Porthleven to receive £40k to address flooding along Methleigh Bottoms

I have received some very good news today as DEFRA (administered by the Environment Agency) has previously awarded the Council £7.547m  to help repair the storm damage from last winter.  This money will be combined the Council’s own matched funding of £1.910m. This is goods news for Porthleven – which was badly affected by the storms – will receive some of this money. In total 67 sites will receive some storm damage funding.

Porthleven will receive £40k from this money to help address the flooding problems along Methleigh Bottoms. For the residents along this road there has been a worry every time there is bad weather will this area flood, and during the storms they were flooded, as they had been in previous years.

I am very pleased the Government has listen to the concerns I raised, along with residents and the Council and has awarded this money to address the problems along Methleigh Bottom. I would also like to praise my colleague Edwina Hannaford as the Portfolio Holder and the officers which pressured the Government for this money.

The good news is work should start on reducing if not completely stopping the flooding in this area very soon. I am just waiting for a schedule of works that will be undertaken. Once I have more details I will let people know

The Moors Flood1

Flooding on the Moors caused by the river along Methleigh Bottoms (2012)

The Moors Flood3

A common site during the bad weather with the road along Methleigh Bottoms closed due to the flooding

The Moors Flood2

Porthleven to receive £500k to help with storm damage repairs

The MMO has today made the announcement that Porthleven will receive a total of £501,177.47 to help with storm damage repairs. This money comes from The Small Ports Fund.

The details of the grant is £434,786 to repair collapse of wall at Fisherman’s Quay, remove large granite blocks partially blocking the sluice and fix damage to the hospital corner wall, loss of capping to harbour head wall and undermining of slipway. A further £66,391 to fix damaged caused by wooden baulks to Inner Harbour shifting, damaging roads, ladders and mooring chains.

IMG_2824.JPG
I really welcome this news, as Porthleven took the full force of the weather during the storm period. It is good this money can now be used to fully rectify the damage from the storms which hit Porthleven.

More details can be found HERE

IMG_3868.JPG
Porthleven Storm Blogs HERE

Amazing lightning storms over Porthleven

Thursday night, Porthleven was treated to a lightning spectacular. I have not seen such a show since I was at sea. Though my first my sight of this was when I saw a small but worrying bolt of lightning hit one of the large metal silver vent pipes along Peverell Terrace as I was walking home from a meeting. I did quicken the pace after this.

Here are a few pictures taken during the storm.

20140718-111510-40510481.jpg

Lightning over Porthleven

20140718-111537-40537905.jpg

20140718-111537-40537252.jpg

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.

20140314-100846.jpg

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.

Reporting Storm Damage in Porthleven

Since December, Porthleven has been battered and smashed by 15 storms. Overall, and compared to other places, Porthleven Harbour and sea-defences along the coast have held up – just. However, it will be several months until the full impact will be understood as the more unseen damage will become apparent as things settle down.

Over the weekend, a large hole appeared at the bottom of the sea-defences below the road leading around the institute (clock tower). I reported this on Monday, and I am very pleased to see repair work has started by Cormac.

 

20140306-101420.jpg

Yet today, the town clerk has reported to Cornwall Council and me on further damage near Blue-Buoy Steps. This like the other hole will be investigated and where possible repaired.

20140306-101951.jpg

If anyone comes across any damage to the sea-defences whilst out and about, could they safely take a picture and report this damage to me. That way I can get the area assessed, and get the repairs carried out by the relevant landowner.

Funding available for homeowners and businesses affected by the severe weather

Cornwall Council is publicising four schemes for financial assistance that are available to homeowners and businesses affected by the severe weather between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014.

1. Council tax discount

Householders, whose house has been affected by the severe weather, can apply to Cornwall Council for a three month discount from their council tax.

The qualifying criteria is:

  • Flooding must have occurred between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014
  • You can only make one claim per property affected
  • The property has been flooded in whole or in part as a result of adverse weather conditions
  • The property was the sole or main residence of the householder on the day of the flood
  • As a result of the flooding the householder was adversely affected
  • To establish whether a property qualifies for a discount due to flooding we need the following information:

  • Name and address of the property affected
  • Date the flooding occurred
  • Details of how the property was affected by the flood
  • Supporting evidence to help us with your application
  • Applications can be made by phone, email or in writing. Phone: 0300 1234 171; email: revenues@cornwall.gov.uk; in writing: Shared Services (Income), PO Box 676, Threemilestone, TR4 9LD

    20140226-103045.jpg

    1. Business Rate Relief

    Businesses, affected by the severe weather, between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014, are able to apply to Cornwall Council for a 100% business rate relief for three months.

    100% rate relief will be awarded for those properties which meet the following criteria:

  • Flooding must have occurred between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014. You can only make one claim per property affected
  • The property has been flooded in whole or in part as a result of adverse weather conditions
  • On the day of the flooding the property was occupied and subject to occupied business rates
  • As a result of the flooding the business activity undertaken at the property was adversely affected
    The rateable value of the property on the day of the flooding was less than £10 million

    To establish whether a business qualifies for business rate relief we need the following information:

  • Name and address of the property affected
  • Date the flooding occurred
  • Details of how the property was affected by the flood
  • Supporting evidence to help us with your application
  • Applications can be made by phone, email or in writing. Phone: 0300 1234 171; email: revenues@cornwall.gov.uk In writing: Shared Services (Income), PO Box 676, Threemilestone, TR4 9LD

    3. Repair and Renew grant

    The Government has announced new ‘repair and renew’ grants of up to £5,000. The grants are to help households and businesses pay for repairs, over and above what would normally be covered by insurance, which improves a property’s ability to withstand future flooding. The grants will not cover standard repairs or provide compensation.

    We are expecting the Government to publish details of eligibility and criteria soon. We will provide details of how to apply as soon as we can.

    4. Business Support Scheme

    The Government has announced a new Business Support Scheme for small and medium sized business premises, physically affected by coastal and inland flooding. Eligible businesses will be able to claim for costs, initially up to £2,500, which could include: immediate clean up costs and repair, replacement of stock or equipment, additional staff costs, structural surveys and non-recoverable insurance excess.

    An application form to apply for a grant from the Business Support Scheme will be available by Monday 3 March.

    Further contacts are:

    West Cornwall Community network team: Mark James – mjames2@cornwall.gov.uk

    East Cornwall Community network team: Steve Foster – stephen.foster@cornwall.gov.uk

    Town centres/small businesses:Town Centre Management Specialist Guy Thomas -Guy.Thomas@cornwall.gov.uk

    Agricultural and fishing:Business Development Consultant Peter Holland – peter@investincornwall.co.uk

    This information, along with other available schemes and assistance, is on our website: www.cornwall.gov.uk/floodrelief

    Drop me an email, tweet FB message, email, or phone me if you want more information or support (Porthleven and Helston West area) for your application.

    Advice and funding for those who have suffered flood and storm damage

    Now we have had a few days respite from the onslaught of the weather and take stock of the damage it has caused, the question by those affected is there any help from the Government and the Council. The short answer is yes, but as you would imagine, it not straight forward. For my area, Porthleven, I am collating details on the damage and the cost of repair so it can be included in any Council bid – like the Bellwin Scheme.

    The Government has set up a helpline to provide comprehensive advice and support to small and medium size enterprises (SME). The helpline offers a free one hour call with a dedicated business support advisor to help businesses get back on their feet. As well as providing free dedicated business advice, information is also available via the helpline on who to contact about pay, tax, employment rights or disputes, company registration or insolvency.

    The number for the advice line is : 0300 456 3565

    There is also help from the following:

    UK Storm Business Relief Fund

    Set up by NatWest and RBS Banks with a £250million fund to issue interest free loans to small businesses affected by the storms and floods. Loans are available to any business affected, that do not need to be customers of either bank, and is on a first come first served basis. UK Storms Helpline: 0800 529 8544. Help is also available in your local branch of NatWest or RBS banks from their Relationship Managers. More information is available online at www.business.natwest.com and www.business.rbs.co.uk

    Government Business Support Scheme

     The Government has announced a new Business Support Scheme worth up to £10 million. The scheme is in addition to the three-month rate relief and the £5,000 ‘Repair and Renew’ grants. Details of eligibility, criteria and how to apply will be published I am told very soon, maybe this week.

    Government ‘Repair and Renew’ grants

    There is a new grant scheme to help homes and businesses affected by the winter storms. Individual grants of up to £5,000 are available to help pay for repairs, not covered by insurance, which improve a property’s ability to withstand future flooding. More information and advice on applying for a Repair and Renew grant is available online www.gov.uk

    Business rate relief

    All affected businesses will be able to apply to their local authority for three months business rate relief. Details on the application process and eligibility will be announced by the Government shortly and more information is available on the Government website: www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-help-communities-hit-by-flooding#business-relief

    Help for fishermen

     

    The Fishermen’s Mission has launched an urgent appeal to raise funds to help fishermen who have been affected by the storms. More information is available on their website: www.fishermensmission.org.uk. I am told there is £50,000 available.

    Help for farmers

    The Government has announced it will make up to £10 million available for a one-off grant scheme designed to support farm businesses. The scheme is to restore flooded agricultural land and bring it back into production as quickly as possible. More information is available on the Government website: www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-help-communities-hit-by-flooding#farmers-fund

    More information about grants to help people and businesses affected by storms and flood damage is available on Cornwall Council’s website: www.cornwall.gov.uk/floodfunding

    I will update as I know more.

     

    Fundraising and Donations tops £10,000 for the Porthleven Fishermen’s Association

    The almost never-ending storms which have smashed into Porthleven and other parts of Cornwall have taken their toll on communities and infrastructure. The scene in Porthleven of the Baulks that protect the inner-harbour giving way under the pressure of the waves; which then allowed the sea free to run-amok on the once protected boats will not be forgotten in Porthleven. In total 10 boats were sunk, with at least two un-salvageable.

    From this tragedy, the community and businesses of Porthleven, businesses of Cornwall and visitors to Porthleven both near and far have acted with fantastic generously. In a short space of time, a staggering £10,000 has been raised for the Porthleven Fishermen’s Association. The total amount raised is still climbing, as more and more people come forward with help. Cheques are being sent from around the country from people, who visit Porthleven; some who have just visited once or twice, and those who visit more frequently. They understand the magic of Porthleven and want to help.

    The weekend of the 15th/16th, saw a series of fundraising events. On Saturday The Atlantic Inn held a coffee morning and then in the evening a raffle and auction. Both Leigh and Adrian – the landlady and landlord of the pub – should be highly praised for all the work they have done in organising these events. The amount raised from the coffee morning, raffle and auction – plus some other donations – was a whopping £7251! This is a truly staggering figure.

    Praise should go to the many business that donated prized for the raffle and action. These were not just Porthleven business, but business from across Cornwall. I will get a full list and update this post, so each business can be publicly credited for their support.

    Other donations have come from Porthleven Surf Club – £300; Porthleven Town Council – £1000; My Cornwall Council Community Fund – £500; The Boat House in Falmouth who raised £750 during a recent charity event; and Skinners Brewery who will be donating 5p for every pint of Porthleven Beer sold in February.

    As I said more money is coming in, so the total amount raised will be a lot higher. Especially as more fund-raising events are set to be held. This money will enable the association to replace and repair various items that includes fishing equipment and the ice house machinery.

    Get in contact if you would like to help.

    Porthleven rallies to clear up the harbour

    Sunday saw a couple of hundred people gather and help remove the tons of tangled fishing nets, rope, a sunken punt and other debris from the inner-harbour. I was amazed how many people – including many children – turn up and help.

    In a few hours the mess left by the recent storms had been removed from the inner-harbour and carried off for disposal. Some of the debris was so heavy, it took several men to drag it up out of the harbour. In some cases, a dumper truck was used to drag the debris away due its weight.

    20140216-162023.jpg

    20140216-162107.jpg

    The community spirit did not just end there. As Porthleven Gig Club provided hot drinks, biscuits and cake to the helpers. Then at the end of the clean up, the owner of the bar ‘Out of the Blue’ provided a keg of ale. If that was not enough, one of the local residents’ Amanda (nee Strike) had managed to get hundreds of rashers of bacon (I believe Tulip) and supply bacon sarnies to everyone too.

    Talk about a great community spirit. It certainly makes you proud to live in Porthleven.

    20140216-162153.jpg

    20140216-162210.jpg

    Valentine’s Day Storm hits Porthleven

    With each storm that hits Porthleven, the intensity of the weather is off the scale. The Valentines Day storm is the most powerful – so far – to hit. It was not just the monster sea, but wind so strong it tried to knock you off your feet.  You could not help watch in awe of the savagery of the waves as they crash ashore.

    The weather forecaster had predicted heavy rain, but luckily did not materialise. A good job really, as that would have made things in Porthleven very difficult. For a precaution to the heavy rainfall, I requested a delivery of 50 sandbags to the area in Porthleven most at risk from flooding. There was also a further 800 sandbags delivered to Helston Coronation car park for public use. Credit must go to Cormac who moved swiftly to deliver the sandbags.

    As for the storm it was like a light being switched on, when one minute the weather went from almost benign to a deadly mass of water. This all happened an hour before high-water. Now with the seas crashing over the harbour walls, roads were shut, however, for one unlucky car, it was too late and the sea like it was a cat playing with its victim, tormented this car with wave after wave smashing into it and trying to drag the car to a watery grave.

    [KGVID width=”568″ height=”320″]http://www.cllrandrewwallis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_2847.mov[/KGVID]

    This was just the start of the storm, as minute by minute the intensity of the storm grew; wave after wave smashed into the harbour walls, quays, the pier and the iconic Bickford-Smith Institute building. The canons which ‘guard’ Porthleven and stand on the outer-harbour quay disappeared under the mass of water.

    The outer quay and cannon engulfed

    The outer quay and cannon engulfed

    The now closed road which leads to the Institute was also under a mass of water as the tide surged forward. At times, the road was as one with the sea as water could not drain away before more waves crashed over the walls.

    road

    The Harbour Road

    20140216-104439.jpg

    Looking back over the outer harbour

    Porthleven’s pier did not escape the sea from being submerged as the next series of photos will show how the pier was lost in a mass of water. In fact it was hard to tell how big some of the waves were, as the seas were just a mass of water bubbling away in a white-mass.

    20140216-101830.jpg

    The Porthleven Pier

    20140216-101944.jpg

    Submerged under the waves

    The main road in Porthleven runs in parallel to the head of the harbour became a sea-of-foam which was in some places, knee-deep.

    20140216-103052.jpg

    It is hard to believe, but the following day, the sea had returned to an almost calm like state and the previous evening had never happened. I have to say, I have lived by the sea since I was a teenager, and have served at sea in the Royal Navy, however, I have never seen the sea ‘act’ with such intensity and savagery that I have witnessed over these last few weeks.

    20140216-103453.jpg

    The following day after the storm

     

    1 2