Public Meeting with Derek Thomas MP

On Saturday, the Derek Thomas MP held a public meeting at Out of the Blue. I was invited as Mayor and Cornwall Councillor.

This was an open meeting with any subject up for grabs. However, the vast majority of the meetings was about parking and traffic in Porthleven. To be clear, there is no silver bullet that will solve all the issues or meet with everyone’s expectation. But some sort of solution needs to be found. And any solution will not happen overnight either.

Any solution has to be holistic; as there is no point in just addressing one or two streets as this just pushes the problem onto another street. Furthermore, it is no good just putting yellow lines down without proper enforcement. As people will soon ignore any restriction like they currently do.

Finally no amount of lines will address people’s inconsiderate attitude of ‘who cares where I park’. In truth many of Porthleven’s parking and traffic problems will be solved by people being more considerate and actually thinking of where and how they park, rather than abandoning their car like they are a get-away-driver.

Moving this issue(s) forward, I will be organising along with my fellow Town Councillors a drop in session at the Public Hall where people can give their views on what they would like to be done, including adding/removal of yellow lines, other parking restrictions and looking into the cost of employing a dedicated parking enforcement officer to name but a few areas. This meeting will take place before the 1st week of July subject to room availability.

From this the views will be collated and the town council will invite officers from Cornwall Council’s Highway Dept to see which options can be taken forward and included in a Traffic Regulation Order.

I would like to thank Derek for his time on Saturday as he has offered all the help he can do in solving these issues. Thanks also to my fellow town Councillors for attending (and the mountain of work this will entail) and for the 25 or so residents who took the time to attend this meeting.

Details on this meeting including the location will be published once they are finalised.

Enforcement – Yes, the Council does act

I have heard the saying many times, Cornwall Council does nothing when it comes to enforcement either in Planning, Licensing or any other statutory duty that the Council carries out. I think in a lot of cases this comes down to perception and how we as the Council get this information out to the general public.

A meeting today with the Chairs, Vice-Chairs of both Licensing Committees and senior officers we discussed various points in relation to Licensing. One of the items discussed was enforcement and prosecutions that had been undertaken by Cornwall Council. This did not just include Licensing, but was interesting to hear what litigation had been undertaken, and more importantly, the success the Council had.

I will start with the Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN). Between 1st April and 30th September 2010 there were 103 FPN issued that resulted in £4,635 of fines being collected. This is broken down further into various areas. It may seem not many, and it should be improved, but you have to catch the perpetrator first.

• Littering tickets issued – 20 – Fines collected £1,235
• Dog Fouling tickets issued – 55 – Fines collected £2,500
• Tickets for breach of dog control orders includes dogs on leads – 28 – Fines £900

Some of the other areas covered are breaches of Health and Safety at Work Act, Environmental Protection, Trading Standards and Animal Health. These have resulted in substantial fines, and in some cases, custodial sentences. For the Licensing part there have been 15 Licence Revocation/Suspensions during this period. Again, this is a positive step in dealing with licensed premises that are not abiding to their conditions, or the Licensing Act.