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.

Derek Thomas MP for West Cornwall visits Porthleven Town Council

Last Thursday, the Member of Parliament for West Cornwall, Derek Thomas visited the members of Porthleven Town Council. Since I have been on the town council, this is the first time a MP has visited a town council meeting. The aim of the meeting was to meet the town councillors, and to see what help they need in achieving the council’s priority and any ‘wants’ it may have.

Derek Thomas, MP for West Cornwall in talks with Porthleven Town Council

Derek Thomas, MP for West Cornwall in talks with Porthleven Town Council

During the discussion, councillors raised the issue about telecommunications and how Porthleven has been plagued with intermittent services; mostly from one provider. In responding to this, Derek said he would personally take it up with the provider.

An aim of Porthleven Town Council is to look at creating a footpath between the town itself and Penrose. This had been looked at previously, but an agreement could not be found between all landowners. Back then, there was also a pot of money for new footpaths, which was used to add a few paths in and around Penrose. The Council asked Derek to see what Government pots of money were available for such projects.

Support was also asked for the regeneration of the Bickford-Smith Institute by the working party in its fundraising ambitions and any funding bids. The more support the Council has in any funding applications, the more chance it has.

A final point I raised is in reference to community policing. This is not about having a go at front-line officers, but the way information to Town and Parish Council’s has stopped. In the past a police officer or PCSO would attend a meeting to give a report on the last month, and for those present (both councillors and the public) were able to put a series of questions to the Police. However, now Council’s are told to go to the Police website. This website has some great information, but sadly, and this is the flaw, it is at least two-months out of date. This is not only a concern of Porthleven Town Council, but other Town and Parish Councils too. Derek said he would take this up with senior officers.

I am pleased Derek turned up, and hopefully those issues raised the town council will be taken forward.

Voting – Stand up and be counted

I am struggling to understand the latest saga in the possible creation of a shared parliamentary boundary with Devon, or otherwise know as Devonwall. This concerns our MP’s. They have all made speeches on how bad this would be, and how it must not be allowed to happen. These are noble sentiments indeed by standing up for the people who are against this. It just all comes crashing down when it comes to voting for it. They all save one vote in favour for the motion. Granted it was all mixed in with a change to the voting system, but it was still in there. One MP did vote for and against, as that is seen as a principled objection. How brave.
So tell me why they did? If you disagree with something then vote against it. Stand up and be counted. So what if you are in the party which is proposing it. Just because they are, does not mean you blindly follow them and vote for it. If they, our MPs had kept quiet, or made no point in how they felt, then maybe, just maybe I might have understood. But to campaign, turn up at rallies and speak against the formation of a shared boundary and then vote for it is just plain wrong.
The topic is not the important part, it could be on anything, but the principle is the same. It is one reason I am an Independent. I can vote for what is best for the people who elect me. No one tells me how or suggest which way to vote. They have tried, but are met with a look that would include the words running, jump, take and a. Even at Cornwall Council block votes happen. No one will ever admit that there is indeed a whip, but it’s pretty hard to discount it when one hand goes up and the rest follow.
People have low opinions of politicians, this just enforces that opinion when a politician says they are against something, but when it comes to voting, they vote in favour.  One of our MPs posts a comment on Twitter about how to campaign against it. Did they really say this with a straight face? Anyway, here is the comment:
“If you haven’t written (to the House of Lords,) write now. If you’ve already written, write again. Don’t leave it to someone else.”
I am sure they will make some excuse as to why they did indeed vote this way. They will as sure as the sun comes up say its not over and there are other chances to stop this, but when it is your chance to stop, or at least make the point you are against something, then for the love of God stand up and vote against it. You may lose, but people will respect you more if you do stand up for what you say.