy‘ as said by the Mayor of Porthleven in reply to an email. However, this typo is not in the same league as one last year printed in the Helston edition of  The Packet newspaper, who missed a very important vowel out of the Countess of Wessex. I will though spare her blushes and not mention her name.

My typo was about an email reminder to all members of the Porthleven Diamond Jubilee working party of a forthcoming meeting. The email is as follow’s:

Hi All,

Just a reminder for the Porthleven Jubilee meeting that is taking place on Wednesday 25th at 7:30pm. Location is the town council offices (back of cock tower)

See you there.

Andy

As you can imagine I have had many  responses about the missing L, who all found it funny, and no doubt will remind me many times at tonight’s meeting. You got to laugh, especially at yourself now and again.

 

 

Porthleven Food and Music Festival

The weekend saw the Porthleven Food and Music Festival take place. This is its fourth year, and like previous years, it was a great success with thousands of people turning up to taste, listen and buy what was on offer. Cornwall has some truly remarkable food producers. It was hard to know what to taste next, as there were so many great products to sample and buy.

It all started at 10am with the festivals patron, Anthony Worrall Thompson opening the event. He then had a Ready Steady Cook cook-off with Jude Kerema, owner and chef at Kota. This was followed throughout the day by other cooking demonstrations by local and Cornwall based chefs.

It was not just food on offer, but some great music and entertainment including Porthleven Band, local Helston girl Holly Turton, Samba Celtica and many other great acts. In total there was over 20 acts to listen and enjoy.

This event would never take place without a huge number of volunteers who not only organise the event, but help out throughout the day. Again it goes to show what a great community spirit Porthleven has to organise and put on an event like this. I certainly appreciate the work the Food Festival Committee carry-out.

I am certainly looking forward to next years event.

Waste – We Are Sorry

Today at County Hall, Cornwall Councillors were given a briefing on the current situation on the new waste contract. Present were 43 Councillors, a whole host of senior Cornwall Council officers, two Cabinet Portfolio Holders, the General Manager of Cory and their Head of Communications.

It started off by Julian Germans, one of the Portfolio Holders present saying sorry. This was refreshing to hear, as it is normally sorry, but. Senior Cornwall Council officers then explained the current situation, and the sheer scale of calls and inquires in the first few days of the new contract starting.

It should not be underestimated, but there are 470,000 waste collections per week. A huge undertaking in anyone’s book. In the first few weeks the number of succesful collections that have taken place in percentage terms are 98.5%. Meaning 1.5% were missed, or in numbers it is 7,000.

Even though you could argue 1.5% is a small number (of those reported) the General Manager of Cory said “one missed collection is not good enough” Fair play to him for saying that, and his apology to Councillors was good to hear too.

The General Manager of Cory then went on to explain some of the problems his company had faced since taking over the contract. I believe he was not trying to make excuses, but trying to explain his company’s side of the issues. One of these was Cory took on the workforce from eight different operations, and had been in consultation with the three Unions who represent the workforce. It was also interesting to hear that 50% of the workforce have received a pay rise since working with Cory.

The Cornwall Council officer in charge of the Call Centres explained the scale of phone calls his service received in the first few days was off the scale. There was long waiting times, and when people got frustrated with waiting on the dedicated waste line number, they used the various other Cornwall Council dedicated service numbers. This led to these others services being effected. In cases of a priority council service,  a special number was given out to overcome the jammed phone lines.

It was then the turn for Cornwall Councillors to ask questions. These were varied and covered just about everything. There was a lot of unhappy Councillors who could not understand why certain areas had gone so badly wrong. I have to say answers were given, that were to the point, honest, and not trying to make excuses.

I raised the questions on why Porthleven receives split collections on different weeks for recycling which leads to problems. I asked if possible for this to be changed.  I also asked about those who have subscribed to the garden waste collection and  have paid, but not received their container. I am told you can place your garden waste in a sack and it will be collected on the designated day. I was told no one will be out-of-pocket.

For me, I was pleased this meeting had taken place, as it gave me a clearer understanding of the problems, not just in my Division, but Cornwall as a whole. It would have been easy for those who are responsible for waste to make excuses, but they did not.

Let’s hope the promises given today that the waste collection will be running smoothly in a few weeks.

Porthleven Community Group

Last night I attended the third meeting of the Porthleven Community Group. This group is the reformed Porthleven Residents Association. It was really good to see so many people turn up to take part in this meeting. It is important to note, this group is not about just moaning about various issues, but wanting to help people who have ideas and wish to see them carried out.

Members of Porthleven Community Group

The wish of the group is to be a hub for all groups in Porthleven to be able to come together in one place. Sometimes different groups are all trying to achieve the same thing, but do not know other groups are on the same course. So it was great to see two representatives of the Porthleven Bowling Club at last night meeting.

The group is going though a consultation phase, which I hope will end up with group having three priories it wishes to progress. The group is well aware of not trying to change the world, but trying to do something for the community, that is achievable. The community group recently had a stall at the Porthleven School PTA fete (see picture), and last night those who ran the stall informed the rest of the community group of the great responses it had.

A further event is planned in the form of a coffee morning on Saturday 26th May between 10am and midday. This is part of the process of consultation to see what people want to see happen in Porthleven. The tea, coffee and cake will be free! All you have to do is turn up and give your views, or just chat with others.

The community group has had some success already with the award of a grant from Coastline Housing for £275. I have also agreed to award £200 out of my Community Fund. They plan to use some of this money to get a website up and running which will keep people informed on the groups procress.

I always like working with groups like this because they get involved and give time to make their areas a little better. If you want to get involved you can have a look at their Facebook page HERE and suggest ideas/solutions. Or better, turn up at the meetings.

Phone Calls and Missed Waste Collections

We are entering the third week of waste collections under the new contract. It has been not the easy transition residents, or Cornwall Council would have wished for. But with such a huge change to over 240,000 households, I guess there was always going to be problems.

Some of these problems are large, with some areas not having their waste collected for 12 plus days. Other areas have had only slight, isolated problems, which have been sorted quickly. Porthleven after two weeks under the new system seems to be on the lower end of the scale of problem after the slightly chaotic start. Which is good.

For Cornwall Council, it has been a very busy time, especially if you work in the call centre, or have anything to do with waste. Let’s take a moment to say thank you to those who have tried to answer your complaints, calls and e-mails. Yes, sometimes you might have been waiting for a long time to get though, but that is because of the number of people trying to contact the council.

The council between 10th and 16th April has received just over 18,000 calls. These is a mixture of inquires on collection days, garden waste subscription and complaints. That is a lot of calls to answer and deal with. These calls with be on top of the non-waste related calls the council receives each day.

During the same period, the council has said Cory has carried out 470,000 collections of rubbish, recycling, garden waste and clinical waste. The council has also received 7,266 reports of missed collections. However, I believe this figure is higher due to people not ringing up because of the long wait for a call to be answered, and people just keeping the waste for the next collection.

Even though the number of missed collections is 1.55% of collections carried out, many Cornwall Councillors are demanding answers to know why things have gone wrong across Cornwall. In response, the Portfolio Holder has organised a briefing for this Friday for Councillors to ask questions, and I hope answer given. I expect this meeting will be rather well attended.

 

 

Porthleven Remembers Two Brothers Who Perished on the Titanic

On Saturday 14th 2012, Porthleven remembered two brothers who perished when the unsinkable White Star liner, Titanic foundered; by unveiling a plaque in their honour. These two brothers, Fred and Edgar Giles were set for new lives in America when disaster stuck.

The ceremony was opened by the Mayor of Porthleven, Mark Berryman who welcomed everyone and said a few words before the niece of the brothers, Elise Balme gave a wonderful speech. Elsie talked about the two brothers lives in Porthleven, and how the family were left devastated by their deaths. Elise went on to say how sad it was that so much money was being made out of the tragedy, including the recent cruise retracing Titanic’s route and the Hollywood blockbuster film, Titanic.

The plaque was then unveiled by Elsie Balme and Dennis Giles, nephew of the brothers. Then, the Vicar of St. Bartholomew’s church (and Town Councillor), Harry Pugh said prayers and a few words after the unveiling.

The ceremony was nicely finished by the hymn; Eternal father strong to save.

Below are some of the pictures from the ceremony –

The Mayor of Porthleven, Mark Berryman - Elsie Balme - Father Harry Pugh

The Unveiling by Dennis Giles and Elsie Balme

The Plaque

 

Porthleven is a Think Before You Flush Town

At Thursday’s monthly meeting of Porthleven Town Council, a presentation was given by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) asking for support and endorsement of the campaign Think Before You Flush (TBYF).  I have blogged before about this great campaign HERE. The presentation by SAS highlighted the damage of using a toilet as a ‘wet bin’ not only harms the environment, but also can block treatment works that can and has resulted in raw sewage being discharged into the sea.

During the presentation one of the world’s top surfers, Alan Stoke talked about how important, and special the ‘reef’ off Porthleven was to surfers. As this is the only reef in Cornwall. He went on to say even though he tours the world surfing, he still comes back to Porthleven to hone his skill.

As part of the work  leading up to the presentation at the town council I helped SAS talk and get support from the people and businesses of Porthleven. It is amazing that over 60 businesses of Porthleven were willing to support this campaign and will be displaying the information, and stickers at their premises.

Once the presentation was completed, the town council asked a few questions. It then voted unanimously to support this campaign. This now makes Porthleven, the world’s first Think Before You Flush town. It is also good to hear other bodies have also supported this campaign. This includes Cornwall Council and Visit Cornwall.

SAS have written on the campaign and Porthleven’s support HERE

 

 

The SAS Campaign Team, Alan Stokes and me

Ships Lost off Porthleven and Gunwalloe

As we approach the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic it reminded me of a photo a friend sent me a little while ago when we were talking at the school gates about diving on sunken ships. I knew many ships have foundered along the cost of Cornwall, but I was very surprised in the number of recorded ship lost along a few miles of coastline between Porthleven and Gunwalloe.

As you can see from the photo, the number, and type of ship lost is staggering. It does not say how many lives were lost, but I would imagine the figure is rather high, especially if the ship foundered in strong seas, and the ability of being able to swim was not common.

In the notes it says reporting before the 19th Century was patchy, and there is likely to be many more unrecorded and unmarked wrecks along this stretch of coast. It also make the point of the dramatic drop in ship losses post the introduction of screw propulsion in the late 19th Century.

It is still a fascinating piece of information

 

 

 

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