2012, when we became proud to be British

As 2012 draws to a close, and we look to start 2013 after the Mayan end-of-the-world prophecy non-event, I will if I can without boring you, look back on 2012. Not just from a council prospective, but as a nation, too. Let’s start off with Cornwall Council and my role within that organisation.

Looking back on the 229 blog posts I have written over the last 12 months, it is hard to know where to start without just repeated all the previous posts, but there have been many important and far-reaching events will impact on 2013 as well. The obvious one is the JV, and how back-bench Councillors took back (if they ever had) control of the council in a feat many would have said was impossible, or could not be done. This has resulted in a council that is more cooperative between the different faction, and the Cabinet, the once bane of many, is now very aware that they are not immune to their actions. The JV is not the dead-duck it should be, but the casualty of not taking the whole elected membership along with the proposals has cost one Leader and now a CEO. That is surely a lesson for all councils to heed.

You may not believe this, but Cornwall Council is seen by many other councils as a leader in Social Media. Again like in 2011, the staff and Councillors have shown how Social Media can be used to engage with the public. Often this hard-work goes unnoticed as something just appears, or there is a tweak, but there is a lot of clever stuff happening, and more is set for 2013. I am certainly impressed, and look forward to more during the following year.

It has not all gone the Councils way, as the implementation of the new waste contract was a large black mark against the council’s reputation. Again lesson have to be learnt, because if a council cannot do the basics right, then it does not bear thinking about on more complex issues.  The Incinerator issue still rumbles on, and is looking likely to be an issue for the next council to deal with. Again the council reputation has, and is still taking a battering on this issue. I hope it is resolved one way or another and soon.

As for other issues, who would have thought prayers would have been an issue, not just at Cornwall Council, but in all councils. Thankfully, it resolved itself, but could have been a lot worse; however we did spend far too much time on this issue. Sadly, Cornwall is still without a County stadium, it deserves one, and I hope something can be achieved in 2013.

For Britain we hosted the Olympics. I have to admit, I was negative to the whole concept and the sheer expense of it all. I also failed to see the importance of the Olympic Torch and its impact on Cornwall’s communities. Seeing the plane land at RNAS Culdrose and the many thousands of people lining the streets in Helston together as a whole community was a sight to behold. It was simply magic, and I am glad I made the effort to be there witnessing a great event.

As for the Olympics themselves, I was addicted to it. The opening ceremony of ‘Good Evening Mr Bond’ right up to the closing ceremony was totally amazing. The whole nation got right behind it, even though the country was (and still is) in a difficult economic situation. In fact the nation as a whole became proud to be British again and showed the world just how quirky and resilient we as a nation are. I believe Britain has struggled with itself in the post-empire world, and many nations looked upon us with pity, as we were struggling to find ourselves in the world. The Olympics have changed that, and it is a great feeling to be British and proud. As it showed we can still pull off something despite the odds.

And then there was the Queens Jubilee Celebration. It was great to see so many communities organising and holding events despite the awful weather. Like the Olympics a bit of jingoistic celebrations of  flag waving brought cheer to the country. I know not everyone is a fan of the Royals, but even some of the die-hard republicans I know could not help but join in with some of the community events being held. Like the Olympics, it was a pause from the negativity and economic hardship.

As for 2013, it is going to be a tough year financially for the council. The less than favourable settlement from Central Government of the formula grant is going to hurt. We are also in an election year. I will be standing, and I hope I am successful. But in the meantime, there is still a job to do and January will be all about budgets and the Council Tax for 2013/14.

As for my readers, thank you, keep reading and commenting. Taking the time to read what I write is really appreciated and I hope it continues in 2013. So this is my last post for 2012 and I will see you on the other-side.

Happy New Year, and spare a thought for those who are in foreign lands serving their Country. Many are my former colleagues and friends.

Cornwall Council has (not) got Talent – Children in Need 2012

The annual lets look even more silly than normal took place on Tuesday in guise of Cornwall Council has (NOT) Talent competition that helps raise a little money for the worth cause of  Children in Need. This was going to take place on November 15th, but it was rescheduled due to clashing with the Police Commissioner Election.

As normal, Councillors and Democratic Services put in an act. This is the fourth year we have, and last year (and quite rightly so) we won, yes really we won! This year, as it was close to Christmas, we decided to do a ‘School Nativity’.  Yes, I know you are probably thinkings please do not put up any pictures, as I cannot afford that much therapy.

The stage was set, and it was Lights, Camera and Action!

Councillor and Democratic Services do the Nativity for Children in Need

Councillor and Democratic Services do the Nativity for Children in Need

The deputy leader of MK threads the boards

The deputy leader of MK, Cllr Andrew Long threads the boards as The Donkey

The leaders of Cornwall Council's Lib Dems, MK and Indi Group show off their acting skills

The leaders of Cornwall Council’s Lib Dems, MK and Indi Group show off their acting skills as the three wise men
left to right: Cllrs John Wood, Dick Cole and Jeremy Rowe

 

Mary (Cllr Duffin) and Joseph

Mary (Cllr Duffin) and Joseph

The cast look on in amazement on my dancing!

The cast look on in amazement at my dancing!

And lastly, me as Gabriel the Narrator!

Me as Gabriel the Narrator

Me as Gabriel the Narrator

 

I have to say well done to all the people who took part that could sing or tell jokes. It was great to see so many people enter into the spirit of things giving up their own time to either take part or watch. I do have other pictures, but I am going going to publish them as they are more use as bargaining chips and ransoms!

Finally, I am please to say no animals or Councillors were harmed in this or any other performance.

If you are brave and want reminding, here are previous years: 2011  and 2010 and 2009

 

Citizenship for Life Awards 2012

On Friday I was invited to the awards ceremony for the Citizenship for Life program at Eden. This program is now in its second year, and like last year twelve students were selected to be part of the program. The way the students are selected, and was simply put at Friday’s awards ceremony was ‘those who will travel the furthest’. They are then assigned a mentor from different fields and backgrounds.

During the ceremony the twelve students all stood up in front of a packed house and said how the project has made a difference to them, and how they are better people. They also spoke of the experiences of visiting places and taking part in activities that they would not normally do. They all spoke of the visit to Emmaus and how meeting homeless people changed their perceptions. For me it was good to witness how these students had come a long way during the last twelve months in confidence and self-belief. At many points during the presentations I thought Eden would run out of tissues.

The project is run on sponsorship from various organisations and businesses. It is not always about just handing over a cheque and forgetting about it. These sponsors really get involved with the project. As did organisations like Cornwall Council, Coastline Housing, Rotary and the NHS.

My small bit part in all this is greatly overshadowed by three ladies who drive this program on. They are Charlotte Chadwick, Helen Sinock and Lucy Robinson. Without them this project would not be a success it is. It is also worth mentioning that these three ladies all work for Cornwall Council, who give them the time to work on the Citizenship for Life program, as well as their regular roles.

The project is set to start again in April 2013 and like previous years it needs sponsors, helpers and mentors. If you can help in this fantastic program (especially if you can sponsor), then get in contact with me and I will pass your details over to the team.

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).

The Porthleven Shipyard building refused planning permisson

What a journey this planning application has been. It has been a close run thing with the outcome finally balanced as the application was recommended for approval. The application was nearly refused at last planning meeting, but – and welcomed – a site meeting was arranged. This site meeting allowed the community to show its feeling and for Councillors on the committee to see first-hand the impact this building would have not only of the area, but Porthleven as a whole. I thank the committee for agreeing to this.

The people of Porthleven accept change will happen, but this change has to be sympathetic to our history, culture and environment. This building is not sympathetic to those important factors.

There is a statutory duty to preserve and enhance Conservation Areas that are designated under s.69 of the Act. The area’s designation has the highest protection in terms of the adopted 2010 Management Appraisal for Porthleven and Local Plan (National Policy); therefore, any building has to align itself to those important principles and this application does not uphold those principles; as the building’s location, scale, form and design would fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance Conservation Area.

The Porthleven Fishermen’s and Boat-owner Association – much to their credit – stood firm and objected most strongly to this application. This is because the proposed building and layout would harm boat related activity. Lynne Lees as Secretary of the Association spoke amazingly at the recent site meeting. John Boyle put the views of the association at both planning with purpose and clearly highlighting why the association had continuously objected to these plans.

The Town Council objected most strongly to this application and made strong representations both in writing and at the committee meetings. The Town Council’s viewpoint were admirably put forward but Councillors Mike Toy and Liz Lane. The Deputy Mayor, Bev Plunkett showed her support at today’s meeting too.

Porthleven’s community have also stood up with over 120 representation against this proposal. Yes, not everyone was against this plan, but the objections far outweighed those who supported it.

This was all rewarded today at the West Planning Committee meeting Councillors on that committee refused to grant permission for this building. The committee understood the impact and harm to such a central and important of Porthleven part of this building would have and rather than just go with the recommendation for approval voted to refused this application. I thank the committee for the consideration and robust challenge.

The reason for refusal is:

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’s 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.

Only three Councillors voted against refusal with one Councillor, Mike Thomas of Helston spoke in favour of this application at the committee. The other two Councillors who voted against were Councillors John Herd and Richard Robinson.

Of course, this is not the end. As the application has the right of appeal. I am hopeful if an appeal is launched, the robust reasons for refusals would be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

Cornwall Council supporting World Aids Day

For those who did not know, but today is World Aids Day. Therefore, Cornwall Council is joining other authorities across all of the South West to raise a flag to mark this occasion. The joint flying of the flags is in support of a bid to make stigma history for HIV.

For my generation we were bombarded with the ‘Don’t die of ignorance’ films, which were shown on national tv. However, over the year’s, HIV and Aids has been lost its prominence, and is seen as one of those illnesses that has a cure for it. Yet Aids and HIV has not gone away.

img_1660

Me and the Vice-Chairman of Cornwall Council

There are more than 100,000 people estimated to be living with HIV in the UK though 17% are unaware they have the infection. This is important as individuals unaware they have HIV are unable to get the treatment they need to keep them well, they may also pass the virus on unknowingly. Testing for HIV and STI’s is easy. For HIV it is a simple blood test.

HIV affects people of all ages, including older adults. Effective treatments now mean that life expectancy has significantly increased for people with HIV. The majority of people with HIV who are accessing care are on treatment (96%), and 94% taking treatment have suppressed the virus meaning they are highly unlikely to pass it on. However, wearing a condom is still the safest way to stay safe.

The number of people living with HIV is increasing in the UK. This is as more people continue to be diagnosed and people are living longer as a result of treatment. In 2015, 88,769 people were living with diagnosed HIV and had accessed care (61,097 men and 27,672 women). This represents a 73% rise in the last decade and an increase of 4% over the preceding year. Most people newly diagnosed with HIV were aged between 25 and 49 years in 2015. In Cornwall the age range of people diagnosed with HIV was 28-85 years.img_1659

Late HIV diagnosis is an important issue in Cornwall with 47% of the Cornish residents diagnosed with HIV in 2013-2015, diagnosed at a late stage of infection. Late diagnosis is when an individual’s immune system has already been severely damaged meaning they can become seriously ill.

Heterosexual men and women:

  • 39% new diagnoses in the UK were among heterosexual men and women in 2015;
  • The number of heterosexuals who acquired HIV in the UK remains high and is higher than infections acquired abroad;
  • The number of women/girls newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK has decreased in the last decade from 2,940 to 1,537 in 2015;
  • Among heterosexuals aged 15-44 in the UK, almost one in every 1,000 is estimated to be living with HIV with higher prevalence’s among black African heterosexual men (one in 56) and women (one in 22);
  • Throughout the decade the two largest groups of people who accessed HIV care remained white MSM and black African heterosexuals. There has also been an increase in white heterosexuals (which has almost doubled from 5,302 in 2006 to 10,417 in 2015).

Men who have sex with men:

  • While the vast majority of MSM do not have HIV, gay, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be the group most affected by HIV infection’
  • Among MSM aged 15-44, one in 20 is estimated to be living with HIV;
  • Just over half of people diagnosed with HIV in 2015 were MSM (54%).

For Cornwall the stats are:

  • 66 people in every 1000 are accessing care for HIV in Cornwall (compared to 2.26 in every 1000 in England).
  • The HIV prevalence rate is much lower than that of England as a whole.
  • The number of people living in Cornwall with HIV has increased by 24% since 2010 (148).
  • HIV incidence (the number newly diagnosed) is very low in Cornwall at 2.4 per 100,000 compared to the England average at 12.1.
  • It’s important to remember that an estimated 17% remain undiagnosed nationally so the true number of people living with HIV in Cornwall is likely to be higher.
    • Men who have sex with men: 14% of MSM living with HIV are undiagnosed.
    • Black African heterosexuals: 16% in men and 12% in women.
    • All heterosexuals: 21% unaware of their diagnosis (1 in 5) PLHIV unaware of their status, rising to 24% outside of London.
  • Late diagnosis continues to be an issue in Cornwall at 47% (2013-2015) it is higher than the England rate at 39% but has decreased since 2010-2012 (68.4%).

How to get a HIV test? Go to an open-access sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic like the sexual health hub at Treliske or one of the community sexual health clinics. Ask your GP for a HIV test – nowadays there is no need for a lengthy discussion about the test, it just involves having blood taken. Ask online for a self-sampling kit (www.freetesting.hiv.) that can be sent to you at home.

It was good to see others support World Aids Day at the Council:

 

Cornwall’s school reception place applications must be submitted by 15th January 2017

If you are a parent/carers with children who were born between 1st September 2012 and 31 August 2013 and you are intending to send your child to school in September 2017; you will need to submit an application for a school reception place. The closing date to apply for a reception class place is 15th January 2017. If your application is late you might not get the choice of school you wanted.

The School Admissions Team works hard to reduce the number of late applications as far as possible. Applications submitted after the deadline mean that the chance of parents/carers securing a place at one of their preferred schools is reduced, with a subsequent effect on the total number of appeals for school places which is a concern for schools and distressing for families.

In Cornwall we have a good track record of parents and carers getting one of their choice of schools. However, it is made more difficult when application forms are submitted late, or are incomplete.

Furthermore, there is a common myth that naming only one school and thinking ‘if I only put one, I am sure to get that.’ That is not the case – all preferences are treated equally so it is better to tell the Admissions Team which schools you would prefer so that you can be considered for them before they fill up. The team do their very best to give you your first choice, however, this is not always possible if all three boxes are not filled in. This makes the admission team’s job harder; which in turn, can lead to disappointment.

Parents/carers can get support from the Family Information Service who can help with identifying preferred schools, completing the application, understanding the process or other aspects of starting school, or help parent/carers whose first language isn’t English. They can be contacted on 0800 587 8191. The website is HERE. Cornwall Council will also be getting the information leaflets and posters out to key partners such as One Stop Shops, nurseries and early years settings, newspapers and radio stations.

Parents/carers can access information and the online application system HERE. A paper application form can be provided by the School Admissions Team on request. Please remember, you must submit your application by 15th January 2017.

Government set to cap at least seven of Cornwall’s Town and Parish councils Precepts from 2017

I have received news today that from a technical guidance issued by the Government it is minded – which basically means it is going to do it – to cap town at least seven town councils in Cornwall from 2017. With a further threat of all Town and Parish Council precepts if there is a too large of a rise in the precept.

Since 2012/13 the Government has applied a core Council Tax referendum principle of 2% on major authorities, such as Cornwall Council. If an authority wished to increase its Council Tax above that level (excluding the Adult Social Care precept that was introduced in 2016/17) it would be required to carry out a referendum of its residents. A referendum of this sort would cost in excess of £750k to hold. So the likelihood of holding one is slim.

In the past these referendum principles have not been applicable to local Town and Parish Councils, although the Government has always indicated that it would keep this under review.

Nationally, the increase in the average Band D Council Tax levels set by Town and Parish Councils in 2016/17 was 6.1%, which was markedly higher than in previous years. One of the reasons for this increase is  these Town and Parish Councils have taken on more services and responsibilities like in Cornwall due to the staggering cuts to local government funding. In Cornwall the increase in these precepts is around half of the national average. As follows

2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
Parishes 2.3% 3.9% 5.2% 4.3% 3.3% 6.1%

Due to the larger increases in Town and Parish precepts, the Government has now indicated that it is minded to apply the referendum principles to ‘higher spending’ Town and Parish Councils in 2017/18.

A higher spending council is defined in the consultation paper as one whose Band D charge in 2016/17 was higher than £75.46 (equivalent to the Band D charge for the lowest charging District Council) and which had a precept in 2016/17 of more than £500,000.

Such parishes would face the same referendum principles as shire districts; increases of less than 2%, or up to and including £5 on the Band D charge (whichever is higher).

However, to make things more complicated (as anything to do with tax and the Govt is), the Government has also said that it wants to ensure that parishes continue to have the flexibility to be able to take on responsibilities from other tiers of local government.

Therefore a degree  of complexity has been added to the proposal; in that the referendum principles would not apply where there has been a transfer of responsibilities and where the following three conditions are satisfied:

  1. The parish council and a principal council covering the area of the parish council have each resolved that a particular function carried out by the principal council in relation to the parish council’s area in the financial year 2016-17 is to be carried out instead by the parish council in the financial year 2017-18;
  2. The parish council and the principal council have agreed the reasonable cost of the exercise of that particular function in the parish council’s area by the parish council in the financial year 2017-18;
  3. That the agreed cost, if collected by way of the parish council precept, would take the parish council over the threshold of a 2% or £5 increase on the previous year.

Using the 2016/17 precept information, eight of the Town Councils in Cornwall would be affected by the above proposal. These are: Bodmin, Bude-Stratton, Camborne, Falmouth, Newquay, Penzance, Saltash and Truro. As far as I can tell, Helston with a precept of £303,691 would be excluded from the cap, and therefore, Porthleven would be excluded too.

Importantly however, it should also be noted that the final two paragraphs of the consultation paper state:

A large proportion of parishes are modest in size – for example, around 4,000 parishes have precepts of £25 or less. However, the Government is aware that increases in these precepts continue to concern local tax payers and is therefore prepared to consider extending referendums to all parishes.

Which basically means you raise the precept too much, and we will cap you.

The consequences of capping are huge. As Town and Parish Council have been taking on services  for Cornwall Council to safeguard them rather than see them close. I know local council’s have not always like taking on services, but they have taken a more pragmatic approach rather than losing a service. Like in Porthleven; where the town council now owns and runs the public toilets and all green spaces (which it does not already own).

Of course, the Government is saying it is consulting, but from my experience of the Governments consulting it should be interpreted at a ‘heads-up’ we are about to do this. This heads-up consultation lasts till the 28th October 2016 – just over three-weeks away.

Cornwall Council Children’s Social Care Services rated Good by Ofsted

Today I can officially confirm that Cornwall Council’s children’s social care services have been rated as ‘Good’ in the most recent Ofsted inspection. This puts this service in the top 25% of children’s services in the country that have been inspected under this tougher new inspection framework.  Only 12 local authorities have improved to ‘Good’ under this inspection regime and Cornwall is the only authority rated as ‘Inadequate’ between 2010 to 2011 that has now improved to ‘Good’.

The final report from the team of 12 inspectors published today (27 June) gives the Council an overall rating of “Good“, with four of the key areas of the inspection also being rated as ‘Good’ – Children in Care and Permanence; Adoption; Care Leavers; and Leadership, Management and Governance.

Gathered for the announcement this morning

Gathered for the announcement this morning

The report highlights numerous strengths of the service, including the skills and enthusiasm of social work staff; the “consistently good service” given to children in care and care leavers and the support provided to foster carers; the work of the adoption service; strong partnership working, and the quality of practice in early help services.

The report gives special mention is given to some of Cornwall’s most innovative services, including the Multi-Agency Referral Unit (MARU) and Early Help Hub developed jointly with health partners, as well as multi-agency teams like Teylu (Cornish for Family) which is the specialist pre-birth and parent & child assessment team, and Gweres Tus Yownyk (Cornish for Helping Young People) which is the specialist adolescent service supporting young people on the edge of care.

The report notes the significant increase in the number of children receiving Early Help in Cornwall from 200 in 2011-2012 to 2,700 in 2015 – 2016, with early help now seen as everyone’s business. Early help provided by the Council was described by the parents and carers who met with inspectors as “amazing” and “brilliant”.  Parents praised the help they were receiving which, they said, had brought about real improvements in the lives of their children.

The report concludes that services for children and young people in Cornwall are now in a much stronger position and more effective than they were in 2013.

I am extremely proud of the commitment, expertise and achievements of everyone who works so hard to keep children and young people in Cornwall safe and well.

We have come a long way but we know we have more to do.  That will always be the case, especially as we address emerging risks to children such as online child sexual exploitation.  We are already working with our partners to build on the progress we have made over the past five years and we will ensure that we will also get to ‘Good’ in this area at the next inspection.

This achievement is down to the dedication, hard work and skill of staff working on the front line, many of whom go way beyond what is expected of them to help and protect the most vulnerable children of Cornwall.  It is also down to strong partnership working and it is good that the inspectors recognised this.

Our ambition is still the same, to become one of the best children’s services in the country.  The children of Cornwall deserve nothing less.

This results shows that local authorities working together effectively with their partners can turn around Children’s Services. Unlike some in the Government who believe outsourcing Children’s Services is the best way forward.

 

 

 

Porthleven CIC launches ‘The Porthleven Town Trail’

Porthleven Community Interest Company has launched its last project of five, The Porthleven Town Trail.

Mayor Barbara Powell, Mark Berryman, David Turnbull, Andy Wallis and Louise Winterton unveiled the new Town Trail information board Credit ‘Christine Hosey/Helston Packet’

Mayor Barbara Powell, with Porthleven CIC Directors: Mark Berryman, David Turnbull, Andy Wallis
and Louise Winterton unveiled the new Town Trail information board
Credit ‘Christine Hosey/Helston Packet’

 

In celebrating the launch, the Porthleven CIC released the following press statement and covered also in The Packet

The Porthleven Town Trail takes in thirteen historical buildings centred around Porthleven harbour. Visitors and residents will learn the rich history of these buildings by means of a 20 page colour booklet and a free to download smart app that is available on Apple and Android enabled devices.

Town trail walkers can discover more about Porthleven’s past and people, including the history of the harbour as a working port, the discovery of china clay on nearby Tregnonning Hill and the rumours of smuggler’s tunnels and ghosts at the Ship Inn.

The project has taken near a year to complete with the project being led by Louise Winterton and Andy Wallis.

Louise Winterton said:

“This has been a fascinating project and, being a Porthleven girl, one which is very close to my heart. We really could not have completed the project without the great support of so many people who supplied us with information, pictures and historical documents. In helping put together the trail, I have thoroughly enjoyed looking through old photographs and information about my home, and I hope others get the same pleasure.

The town trail map has been created by Caitlin McLintock, a local girl who has just completed the second year of her illustration degree course at Falmouth University. The beautiful slate plaques have been crafted by stonemason Steven Dyer of J Ching stonemasons of The Gue, Porthleven.

Images for the trail have graciously supplied by Tony Tregowlen, who also helped by supplying the information contained in his books; Rod Stephens, who put together the picture archives which are located at Out of the Blue; Roger Hosking, and Helston Museum.

Thanks must go to the owners of the thirteen buildings who have given permission for their building to be used, including Trevor Osborne, owner of Porthleven Harbour and Dock Company, Mr and Mrs Richards, Rick Stein, Jane and Jude Kereama of Kota, Colin and Helen Wiley and The Mayor and Councillors of Porthleven Town Council

Suzie Inman of Mightier, a copywriting and marketing company based in Porthleven, who wrote the trail said:

“It has been a fascinating exploration of discovery working on the Town Trail and delving into the many stories of Porthleven’s past. The challenge for me was then to craft the information into a form that is interesting and easy to digest for anyone who wants to find out more. I hope people enjoy following the trail as much as I enjoyed writing it and I cannot thank the local historians who have helped me and checked over my work enough.”

Andy Wallis said

“When we started this, I really did not think it would take up so much of my life. However, it has been worth it when you see the finished trail. I will echo Louise’s words and pay tribute to all who made this possible. It has been a real community project.

Now all the projects are finished, we will take stock before we embark on phase two of the trail as well as other projects that we have in the pipeline.”

Embracing technology, further information and pictures will be able to be read by a smart phone app created by Creative Steam of Penryn. Creative Director at Creative Steam Julyan Mills said:

“When we were approached by the Porthleven CIC to develop an application, we were excited about the prospect of creating a content rich app that would really benefit the flourishing community and showcase the history of Porthleven. Not only was it important to make sure that the application would educate both locals and tourists, we needed to ensure that it delivered the content in an engaging manner. This was achieved by streaming the text and images from the Porthleven CIC website directly into the app and then combining this information with the Google Maps geo-location data. We feel that the end result is an interactive experience for everyone in Porthleven.”

The Porthleven Community Interest Company (CIC) was formed in late 2012 to look at how to mitigate the impacts of being a Coastal community. In 2013, the CIC was one of 20 projects nationally to be awarded funding from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund. The total amount awarded to the CIC was £99,950.

 

The map artist Caitlin McLintock. Credit ‘Christine Hosey/Helston Packet’


The smart phone app, which is available free on Apple and Android devices via ‘The Porthleven Town Trail.’

Booklets for the trail are available in various shops in Porthleven. Look out for the map signs. Current stockists are: Customs House Gallery, Lindy Lou’s, Harbour and Dock Company, Stargazey, The Brew House and Nauti-but-Ice.

The history behind Porthleven CIC is it was one of 20 projects nationally to be awarded funding from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund in 2013. The total amount awarded to the CIC was £99,950.

This funding is being used to deliver five key projects, which have now been all delivered,

  • A community marquee hire business;
  • Creating and opening Withy Field car park, bringing an additional 72 parking spaces to Porthleven and putting profits back into the community;
  • Up-lighting the Bickford-Smith Institute and so showcasing Porthleven’s most iconic building and;
  • The Porthleven CIC website.

The CIC have four directors: David Turnbull, Louise Winterton, Mark Berryman, (town council representative) and Andy Wallis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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