New goal posts with nets for The Moors playing field

Every year, each Cornwall Councillor gets a small pot of funding to help local groups and organisations with funding. In the past, I have paid over the last year or so for new life-jackets for Porthleven Gig Club, Porthleven Village Show, Porthleven School PTA and the Porthleven Food Festival to name a few.

Since the removal old goal posts on the Moors (because they were at the end of their life) there has been a strong request from both parents and young people to have these replaced.

Goal posts that are designed for play-parks are not cheap, but I am very pleased to say yesterday I placed an order for two goal posts both with nets for the Moors playing field. These goal posts will be paid for out of my community fund.

The new goal posts for the Moors playing field

The new goal posts for the Moors playing field

Further good news is the delivery of these goal posts should be within two-weeks and installation soon after. Porthleven Town Council should also be thanked because they will be funding the installation costs (concrete) and the future maintenance of the goal posts.

Porthleven’s ‘top park’ to get new play equipment

It is great news that a devolution project between Cornwall Council and Porthleven Town Council can now be announcement after the town council approved the deal last night. The deal between the two authorities, is for the playing field known officially as Horseshoe Playing Field, but also known locally as ‘top park’, along with the adjoining field and Shrubberies Hill car park will be transferred to Porthleven Town Council on a 99 year lease for one peppercorn (if demanded) per year.

As part of the devolution project I have been working on for sometime, I have negotiated with Cornwall Council a one-off grant of £25,000 to help replace the equipment. As anyone who has visited the park will see the current children’s play equipment it is in need of replacement.  This is really good news, as the town council gets to administer and safeguard the future of the area, but has a large grant to help replace the play equipment.

However, the £25,000 from Cornwall Council is not enough to build a new play park. So on top of this, and as part of the planning consent for the development of Shrubberies Hill, £10,000 of section 106 money will be added to the £25,000 from Cornwall Council. However, this is still a little short of the total amount needed for a new play park.  So as part of the recommendations I put to the town council (at the September meeting) to accept the transfer of assets, the town council has committed a further £5,000 to make this new park deliverable.

The proposed new play equipment at Horseshoe

The proposed new play equipment at Horseshoe

This play park will be build in a new area and has two elements, one for the younger children which will be fenced off, and another for older children. The ‘sand’ area is an idea, but it was deemed better to infill this, and place the benches and tables nearer the park. Included in the deal is new fencing.

The play equipment for older children

The play equipment for older children

 

I believe this is a great deal between Porthleven Town Council and Cornwall Council in how a devolution project can and should work. This is the second devolution project between Porthleven Town Council and Cornwall Council. The first one being the land between the Cricket Club and the Amenity Area. It sometimes takes time, and there is a lot of hard work for both parties, but it just proves something positive can be done if everyone is working for a common cause.

Well done Porthleven Town Council for being a proactive council. Well done Cornwall Council for helping a local community have more control over the assets in their area.

New Skate Park Planned for Porthleven

Porthleven Town Council has been working on a plan to update the skate park in Porthleven. This well used site – owned and maintained by the town council – is getting near the end of its life. So something has to be done sooner than later. The plan is not to just refurbish the site, but to do a completely new park including a proper skating surface.

The project has been set a budget of £65,000, which will do everything required to make this a great skate park. I am really pleased to say at last nights monthly meeting of the town council, the council agreed to contribute up to £20,000 toward the project. The remaining monies will be (hopefully) from grant funders. I and other members of the town council are now in the process of applying to these funders now the town council has agreed on its contribution. I hope to have most if not all of the funding in place within six months.

There are also plans for some other fundraising activities to take place, and a final consultation on the layout of the park. Below is a picture of the type of equipment the new park could expect to see for the projects budget. If you are interested in helping with the project, drop me or the town clerk an email.

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Porthleven Play Park Gets New Fencing

Near three years ago when I was a Kerrier District Councillor, Porthleven Town Council supported me in updating the play park on The Moors.  The cost of the project for the new park came to just under £45,000. The town council agreed to fund £10,000, with the  rest of the money came from Section 106 contributions.

The only part of the park which was not upgraded was the fencing; as it was agreed the existing fence would be fine for a few more years. After all the town council doesn’t have an unlimited amount of money. Now, due to the poor state of that fencing the town council decided to replace it after discussing various options at one of its monthly meetings.

You might think replacing a fence would be simple and finding someone to do it would be no problem. However, this was not the case because a few companies after quoting, then increased their quote, or they turned down the work.   In the end, the original suppliers of the park did the work, which for anyone who has seen the fence would see what a great job they have carried-out.

Speaking to the town clerk this morning she has had many positive comments to this new fencing. It is great to see a town council making a difference to the lives of people in the town.

Cornwall Council Fails the Children

A lot of people will know that the Bulwark Residents Association has been working hard to improve their area by a variety of projects. One of the bigger projects is the redevelopment of the play park. This is owned by Cornwall Council and for want of a better word they have abandoned it. It has a solitary swing, and it is in need of love.

Note the forlorn looking swing in the corner  

My efforts of banging on about money being spent in this area has resulted in the answer of no money, we are restructuring our budgets, we have just gone though a massive change. I think you get the picture of no being said in different ways. Officers have been sympathetic, and have agreed they would take on the maintenance if the group got the funding, but why should the group do Cornwall Council’s job?

The Association despite being failed by Cornwall Council has pressed on trying to raise themoney itself. So far, the Association has raised near £5,000 with fund raising events and being awarded small grants. However, the large funders like the Lottery have turned them down. All is not lost, as one funding body SITA, has bucked the trend and instead of sending a sorry, no letter, they have said yes, maybe.

This yes, maybe answer resulted in SITA’s funding coordinator coming down to interview me and the Chairman of the Association. This interview took place on Friday. The omens were good as the sun was shinning. The interview went very well, and we were told our bid ticked all the boxes and it was a ‘no-brainer’ of in need.  However, we are faced with a big choice on the way forward.

The original park plan required near £80k being spent. The Association understands money is harder to get, so downsized the project into two parts; play equipment and a ball game area. The number of equipment has also been scaled down to around £40k. From this, the funders need a more up to date quote. That is simple enough. They also need a letter from Cornwall Council confirming that once the play equipment is built, the council will take over the maintenance. In principle they will, but we again need a more up to date response.

Our bid is ready to go, and subject to the few minor detail can go forward to the funding board for approval (looking at the positive). We have a choice, either have our plans judged in October, or wait till February. The problem is, if we are unsuccessful in October, the Association cannot reapply for a year. Of do we wait till February and make sure everything is perfect in our bid.

One of the things that was picked up by the funders was Cornwall Council’s abandonment of the site. Especially as no money is being set aside even for basic improvements/repairs. Part of the fence is just hanging there waiting to snag a child. Even if Cornwall Council said ‘here is £1000’ this would help our bid hugely.

I get really frustrated (bordering on anger) when I see money spent on ego/legacy projects, and not the basics. Maybe with the announcement of £15 million being spent by Cornwall Council on solar projects with claims of huge returns from the Feed in Tariffs I could get an advance on this money for the Bulwark Park.

Or better, I could get £50,000 from the £7m Cornwall Council has recently banked in ‘savings’. Yes, they really have banked £7m. The reserves are now really healthy, and are bigger than the reserves of a small country, or Greece.

The view from the other end. 

No doubt this is not the only area that is in need of love around Cornwall. Horseshoes Playing Field, Porthleven is also needing love, but at least they have equipment.