Porthleven Torchlight Procession 2017

No matter how many times I see Torchlight, it fills me with the same pleasure and delight as I did when I first saw it take place. It is truly a great community event that is shared by both residents and visitors alike.

Getting ready for the off

The procession heading down from Gibson Way

This event is organised by the Porthleven Community Group and its small committee. However, the event would not be the success it is without the fine support from Porthleven Town Band, the Town Warden, volunteer marshals from the town council, residents and Cober Valley Rotary Club. Thanks also must go to Porthleven Town Council and Coastline Housing for their grants to keep this event running. 

A massive thanks goes to those who took part, either in the procession or turned out to watch the procession weave its way through Porthleven.

For me it was great being involved as one of the committee members, but leading the procession as the Mayor. A great honour.

Action to be taken against yellow lines on Commercial Road, Porthleven

Let’s be clear, this is not about whether there should or should not be yellow lines on Commercial Road, Porthleven. This issue is about the a lawful process of placing parking restriction and a proper consultation via a Traffic Regulation Order. Here is the previous blog HERE

This would have given the public and official bodies such as Highways the ability of discussing the merits and disadvantages of placing lines along this stretch of road. From this, if there was a requirement of placing parking restrictions along this stretch of road, it would have been done legally and with the proper process and then enforceable.

No-matter who you are, you have to follow the law and people do not have the right to just paint yellow lines wherever they think they can. We have rules for a reason.

In discussing this issue with Highways and Cornwall Council’s legal department and because there has been a clear breach of the law, Cornwall Council is taking action against the Harbour and Dock Company. This is something I welcome.

Cornwall Council has written to Harbour and Dock clearly pointing out the legal breach under Section 132 of the Highways Act 1980. It has given Harbour and Dock two options.

The first is make a formal application for a TRO to regulate, if appropriate, the yellow lines currently in place. This application will ensure that all the relevant aspects of traffic management are considered and provide the opportunity for the public to make representations. The Harbour and Dock Company has one month to comply and submit an application.

The second option is if the Harbour and Dock fails to submit an application for a TRO, then the Highways Authority will remove the unauthorised lines and recover the costs of doing so from Harbour and Dock.

I believe this is a sensible way forward and one that I very much welcome. This could all have been avoided if the proper process was followed…

It should be noted that placing parking restrictions on a stretch of highways doesn’t necessarily stop parking for a couple of reasons.

Those with Blue Badges can park on double yellow lines for up to three hours (so you just replace parked cars with another type of parked car). If you ‘double clip’ a yellow line which means no parking at any time, you do stop parking, but you also stop any delivery vehicle stopping to unload/load as it is an offence and will result in an instant parking ticket. To overcome this, you then need a loading bay. As you can see, placing parking restrictions without proper thought, just causes more problems.

 

Help for those businesses who saw a large hike in rates

I know a number of businesses in Porthleven and the surrounding area saw some eye-watering increases in Business Rates after the Valuation Office Agency (part of HMRC) reviewed the current tariffs. In a process that is little better than rolling a dice and multiplying the figure by that number thrown, the method of justifying an increase is if an area is successful in terms of shop space demand, and doing well, then the Valuation Office Agency can charge more. 

In combating these hikes, I am pleased to say Cornwall Council is going to use a £2.72 million business rate relief fund to help as many businesses as possible. This funding is Cornwall’s share of a national business rate relief fund announced in the March Budget to support businesses facing a steep rise in their rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation

It has been agreed to assist all businesses with a rateable value of less than £200,000 whose business rates have increased by more than 12.5% following the revaluation. This will provide 50% discretionary rate relief on the increase in rates in 2017/18, decreasing over the following three years on a pro rata basis as funding is reduced. The scheme is expected to help 875 businesses.

Qualifying businesses will see the relief awarded against their gross bull after any other reductions have been taken into account. My suggestion would be for anyone who believes they should get this help is to contact Cornwall Council’s Business Rates dept.

 

 

Proof of ownership requested by the Harbour and Dock Company for the Moors Playing Field

At last nights town council meeting during the Mayor’s report, the town council were informed and updated on a situation that has arose in reference to the Moors Playing Field (aka Bottom Park).

Porthleven Town Council has received a letter from the Harbour and Dock Company (H&D) informing the council that a caution has been lodged with Land Registry by the H&D against the Moors Playing Field.

The caution is as follows:

“Is to establish quite clearly that it is the Porthleven Harbour & Dock Company which has the benefit of the restrictive covenants and also rights of access over the property”.

Furthermore, the Council has received a request from the Harbour and Dock Company for proof of tenure/ownership of the Moors.

In consultation with the town clerk, this matter has been handed to the Council’s solicitor who will advise on the best course of action and a report will come back to the September meeting of the Council.

In the documents held by the town council and previous legal advice it is clear the town council are the rightful legal trustees of the Moors Playing Field

Below is a map of the area.

Helston Library is set to move temporarily

As many will know, the future of libraries and One Stop Shops (OSS) in Cornwall has been well debated with many being taken on by local town councils. In Helston’s case, I and my other two former Cornwall Councillors, Judith and Phil, with support of the other local members in the Community Network Area fought hard to make sure all out services stayed open.

The good news for Helston and the surrounding are is the OOS, Library and DWP office would relocate under one roof in a refurbished Helston Library. Therefore, safeguarding future services which have been under immense pressure from cuts in funding. Readers can remind themselves HERE.

However, before that refurbishment can take place, Helston Library has to temporarily relocate to the OSS at Isaac House. Helston Library will therefore be moving to Isaac House on the 16th and 17th of August and will be open for business on the 18th of August.

The opening hours from Monday 21st August will be:

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday – 9:30am till 5pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday – closed
  • Saturday – 10am – 1pm

I have been informed the new co-located services will be open to the public by the end of November.