Helston Carnival 2014

Saturday saw the annual Helston Carnival take place. That means the Friends and Residents of Bulwark Association gets to dress me up in a costume. Their rule is, they make it, I have to wear it. And believe me, I have worn some very interesting costumes.

The association’s float theme this year was Helston 10 million years BC. When I found out the theme I did fear I would be made to dress like Raquel Welch…. and I would have to wear the costume, which would have resulted in a lot of therapy for those who had the misfortune to witness it. However, and to great relief,  my fears were averted when I found out I was to be a caveman.

Cllr Caveman?

Cllr Caveman?

Now you have got over the shock of my outfit, it is  time to see the fantastic float which the association put together. It is not just the float which is fantastic, but all the costumes too. These were made – yes made – by the association. Special thanks should go to the National Trust at Penrose Estate who kindly supplied the trailer and tow vehicle.

The Bulwark carnival float 2014

The Bulwark carnival float 2014

This years carnival saw an increased turnout of floats, so competition for best of class and over all carnival winners would be tight. The Bulwark float still did well, as they came second in the small float category and were beaten by an excellent Alice in Wonderland float. So well done to all who took part.

This event would not be the success it is without the people organising the event and the marshalls. So a huge round of thanks should go to these volunteers for giving up their time to make this carnival such a success.


New Start for Porthleven Residents Association

I have been working with the Porthleven Residents (Coastline Housing) Association for the last year. Their opinions have been valuable in achieving a few projects that I have been pushing in Porthleven. The main one was helping me in securing £5500 from Coastline Housing which enabled me to carry out the parking improvements along Gibson Way. Without this extra funding I would never have been able to fund the whole £14,000 out of my budget.

On Wednesday evening, the association held its AGM. Posters were placed around the town encouraging people to turn up to this meeting. With any public meeting you never know how many people will turn up. You hope many, but this is not always the case. I was pleased to see over 35 people turn up at this meeting. Ok, it is not hundreds, but it is not only about numbers. It is more important for those present being willing to step forward and take part in the running of any group that is key to it being successful.

I am pleased to say this group is not about moaning, but offering ways to solve problems in a positive way. It is easy for any group to turn into nothing more than a talking shop, but I don’t think this group falls into that category.

After a new committee was formed, it was felt the name of residents associations should be changed to a more welcoming, and inclusive title. After a short discussion a new name was decided. This new name will reflect the aims of the group, and from now on will be known at the Porthleven Community Group.

It was felt the name ‘residents association’ can put people off from taking part. This I can understand because the common (and wrong) perception is residents associations are full of jobs-worths. This is far from the case from any of the associations I work with.

The aims of the group are simple. The core aim is getting people talking to one another, either in raising single points, or getting the various organisations in the town to work together for common causes. It also wants to be able to feed in its thoughts to the town council. It does not just want to be a ‘lobby’ group, but it also want to be a social group by undertaking social events that anyone can turn up and join in.

In my role as both Cornwall Councillor and Town Councillor I see many groups all trying to do wonderful things, but sometimes they do it in isolation. I think these new aims of the community group are perfect. Often in Porthleven there are various groups all trying to improve certain aspects of life in Porthleven.  A community group like this could be used as the vehicle where all these groups get together, and see where they have common ground.  This in turn could help me press Cornwall Council for funding and improvements as it would show it has wide-ranging support.

Can you spare a few hours and help out? If so, the next meeting of this group will be at 7pm on the 22nd February at the Public Hall. I hope I will see you there!