Porthleven residents to get extra support to help with recycling

I hope most people we know That Porthleven and many areas of Helston were selected to take part in the trial mixed plastic kerbside recycling collection scheme which collects plastic pots tubs and trays in addition to the collection of plastic bottles. In total around 46,000 properties are taking part in the trail in Cornwall.dot-and-lisa-photo

I have been sent a letter explaining Cornwall Council wants Porthleven to help more people to recycle. The letter is as follows:

In order to encourage as many people as possible to take part in the kerbside collection service, and to help them use the service properly, we are employing some temporary ‘recycling advisers’.

Our new recycling advisers are Dot Peryer and Lisa Spooner. They will be working in Porthleven on Monday 26 September. They will be visiting people in their homes to find out about their recycling habits, and explaining what they can and can’t recycle. They will also be offering extra recycling equipment for those that need it.

They will be carrying Cornwall Council ID and will be working with us for about a month, so should able to complete all door to door visits in Porthleven and move onto other towns.

If there is no one at home the advisors will put a “while you were out” card through the door giving basic information and asking residents to contact the team either by emailing the refuse and recycling inbox or calling the contact centre.

We chose Porthleven as we are doing recycling participation surveys in the area and also have accurate information about the amount of recycling that is being collected. This means that we will be able to measure the impact of this method of communication and, if it works, hopefully expand it in the future.

For more information about the Recycling Advisors contact Esther O’Bearagh on 01872 324948 or email eobearagh@cornwall.gov.uk

Let’s show Porthleven can be one of the best recycling areas in Cornwall!!

Helston Town Council must reconsider its decision for not closing Porthleven Road on Flora Day

Flora Day attracts thousands of people who come to see the various dances, enjoy the hospitality and visit the fair. Therefore, Helston Town Council’s decision not to close the Porthleven Road for Flora Day is madness and I believe, puts the public at risk. Imagine buses, lorries and other vehicles trying to navigate the huge crowds including many children? It will not end well.

In highlighting my concerns as the Cornwall Councillor which covers this area, I recently sent a letter to Helston Town Council asking for them to reconsider. The letter is as follows:

Dear Chris,

Road Closure for Flora Day 2017 on the Porthleven Road

Thank you for your response to my email questioning the reasoning as to why there will be no road closure in place on the Porthleven Road for Flora Day 2017.

I do not agree with the logic of a lack of stalls for not progressing with a road closure. For me, this road closure is paramount for public safety due to the sheer numbers of people attending Flora Day. Without this road closure pedestrians will be put at risk.

As the Divisional Member for this area, I feel I must try and find a solution to this impasse we find ourselves in. Therefore, I have been liaising with Streetworks and Highways at Cornwall Council and the management of the fair operator to find a way forward.

I can confirm that by adding this road to the road closure application for Flora Day 2017 it would not cost Helston Town Council or the Flora Day committee any further fee. All that would be required is adequate signage and marshals to operate this additional road closure. The latter would be of minimal costs to the Town Council and I believe it would be cheaper than erecting fencing along Porthleven Rd. Furthermore, and this is the most important part, it keeps the public safe.

In your email you mention that Cornwall Council should pay for this road closure because Cornwall Council gets a fee for allowing the use of the Fairground car park for the Fair. The fee charged by Cornwall Council is £1900 and goes directly to Parking Services. I have asked Parking Services for a contribution, but they are unable to do this as the fee from the Fair is used to help with the running costs of this car park – which is circa £6000 per year. I might add the £1900 helps to keep this car park free.

Furthermore, I have contacted the fair operators to see if they would be able to contribute by helping to pay for any barriers and/or marshals for operating the Porthleven Rd closure. This request is being discussed by the fair management; I am hopeful of a positive outcome.

In light of the information I have provided, I request that Helston Town Council reconsiders its decision and proceeds with a road closure for the Porthleven Road for Flora Day 2017.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course

Yours Faithfully,

I also raised this issue at the recent Helston Town Council meeting and was pleased there could be a way forward after the Mayor of Helston Gillian Geer, said the town council will be re-looking into this issue in November. Lets hope common sense prevails and this road is closed for Flora Day.

 

 

 

British Telecom looking at removing over 170 phone boxes in Cornwall

British Telecom are undertaking a review and consultation on the future of over 170 phone boxes in Cornwall. If there is no good reason to keep those phone boxes on the hit-list, the likelihood is we will see them being removed.

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Is your phone box under threat?

The world of telecoms have changed with BT saying overall use of payphones has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade and with 98% of the Country having access to 3G or 4G networks.

Many of those phone boxes listed have had no calls made to them in the last year. I was surprised by this, but this back up to what BT are saying about their usage. On one hand, you can understand why BT are looking at this again as BT looked at this about 18 months ago. On the other, having a phone box nearby is reassuring to the public and is part of the fabric of our towns and villages.

The good news is the phone boxes in Porthleven and Helston and not included in the latest hit-list. However, there are phone boxes under threat in the surrounding areas like Ashton, Cury, Manaccan, Ruan Minor, Trewennack, Porkellis and Nancegollan.

For some strange old rule it is the responsibility of the local authority to initiate the consultation process to canvas the views of the local community. These consultations will involve other public organisations such as the City, Town and Parish Councils. This is currently being undertaken.

Furthermore, BT have placed consultation notices on the relevant payphones, The consultation period will close firmly on the 16th November 2016. Full guidance on the removal process can be viewed HERE. A summary is available HERE

If your under-threat phone box is one of the traditional red ‘heritage’ phone box, the good news (if you can call losing your phone box good news) is your community can adopt it for £1. Details on how you do this can be found HERE

If you want to object with your reasons why, you should contact your local town/parish council, you Cornwall Councillor, or failing that, respond directly to  btp.authorisation.team@bt.com.  Please retain proof that the email was sent or apply a read receipt. If you would prefer to respond by post please use the following address and allow at least two days for postal delivery: BT Payphones, 4th Floor Monument, 11 – 13 Great Tower Street, London EC3R 5AQ

Now for the list of those phone boxes under-threat….

OPPOSITE LANE END COTTAGE   WASHAWAY BODMIN PL30 3AB 0
OUTSIDE HELLAND VILLAGE HALL   HELLAND BODMIN PL30 4PX 18
PCO SLADESBRIDGE  WADEBRIDGE PL27 6JF 3
PCO BODIEVE ROAD  WADEBRIDGE PL27 6EF 0
PCO WEST HILL  WADEBRIDGE PL27 7ET 76
PCO LANIVET  BODMIN PL30 5ET 134
PCO   NANSTALLON BODMIN PL30 5LA 19
PCO   ST. KEW HIGHWAY BODMIN PL30 3DP 39
PCO WATERGATE LANE ST. MABYN BODMIN PL30 3BJ 9
PCO LONGSTONE ST. MABYN BODMIN PL30 3BZ 3
PCO DELABOLE ROAD ST. TEATH BODMIN PL30 3JF 6
PCO LYTHERVA ST. TUDY BODMIN PL30 3NN 70
PCO PITYME FARM ROAD ST. MINVER WADEBRIDGE PL27 6PL 0
PCO CHURCHTOWN ST. MINVER WADEBRIDGE PL27 6QH 2
OPP LONGHOUSE LANE ROCK ROAD ROCK WADEBRIDGE PL27 6NW 62
PCO   TREBETHERICK WADEBRIDGE PL27 6SB 5
PCO   COUCHS MILL LOSTWITHIEL PL22 0NJ 4
COTT ROAD GRENVILLE ROAD  LOSTWITHIEL PL22 0EP 2
PCO   LANLIVERY BODMIN PL30 5BT 0
PCO TRELEGHTS  PORT ISAAC PL29 3TE 4
O/SREDRUTH HOS.BLOWING HS HL PENVENTON  REDRUTH TR15 1TE 54
PCO CARN BREA VILLAGE  REDRUTH TR15 3BA 0
PCO AGAR ROAD ILLOGAN HIGHWAY REDRUTH TR15 3EF 25
OPP WHEAL BASSETT COURT GLOBE SQUARE CARNKIE REDRUTH TR16 6SN 3
PCO THE GLEBE  CAMBORNE TR14 7ER 193
PCO CHAPEL HILL BREA CAMBORNE TR14 9BE 13
PCO PENWARE PARC  CAMBORNE TR14 7QR 16
PCO   KEHELLAND CAMBORNE TR14 0DD 0
O/S PLUME OF FEATHERS CARN BREA LANE POOL REDRUTH TR15 3DS 186
PCO FORE STREET ST. DAY REDRUTH TR16 5JU 21
PCO BURRAS WENDRON HELSTON TR13 0HU 4
PCO CROWAN PRAZE CAMBORNE TR14 9NB 3
PCO STATION HILL PRAZE CAMBORNE TR14 0JT 18
PCO CROWAN PRAZE CAMBORNE TR14 9NB  1
PCO NANCEGOLLAN  HELSTON TR13 0AH  4
PCO CARNHELL ROAD CARNHELL GREEN CAMBORNE TR14 0LZ  1
PCO   PENHALVEAN REDRUTH TR16 6TG  1
MEDLYN NR POKELLIS   PORKELLIS HELSTON TR13 0EQ  3
PCO CRELLOW LANE STITHIANS TRURO TR3 7BA  16
PCO   LONGDOWNS PENRYN TR10 9DL  0
O/S GPO LOWER SQUARE KILKHAMPTON BUDE EX23 9QQ 44
PCO   SHOP BUDE EX23 9SL 1
PCO CROSSTOWN MORWENSTOW BUDE EX23 9SR 0
PCO WEST WEEK CLOSE WEEK ST. MARY HOLSWORTHY EX22 6XQ 0
CLEVELANDS/ STRATTON ROAD  BUDE EX23 8AQ 1
PCO BUSH STRATTON BUDE EX23 9LA 6
PCO BANGORS POUNDSTOCK BUDE EX23 0DS 0
GILLAN BUS TERMINAL ST. ANTHONY MANACCAN HELSTON TR12 6JW 0
PCO WHITE CROSS CURY HELSTON TR12 7BH 1
PCO PARC AN MANNS MAWNAN SMITH FALMOUTH TR11 5EU 52
PCO IN ST JUST LANE ST. JUST IN ROSELAND TRURO TR2 5HY 5
BUS SHELTER   RUAN MINOR HELSTON TR12 7JL 11
PCO TREVERBYN ROAD  FALMOUTH TR11 5BS 41
PCO ACACIA ROAD  FALMOUTH TR11 2JZ 11
PCO TREWINCE LANE PORT NAVAS FALMOUTH TR11 5RH 0
PCO TRENOWETH MABE BURNTHOUSE PENRYN TR10 9JJ 1
PCO   TREWENNACK HELSTON TR13 0PH 1
PCO PARC ASKELL CLOSE GUNWALLOE HELSTON TR12 7QA 3
PCO TREVENEN  HELSTON TR13 0NF 0
PCO VICTORY ROAD NORTH TAMERTON HOLSWORTHY EX22 6RY 59
PCO 1PCO LANREATH LOOE PL13 2NX 55
PCO HORNINGTOPS  LISKEARD PL14 3PR 3
UAX   WIDEGATES LOOE PL13 1QB 2
PCO PLAYING FIELD TERRACE DULOE LISKEARD PL14 4PG 5
(LANSALLOS VILLAGE) LANSALLOS STREET POLPERRO LOOE PL13 2QU 0
PCO TALLAND VIEW KILLIGARTH LOOE PL13 2JQ 0
CHAPPLE CAR PARK   TREGADILLETT LAUNCESTON PL15 7EX 1
VILLAGE GREEN LAWHITTON  LAUNCESTON PL15 9NQ 3
OLDWIT ROAD   SOUTH PETHERWIN LAUNCESTON PL15 7JA 0
PCO WARBSTOW CROSS  LAUNCESTON PL15 8TZ 2
SPO CANWORTHY WATER  LAUNCESTON PL15 8UW 0
SPO ROUGHTOR VIEW MAXWORTHY LAUNCESTON PL15 8LZ 6
HIGHER LARRICK TREBULLETT TREBULLETT LAUNCESTON PL15 9QH 0
NORTH PETHERWIN   PETHERWIN GATE LAUNCESTON PL15 8LW 3
PCO 1PCO THE ROW FIVE LANES LAUNCESTON PL15 7RX 0
A30 REST AREA   LEWANNICK LAUNCESTON PL15 7QN 0
PCO HERODSFOOT  LISKEARD PL14 4QY 4
TREVELMOND DOBWALLS  LISKEARD PL14 4LZ 0
PCO TREVECCA COTTAGES  LISKEARD PL14 6RH 58
PCO   MERRYMEET LISKEARD PL14 3LP 2
PCO   COMMON MOOR LISKEARD PL14 6EP 5
PCO CROWS NEST CROWS NEST LISKEARD PL14 5JQ 3
A390 STEPHENS ROAD  LISKEARD PL14 3SX 9
OPP POST OFFICE THE GLEBE ST. MELLION SALTASH PL12 6RF 5
O/S RILLA MILL TELE EXCH   RILLA MILL CALLINGTON PL17 7NT 58
OUTSIDE POST OFFICE   MINIONS LISKEARD PL14 5LE 11
HENWOOD   RILLA MILL CALLINGTON PL17 7NT 0
PCO   UPTON CROSS LISKEARD PL14 5AX 23
PCO   BRAY SHOP CALLINGTON PL17 8PZ 2
ON THE VILLAGE GREEN HIGHERTOWN STOKE CLIMSLAND CALLINGTON PL17 8NZ 8
PCO HIGHERTOWN STOKE CLIMSLAND CALLINGTON PL17 8NZ 0
PCO TREKENNER  LAUNCESTON PL15 9PT 0
PCO   HIGHER DOWNGATE CALLINGTON PL17 8HJ 0
PCO   LUCKETT CALLINGTON PL17 8NN 0
PCO BOWLING GREEN  CALLINGTON PL17 8DY 0
PCO   GOLBERDON CALLINGTON PL17 7ND 0
PCO STATION ROAD KELLY BRAY CALLINGTON PL17 8ER 27
PCO HOLYWELL ROAD CUBERT NEWQUAY TR8 5EY 85
PCO KENS MEADOW HOLYWELL BAY NEWQUAY TR8 5PT 512
PCO EDGCUMBE AVENUE  NEWQUAY TR7 2NW 55
OPP TRAVELLERS REST B3276 TREVARIAN TREVARRIAN NEWQUAY TR8 4AH 0
PCO TRENCREEK ROAD TRENCREEK NEWQUAY TR8 4NR 18
NEAR LAYBY LANE LANE NEWQUAY TR8 4QB 35
PCO KESTLE MILL KESTLE MILL NEWQUAY TR8 4PJ 2
JNCTN TREVENSON RD HENVER ROAD  NEWQUAY TR7 3BJ 158
PCO   ROSENANNON BODMIN PL30 5PJ 4
PCO FAIR STREET  ST. COLUMB TR9 6RL 104
PCO TREGONETHA  ST. COLUMB TR9 6JW 0
OPP POST OFFICE ADJ FORE ST   POLGOOTH ST. AUSTELL PL26 7BP 31
O/S NO 14 ELIZABETH ROAD  ST. AUSTELL PL25 4RG 84
PCO CLARENCE ROAD  ST. AUSTELL PL25 5NJ 0
NEAR JUNCT HAZEL CLOSE PHERNYSSICK ROAD  ST. AUSTELL PL25 3UA 17
JUNCT MOUNT CHARLES RD PORTHPEAN ROAD  ST. AUSTELL PL25 4PJ 63
JCN PAR LANE HARBOUR ROAD  PAR PL24 2BB 2
PCO BEACH ROAD CARLYON BAY ST. AUSTELL PL25 3PQ 71
PCO LANDREATH PLACE ST. BLAZEY PAR PL24 2JX 64
PCO STATION ROAD ST. BLAZEY PAR PL24 2NF 449
PCO MIDDLEWAY ST. BLAZEY PAR PL24 2JH 9
PCO PARK ROAD  FOWEY PL23 1EB 72
SPO POLMASSICK  ST. AUSTELL PL26 6HA 0
PCO RICE LANE GORRAN HAVEN ST. AUSTELL PL26 6JF 69
PCO   CARBIS ST. AUSTELL PL26 8LA 164
PCO CARNSMERRY BUGLE ST. AUSTELL PL26 8PX 115
ENTRANCE TO ROCKWENNA FARM ST DENNIS  ST. AUSTELL PL26 8EE 0
PCO THE GREEN PROBUS TRURO TR2 4LP 66
O/S LADOCK POST OFFICE LADOCK  TRURO TR2 4PH 51
PCO LANSDOWNE PLACE  PENZANCE TR18 4QB 198
DRIFT VILLAGE   LOWER DRIFT PENZANCE TR19 6AA 0
PCO PLAIN AN GWARRY  MARAZION TR17 0DR 4
PAUL CHURCH TRUNGLE PAUL PENZANCE TR19 6UB 6
PCO   LAMORNA PENZANCE TR19 6BQ 35
PCO WHITECROSS  PENZANCE TR20 8DT 0
PCO CHURCHTOWN ROAD GWITHIAN HAYLE TR27 5BX 76
PCO VENTONLEAGUE ROW  HAYLE TR27 4EJ 10
PCO ANGARRACK LANE CONNOR DOWNS HAYLE TR27 5JF 2
PCO SEA LANE  HAYLE TR27 4DU 13
PCO CONNOR HILL CONNOR DOWNS HAYLE TR27 5DW 71
TRESCOWE   GERMOE LANE GERMOE PENZANCE TR20 9QY 0
PCO FORE STREET ASHTON HELSTON TR13 9RW 2
PCO TRESOWES ASHTON HELSTON TR13 9SY 3
PCO CARNYORTH ST. JUST PENZANCE TR19 7QD 9
OPP HALESTOWN INN HALSETOWN HALSETOWN ST. IVES TR26 3NA 0
SPO   PORTHCURNO ST. LEVAN PENZANCE TR19 6JY 279
PCO   TOWNSHEND HAYLE TR27 6AF 20
PCO CHAPEL ROAD LEEDSTOWN HAYLE TR27 6BA 49
PCO PILGRIMS WAY FRADDAM HAYLE TR27 6EJ 1
PCO LITTLE TRETHEWEY ESTATE ST. LEVAN PENZANCE TR19 6LW 0
PCO KING STREET MILLBROOK TORPOINT PL10 1AP 89
JUNCTION ST STEVENS RD MULBERRY ROAD  SALTASH PL12 4NW 109
GEFFERY MEMORIAL HALL FORE STREET LANDRAKE SALTASH PL12 5DZ 14
PCO DELAWARE ROAD  GUNNISLAKE PL18 9AS 45
PCO WEST DOWN ROAD  DELABOLE PL33 9DT 2
HELSTONE POST OFFICE   HELSTONE CAMELFORD PL32 9RL 0
PCO JACOBSTOW  BUDE EX23 0BP 6
PCO   HALLWORTHY CAMELFORD PL32 9SH 20
FORECOURT   MARSHGATE CAMELFORD PL32 9YN 2
PCO TRELAKE LANE TREKNOW TINTAGEL PL34 0EW 96
PCO   TREWARMETT TINTAGEL PL34 0EU 24
OUTSIDE CHY AN MOR CONSTANTINE BAY  PADSTOW PL28 8JQ 376
PCO O/S FARMERS ARMS CAR PARK ST. MERRYN PADSTOW PL28 8NA 0
PCO TRELAWNEY ROAD  PADSTOW PL28 8EQ 4
PCO   LITTLE PETHERICK WADEBRIDGE PL27 7QT 6
PCO UPLAND CRESCENT  TRURO TR1 1LU 12
PCO REDANNICK LANE  TRURO TR1 2DF 0
HIGHERTOWN TRESAWLS ROAD  TRURO TR1 3LD 172
PCO TRELANDER HIGHWAY  TRURO TR1 1PE 274
PCO MALABAR ROAD  TRURO TR1 3NX 230
PCO PERRANWELL ROAD GOONHAVERN TRURO TR4 9JL 130
SPO TREVELLAS  ST. AGNES TR5 0XT 0
PCO MOUNT GEORGE ROAD FEOCK TRURO TR3 6QX 1
SPO BISSOE  TRURO TR4 8SS 0
PCO HOLYWELL ROAD PLAYING PLACE TRURO TR3 6EP 8

 

Rod Barnes, Porthleven Town Warden set to retire

I think the majority of Porthleven know of Porthleven’s Town Warden, Rod Barnes – also known as ‘Barney’. Rod has been in this post for over 10 years and has carried out his role in wind, shine, rain and snow.

Sadly, Rod has submitted his notice to Porthleven Town Council as he wants to retire. His retirement date is set for 12th November 2016

I want to pay tribute to Rod for his work over the last 10 years. Rod does more than just empty the bins and tidy-up. He is always willing to step up and help and go that extra mile. Often out of his core hours to carry out his duties. He often gives his time for free to help out during events in Porthleven. He has been a real asset to Porthleven Town Council and Porthleven. I for one will miss seeing Rod around Porthleven with his yellow shirt and hat.

We should all approach Rod, shake his hand and say thank you for all he has done between now and his retirement day. Good luck Rod, enjoy your retirement. I will certainly buy you a pint or two on your retirement!

img_0756

Rod ‘Barney’ Barnes, Porthleven’s Town Warden

 

Parking Policy for Towns in Cornwall is flawed.

Today Cabinet had a mammoth agenda of over 1200 pages. In this agenda, there were many good items, but one item, the Town Parking Review I really struggled with as I felt it was flawed and financially driven. The two-parts of this review I will blog about are residents’ parking and on-street charging.

The theory behind residents’ parking is one I support. I get requests for this to happen in Porthleven. The request comes about because people feel they cannot park near – or in front – of their house. I live in an area where people park because they work in Porthleven, or are visiting. And therefore, I do understand the concern and issues about parking. However, for me I accept people will park where I live because people are either earning money in their job, spending money in Porthleven, or visiting someone in the street.

The Town Parking proposals contained within the report are proposed for an initial seven towns; Bude, Falmouth, Penryn, Newquay, Penzance, Newlyn, St. Ives, Truro and Wadebridge. If the proposals are implemented, a charge of £80 per for the first car and £120 for the second car would be levied. Currently, the charge per year is £25 for the first and £35 for the second car.

Many households have two or more cars due to work commitments and/or having children who still live at home and are of the age to drive. Therefore, the potential levy could be £200 per year (£16 per month) to park near your house. It is very important to highlight there will be no third or more permits issued. A quirk of the system is you are also not guaranteed a space.

My issue with this high charge is it maybe unaffordable for those on lower incomes. £16 per month may not seem much to those on a higher salary, but it is a lot for those who are not. As this proposal would be a whole town approach, the worry is where do you park if the fee is unaffordable and/or you have more than two of cars? You will have difficulty to find a space in a whole residents’ parking zone. Or if no zone, this area will be a magnet for anyone without a permit. This will just push the problem to another area.

A worrying factor is when the public was consulted (in the seven towns) only 31% supported the £80 charge. This is hardly a ringing endorsement of support. It also became apparent today that those existing residents’ parking schemes will see their charged increased to the £80 – this was confirmed today, but was not mentioned in the report. Furthermore, any surplus from the sale of the second permit, will be used for general spend (page 85 of the report). We are told the reason for the high charge is this covers the cost of implementation, but those costs are covered after three-years. There will be an on-going costs of enforcement.

I asked the Portfolio Holder if there was a threshold set support for the proposal to go forward. There was no clear response to this question. I raised another point on will there is a cap on the £80; no assurances were given. A further question was about the second permit is a revenue generator, what is to stop the first permit fee increasing year on year? Nothing…

parking-meterThe second part of the Parking Review is the likelihood of on-street charging to park being introduced. To put it in more simple terms; parking meters on our high streets. Charging to park on the high-street is something I fundamentally disagree with. It is nothing more than a further taxation on the public and is purely financially driven. The proposal set out in the report estimates a surplus of £330k will be raised per year through the utilisation of the 1,029 existing limited waiting bays and 220 newly creative on-street parking bays in the seven towns.

If this goes ahead, I believe it will harm the already under-threat high-street and will just drive people to out-of-town supermarkets or to on-line shopping – which in the last few years has seen a massive rise in use. If it starts in the seven towns, you can bet as the sun rises and sets each day, this will be rolled out to other towns. This will be a disaster to local town and village economies.

Of course the caveat to all I have said is all the details will be subject to further public consultation. It makes me a little suspicious that there will be any real changes to what was proposed today; as to date, over £250k has been spent on the proposals, with a total cost of implementation totalling over £720k.

I voted against this agenda item – as did Jim McKenna. The reason is these proposals are flawed and will result in causing more harm than solving the problems.

You can read the whole report HERE

 

Cornwall Council and Cornwall Down’s Syndrome Support Group work together to launch Going to School book

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A new book aimed at three and four year olds in Cornwall which is using images of children who have Down’s syndrome to help promote a positive message about inclusion in schools has been officially launched on Monday.

“Going to School”, which will be included in the BookStart Treasure Packs given to every Cornish rising school age child in the county for the next four years, has been produced through a partnership between Cornwall Council and three parents from the Cornwall Down’s Syndrome Support Group

The book, which is the second title in the Looking Up series, takes the reader on a journey through a typical school day showing children having fun learning alongside their peers.  Some of the children in the book happen to have Down’s syndrome and some of them don’t – with the publication designed to celebrate diversity and inclusion and show children, and parents and carers that all children are more the same, than different.

The creation of this amazing new book stems from a visit by parents of children with Down’s syndrome to County Hall to celebrate world Down’s Syndrome Day. Parents asked how they could raise the profile of Down’s Syndrome by using their book.  It got me thinking on how best this could be done, then I thought about BookStart and how this has a potential to be used.

For those who do not know, last year 6,498 BookStart Treasure Packs were distributed to 336 different Early Years settings across Cornwall by the Council.

The three authors behind the book

The three authors behind the book

As a result of this visit I arranged a meeting with Cornwall Council officers from the Reader Services Team and parents to discuss how to include the book into the BookStart pack.  I am pleased to say, in a short space of time of just less than five-months from the initial meeting, we officially launched the book at an event in St. Austell yesterday.

The Cornwall Down’s Syndrome Group raised – in a short space of time – just over £3,000 for a print run of 30,000 copies of the book. The cost of distributing the book will be met by Cornwall Council via its BookStart programme.   img_0729

img_0736It was great to work with the group and in welcoming the launch, Angie Emrys-Jones, one of the three parents who have been involved in the project, said:

“Vicky, Sandy & I are thrilled to have worked with the Council and BookTrust to see ‘Going To School’ included in BookStart Treasure Packs.   The Support Group has around 150 families, all of whom are passionate about promoting inclusion for children with Down’s syndrome.  We are very proud of this book, which has been produced with their support.

“Our approach is to use pictures rather than words to convey a message and the images the book contains have been chosen to give opportunity to talk about the many things that may happen during a typical school day – learning together, making friends and having fun.”

img_0724img_0741A massive thanks has to go to the Council’s BookStart Coordinator, Deborah Averil and Merryn Kent, the Council’s Reader Services Team Leader for making this happen from the Council’s end. From the initial meeting we had (plus a few more), the team just wanted to help get this book to as many people as possible. More so as in today’s tough financial climate, we cannot always give groups money to do something, but where possible, we will find a way to help. This book is a perfect example of how this can happen.

Sharing picture books is a great way to help young children discover more about their world and take their first steps in learning to read. ‘Going to School’ does more than promote inclusion in a very clear and simple way and I am really pleased that through BookStart, we are able to share this book with young children and their families across Cornwall.

 

Bickford-Smith Institute Working Party reports to Porthleven Town Council

The Bickford-Smith Institute is an iconic building; in reality it is more than that, it is a powerful symbol of place. The vision for the BSI should not be small. We as a community should be ambitious in our plans to create something of which the community is proud– and uses regularly.

The Working Party of the Bickford-Smith Institute (BSI) gave an update to Porthleven Town Council on the work so far, and the next few steps at the September meeting of the Council. The Council endorsed the work so far, and the next steps. 

One of the first issues to be sorted is any funding grants, donations and bequests that the Council receives will need to be tax efficient. Therefore, there would be the necessary to set up a charity. The BSI will remain in the ownership of Porthleven Town Council. This is a ‘red-line’ for the Council.

image

The recommendation of the working party is that a new charity under the control and ownership of the Town Council be set up. Ownership of the building is a ‘red-line for the Council. This charity would lease the building from the Town Council, raise funds, manage the refurbishment and then operate the building. This gives a wide opportunity for grant funding but retains ownership of the building by the Town Council.

Legal advice would need to be sought over the wording of the lease to include a time-linked termination clause should the charity fail in its aims and objectives. Trustees will need to be suitably skilled but would include a majority of town councillors. This was accepted as the preferred way forward by the whole of the Council.

It is estimated the restoration of the building will cost in the region of £650k-750k. Annual operating costs are estimated at £25-45,000 (depending on the use). The refurbishment of the building will require the support of grant funding, which is at present a very scarce resource.

Currently, the Working Party has identified five possible options available to the Town Council regarding the future use of the Bickford-Smith Institute. The option but forward to the Town Council by the BSI Working Group are as:

  1. Do nothing. The building will deteriorate. Investigations suggest that major repairs to the structural integrity of the building e.g. the institute roof, will be needed in the next two years, therefore there is a significant cost to doing nothing.
  2. Refurbish as community building. This would retain at least one snooker table in the building as well as space for the town clerk and meetings. It would require part-time management and would compete with other public spaces. Finding grant funding for such a project will be difficult as existing space is available in the village therefore a significant part of the cost of the refurbishment and on-going costs may need to come from the Town Council. If any grant funding were to be identified for the refurbishment any bid would need a clear focus for the use of the space that does not compete with other venues in town. The annual running costs might come through a raising of the parish precept (estimated £14 per household per annum).
  3. Refurbishment as part Community building with holiday let. This would see the Caretaker’s Cottage turned into a holiday cottage generating an annual income of c£28,000 towards running costs (with the remainder being met by hall rentals). Grant funding would need to be identified for the refurbishment costs and any bid would need a clear focus for the Institute’s community space that does not compete with other venues in town. The snooker club would need to be relocated.
  4. Refurbishment as part Community building with domestic let. As above, grant funding would be needed for the refurbishment of the community space and this would need a clear purpose to succeed. A domestic let will generate £8,000 per annum towards running costs with an additional estimated £8,000 from the community portion of the building. The shortfall is likely to be met by a rise in the parish precept (estimated £9 per household per annum). The snooker club would need to be relocated.
  5. Refurbishment as a Community Heritage, Art and Culture Space. The refurbishment of the whole space (possibly with an extension into the courtyard) for community heritage, art and culture activities. This fits in with the original remit of the building as a place for education, literature and science (with the science angle being expanded on via the technology used in exhibits and the choice of visiting speakers and events). Grant funding is available for this type of venue and has the most likely chance of success. The snooker club would need to be relocated.

The recommendation put forward by the Working Party is:

The Working Party has sought to find a way forward that fits the needs of the community, who told us their top two preferred uses for the Institute were as a heritage and community space. We have married this with a scheme that fits within available funding streams and identified Option 5 as the most likely to succeed.

However, it is imperative that the issues of a suitable venue for the snooker club and the consideration of provision for a youth facility in the village be included as part of the overall project. Additionally it is essential that the Institute, refurbished in this manner, has a clear community focus for all ages.

In making this recommendation we have sought a solution that ensures a steady future for the snooker club and that avoids the suggestion of part of the building being turned into a rental property, meaning that the whole space can be put to community use.

On this basis the Working Party recommends we submit an expression of interest to the funders of the Great Places scheme (a Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council grant programme) in pursuit of option five.

It is essential for grant funding success to show that the project complements other local facilities, provides a clear, measurable benefit to the area and has significant merit.

It must be made clear, nothing is set in stone, as the Working Party also recommends the option put forward to the town council should have further exploration and explanation. This will be carried out by a second community consultation in the form of public meetings and open days, alongside an online survey. This or any other idea must be fully assessed by the people of Porthleven and importantly, whether the community supports it.

Pre-app for extension to Shrubberies Hill development

There is no easy way to say this, but developers have submitted a pre-application to the Cornwall Council’s planning authority. A pre-app is a way for developers and individuals to see if an idea is supported under the planning system and feedback is given prior to any formal submission. This is a paid for service.

This site in question is easily explained in the following picture.

Shrub pt2In the submitted documents, the agent has indicated this site could take up to 80 dwellings. Due to the location of the site, this would be classed as an exceptional site and therefore, this could be a site of 100% affordable, with a minimum of 50%.

I can see why this pre-application has been submitted now, because the emerging Porthleven Neighbour Plan (PNP) has this area one of the least preferred for development. This is because the working group has done a huge amount of work on a Local Landscape Character Assessment (LLCA), which has prioritised those areas that would be ‘better’ for development. You can read the detailed LLCA HERE

Just to recap, the Local Plan, and the emerging Porthleven Neighbourhood Plan has Porthleven requiring a further 80 dwellings over the next 15 years.

The PNP is also spending a lot of time using the LLCA details to do site allocations. A site allocation is where a plan based on evidence, sets a preferred area to be developed first. This does not guarantee another site is developed, but gives you a strong defence to resist a site that is not one of the preferred. The following picture gives you a clear idea where the preferred sites are.

image

In light of the LLRC and the work of the PNP, I do not think this site should be supported for housing. I know it is for affordable, and this is much needed in Porthleven. However, this site could have only a minimum of 50% because of something called viability. If you compare this will with the split of open-market to affordable for Porthleven in the Local Plan – 70/30 –  which would be imposed on all other sites.

The difficulty in resisting this application if a formal plan comes forward is the PNP is an emerging plan; which has not been tested by referendum and therefore, it is given little weight in the planning process, or at an Appeal. This is always a danger with any emerging plan when an area is deemed less suitable for development and the landowner wants to act quickly before they find it is very difficult/impossible to take forward.

As I said before, this is only a pre-app and there is no process for the public, or the town council to give a view. This site should not be supported because there are other more viable areas in Porthleven for future development.

For more information on the PNP, please click HERE

Cornwall is set to receive unaccompanied asylum seeking children

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children and refugees in general have rarely been out of the news. Following the Government’s recent change in position on whether England will receive unaccompanied asylum seeking children and the amendment to the Immigration Act. A lot of work has been happening within Children’s Services and the Council on unaccompanied asylum seeking children and the amendment to the Immigration Act.

This is because the Government has agreed to resettle unaccompanied child refugees who are currently in Europe or the UK. Many will be transferred from other local authorities. The Government said it would consult with local authorities before specifying the number of children it will seek to resettle from within the UK and Europe.  The proposals have moved on since the last Council statement on this important matter, with regions working together under the oversight of the Home Office and Department for Education to determine the best way of providing this humanitarian aid across local authorities.

Cornwall has deep empathy for unaccompanied children fleeing from the humanitarian disaster in their country of origin and is fully committed to doing everything it can within the resources available to play its part in providing care and support.

Cornwall Council have been informed that the main countries of origin a for unaccompanied asylum seeking children is currently, Albania, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa affected by war.  Nearly three quarters of these children are male and have been ‘age-assessed’ as 16-17 years old.

Cornwall has already supported younger children, within the families resettled in Cornwall, through the existing Syrian Refugee Resettlement Scheme. We are also committed to providing support to unaccompanied asylum seeking children and are already talking to foster carers and supported lodgings providers to make sure we are ready if/when we are asked to provide help.  It is crucial for the welfare and wellbeing of these children that local authorities are well prepared for them, including the ability to respond to emotional wellbeing and mental health issues arising from trauma.  It is also important that known risks, such as child trafficking, modern slavery and radicalisation are also understood and carefully considered if we are to keep these young people safe and well in Cornwall.

Most importantly, it is crucial for the wellbeing of these children that their individual needs and wishes are taken into account when sending them to be supported and cared for in different parts of the country.  It is important that their views and wishes are taken into account when identifying where they live. Many already have family and friends in the UK and would prefer to be near them or at least to established communities that share their language, heritage and culture.  The ability to provide things like interpreters, opportunities for religious observance and special diet are crucial to getting this right for them.  This will be a fundamental factor in accepting children to Cornwall, which does not have the level of experience or facilities more readily available in more multi-cultural areas of the country.

However, Cornwall has a good track record of making people from different backgrounds welcome and this is no different.  We will be working with health partners and schools to make sure that we work together to meet the needs of these children.  In the first instance Cornwall is on the Regional Rota to receive young people aged 16-17 years, who represent the majority of children seeking asylum in the UK.

The allocation of unaccompanied asylum seeking children to local authorities has been made on the basis of the child population of each local authority area alone.  On this basis the view of Government is that Cornwall should take 73 children in the first phase, over the next two years.  Whilst this approach does not take into account the different resources available to local authorities to care for the children, we at the Council do everything we can to manage within the resources available to us and to mitigate the impact on the capacity of our children’s services. Additional Government funding for the accommodation costs does not cover the full cost of providing care and support for these young people

I am confident that the residents of Cornwall will come together to welcome and care for unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

If you want to help and would be interested in providing foster placements or supported lodgings for unaccompanied asylum seeking children, please get in touch with our Recruitment Team. It is important to note that a fostering assessment can take 4-6 months. The assessment to be a supported lodgings provider for older children 16-17 is shorter.   Please contact the team by email: fostering@cornwall.gov.uk or phone: 01872 323638.

 

Planning application for 75 affordable homes at Bulwark Rd

Coastline housing has now submitted its planning application for 75 homes, with off-street parking for land next to Bulwark Road  and Nansloe in Helston. All the homes will be affordable housing.

Out of the 75 affordable housing, the types of housing will be:

  • 14 x one-bed units – which 12 will be for affordable rent and two for shared ownership;
  • 30 x two-bed units (29 houses and one bungalow) -16 of the houses will be affordable rent and 13 shared ownership. The bungalow will be affordable rent;
  • 25 x three-bed houses – 12 will be affordable rent and 13 shared ownership;
  • 6 x four-bed – 4 x affordable rent and 2 x shared ownership.

Using the Council’s information from Homechoice, there are 563 households are know to be in need which is split between 261 with a one-bed need, 185 with a two-bed needs, 90 with a three-bed need and one with a six-bed need.

The site layout is:

1

1 (2)

Putting aside the need for affordable homes in Helston, key to this application is the highway access to and from the proposed site, especially as the the entrance is close to Nansloe School. The applicants have submitted a detailed travel plan in reference to the site. This can be accessed HERE. As the local member, the access is the most critical part of this application.

As the planning application is now live, it is important people give their views. It is important the views come from both for and against the plan. You can make representation either by filling your comments online, by letter or email to the planning dept. at Cornwall Council. You can also email me with your comments and/or questions to awallis@cornwall.gov.uk

The planning application number for this plan is PA16/07813. You will need to use this when submitting your comments.

For the detailed planning application details, please click HERE. Make yourself a drink and sit down and read the documentation as there is quite a bit to digest.

This application will go through the democratic process with Helston Town Council discussing this first, where the public also have chance to give comment. It will also be discussed at Cornwall Council and their planning committee before any decision is made. Cornwall Council has to give a decision on this application by the end of November. Unless there are valid reasons for an extension.

 

 

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