French Government honours veterans in Cornwall for helping with the Liberation of France

On Thursday the 3rd March, the Chairman of Cornwall Council, Ann Kerridge hosted on behalf of the French Government and the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall an award ceremony in recognition of the gallantry and bravery shown in the liberation of France in 1944-1945.

The veterans with the Consul, Lord Lt and Chairman of Cornwall Council

The veterans with the Consul, Lord Lt and Chairman of Cornwall Council

The French Honorary Consul presented the 21 veterans with the Legion d’honneur in the Council Chamber. In reading out the citations you heard how ordinary men did extraordinary actions in France.

The veterans where from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, including the Parachute Regiment and a whole host of other regiments, and the RAF. All had served in Normandy. Many people will have seen ‘Saving Private Ryan’ or ‘Band of Brothers’ but many of these veterans had actually hit the breaches or parachuted into France on D-Day.

Veterans and their families gather for the ceremony

Veterans and their families gather for the ceremony

One veteran a coxswain of a landing craft made landings on Sword, Juno, Gold and Omaha beaches all under fire. Before that he took part in the Dieppe Raid. Another had parachuted into Normandy. Talking to one veteran who had been injured fighting near Caen, he showed me his wartime glasses case which had stopped a bullet from killing him. Each one of the veterans had a story to tell and each one was extraordinary.

There were speeches by the Honorary Consul and the Lord Lieutenant, which was followed by the National Anthem and the Marseillaise. The Consul said he was humbled to be standing in front of these veterans who had helped liberate his country.


The French Honorary Consul address the veterans and guests

One of the veterans being presented with his Legion d'honnour

One of the veterans being presented with his Legion d’honneur

I had the privilege to help out during the ceremony as a ex-serviceman. Other former servicemen helped out included Cllrs Armand Toms, Steve Chamberland, John Keeling and Tom French. We were there to help the veterans and serve the post ceremony tea and cakes. Also on hand to help with the tea was the Leader of Cornwall Council, John Pollard and the Vice-Chairman of Cornwall Council Mary May.


The Long Gallery

All those who made this happen deserve our thanks. The French Government also deserves our thanks in recognising these veterans by awarding them France’s highest honour. I salute you.

Porthleven Town Council Honours Porthleven’s Harbour Master

At the March meeting of Porthleven Town Council, the Mayor and the Council awarded Porthleven’s Harbour Master, Phil Ward a town plaque; the town council’s highest honour.

It is very rare this honour is given for a single act, but the Mayor and the Town Council felt Phil Ward deserved to be awarded this plaque for his quick thinking actions and conduct during the recent storms that smashed into Porthleven.


Without Phil’s quick decision to remove the boats from the harbour after the Baulks gave way from the relentless pressure of the sea, the devastation to the fishing boats and pleasure craft would have been far worse.

Furthermore, Phil has been praised by the Town Council for the work carried out after the storms in sorting out the destruction left by this terrible period of weather. I would like to pay tribute to the men who work for Phil, who like the Harbour Master acted quickly to save so many boats.

The success of Young Mums Will Achieve

Life, when you least expect it can throw you a curve-ball which can change put you on to a new path. This could be falling pregnant whilst still at school. The consequences of dealing with all the pressures of becoming pregnant and in turn becoming a young mother, your education and taking those vital GCSE’s is often the first to fall by the wayside.

This is why the Young Mums Will Achieve project is such an important service provided by Cornwall Council to help gain those vital qualifications. This award winning project aimed at pregnant and teenage mums aged 14 to 19 years. The group meets twice a week to provide support, guidance and learning in a relaxed non-school environment. The programme runs for a whole academic year. Childcare is provided by Fit & Fun Kids and is fully funded as part of the provision on offer. Transport is also funded and provided for the programme by Cornwall Council at various locations throughout Cornwall. More information can be found HERE

This week I had the great pleasure to award certificates to over sixty young mums who had completed the course and had gained those vital educational qualifications; when it could have been so easy not to.

The different YMWA groups gave presentations on their experiences of the project, and how it had helped them achieve those qualifications. It was good to hear the young mums talk about how many of them have been accepted to do college courses. They were -and rightly so – very proud of their achievements.

It just shows projects like YMWA really work, and without these projects, most if not all would have not gained those qualifications that are so needed to get a job, attend college or university. to round the event off, all the babies and children either got a rubber duck, or bubbles.

Children’s University Awards at Tremough Campus

Earlier this week, I had the great honour of being invited to say a few words and present graduation certificates to over 70 young people at Tremough Campus who had taken part in the Children’s University programme.

The Children’s University (CU) Trust offers 7 to 14 year olds (and 5 to 6 year olds with their families) exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside normal school hours. The key to the programme is learning is fun, and it is not just about what you learn inside a classroom. This programme is supported by Cornwall Council.

For me it was great to see so many young people getting their certificates and the impressive range of activities they carried out as part of the programme. The awards ranged from 65 hours to a few that had amassed 600!

However, it was not just the young people who should be proud of their achievements, but also the parents, carer’s, family members and group leaders who helped the young people with the many lifts, support and time that enabled the young people take part.

Credit should also go to Lisa and her team for making this project the success it is. Finally, a big thank you should go to the campus, its staff and their Student Ambassadors who helped make this event such a success.



Councillor Achievement Award 2013 – Do you know someone?


I have decided to post these details not as a shameless plug,  but to highlight this award as most people will have no idea these awards actually exist. These awards not only cover those Councillors who are elected to District and County positions, but the often unsung heroes of local government, Town and Parish Councillors.

So know of anyone that should be nominated look at the categories and if you can spare five minutes and feel someone is worthy, please submit an application. You have until January 18th.

“The C’llr Achievement Awards are the only national ceremony which celebrates the contributions of councillors from across the political spectrum. Now in their fourth year, the Awards promise to be even bigger and better than before. The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the 2013 Awards Ceremony.

So if you know an outstanding councillor who has made a positive impact to their community, we want to hear from you! This year the following 11 awards will be up for grabs at the 2013 ceremony:

Of particular interest is the Bruce-Lockhart Member Scholarship supported by Kent, Essex, and East Sussex councils. The winner of this Award will be presented with a £10,000 bursary to fund a project that will help advance local government within the UK”.

To make a nomination, please complete our nomination form or the Bruce Lockhart Scholarship application formFor more information on the Awards and the application process, please go to our website:

Cornwall Council’s Democratic Services Finalist in the MJ Awards

Awards might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and at times it seems there is an award for opening a door. But one set of awards is worthy of mentioning because the finalist of this award are in many parts the forgotten heroes of any authority. I know every gog in local government is important, I just think this department is often overlooked for any type of recognition, or pat on the back.

The department in question is Democratic Services and this department is one of the finalist in the MJ Awards. I can almost hear people saying ‘and they do what?’  I described them when I was asked to a video on the service, the engine of Cornwall Council and more than posh admin. Every council has a democratic service, but in smaller authorities like town and parish council’s they are more commonly known as a town or parish clerk.

At Cornwall Council this group of people has to deal with 123 members all with different needs and complaints. This is not an easy job to do, especially if you throw in politics. However, every man-jack-of-them carries out this duty in a neutral and efficient manner. They do not just do this, but help set agenda’s, make sure reports are correct, and generally get all the information from the whole council to the Councillors (these are just some of their functions). Without them, it would be chaos. I know they sure make my life a lot easier, and I am thankful they are they with some great support.

To make the final is a worthy achievement, to win it would be the icing on the cake. Cornwall Council faces strong competition from other authorities. These include: Brighton & Hove City Council, Enfield Council, Kirkless Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council. Not to take away the achievement  from the other short-listed finalist, but Cornwall Council will I hope win.  Here is the link to the award criteria.

Cornwall Council is also a finalist  in another category: Delivering Better Outcomes – Link.  The announcement who has won any of the awards will be made on the 21st June 2012.

Good luck!



Trinkets and Awards Pt 2

After doing so well in Total Politics Blog Awards 2011 in the non-aligned category (number 18) I might have got a mention in the Councillor category. Today those results were released and to my shock and amazements I made it into the top ten Councillor blogs in the UK. In fact I came number 6! Last year I was listed 28

It was also a good day for other Cornish Councillor bloggers with six other names in the top 35. The Cornwall Councillors are Alex Folkes -7, Dick Cole – 13, Jeremy Rowe -14 and Jude Roberson -27. One other Councillor from Illogan Parish Council, Stephen Richardson was listed 16.

This is an excellent result for everyone concerned. Again, I would like to thank all who voted and please continue to read and take part in the debates.

And to top it all off I am listed in the Top 100 Political Blogs in the UK at number 88.

Trinkets and Awards – TheTotal Politics Awards 2011

The Total Politics Blog Awards 2011 results are being released. There are many categories including the best LD/Con/Labour blog and blogger. Also categories for best media, left/right wing, non-aligned, MP and Councillor blogs.

So far, the Cornish bloggers have done rather well in the awards with Jeremy Rowe and Alex Folkes doing well in the LD category. MK and those left-leaning bloggers have done well too, with Rob’s Cornish Blog, Illogan Blogger and Dick Cole in the lists. The BBC’s Graham Smith also does well in the Media category (46th). Jude Robinson is 55 in the Labour category. No Cornish Tory blogger has been mentioned so far.

As for me, I have done well by coming 18th in the top 100 in the non-aligned category. Considering the 17 above me are professional journalists/bloggers like the BBC’s Nick Roberson (10th) and Huffington Post (15th) I have done amazingly. I might get a mention in another category because not all the results are out.

A huge thanks to those who read my blog, though not always agreeing with me, and taking the time to vote for me. And to Total Politics for running the competition.

Thank you

Lady Mary

Lady Mary’s service to Cornwall as Lord Lieutenant has been truly remarkable. I have met Lady Mary several times and on each occasion I have been impressed with her zeal and her true love of Cornwall. For 17 years Lady Mary with massive support from her husband Jeffrey has worked tirelessly for Cornwall. Often raising issues that need to be addressed without getting involved in politics. This is a rare skill, which has earned her huge respect.

At yesterday’s Cornwall Council meeting a presentation was made by the Chairman of Cornwall Council on behalf of Cornwall to say thank you for the hard work and enjoy your retirement. All the political leaders of the council spoke in high praise of Lady Mary’s work and on several occasions she received an standing ovation.

Cornwall Council Wins An Award!

Well done to Cornwall Council for actually winning an award. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has announced the winners of its annual awards. Cornwall Council is the winner, for Crisis Communications.

It may seem a little ironic especially in light of recent revelations, but this award is well deserved. The Communication Team at Cornwall Council should be congratulated as without their hard work at all hours the Council would find itself up the creak without a paddle.

Link HERE to the article, category 15.