Action to be taken against yellow lines on Commercial Road, Porthleven

Let’s be clear, this is not about whether there should or should not be yellow lines on Commercial Road, Porthleven. This issue is about the a lawful process of placing parking restriction and a proper consultation via a Traffic Regulation Order. Here is the previous blog HERE

This would have given the public and official bodies such as Highways the ability of discussing the merits and disadvantages of placing lines along this stretch of road. From this, if there was a requirement of placing parking restrictions along this stretch of road, it would have been done legally and with the proper process and then enforceable.

No-matter who you are, you have to follow the law and people do not have the right to just paint yellow lines wherever they think they can. We have rules for a reason.

In discussing this issue with Highways and Cornwall Council’s legal department and because there has been a clear breach of the law, Cornwall Council is taking action against the Harbour and Dock Company. This is something I welcome.

Cornwall Council has written to Harbour and Dock clearly pointing out the legal breach under Section 132 of the Highways Act 1980. It has given Harbour and Dock two options.

The first is make a formal application for a TRO to regulate, if appropriate, the yellow lines currently in place. This application will ensure that all the relevant aspects of traffic management are considered and provide the opportunity for the public to make representations. The Harbour and Dock Company has one month to comply and submit an application.

The second option is if the Harbour and Dock fails to submit an application for a TRO, then the Highways Authority will remove the unauthorised lines and recover the costs of doing so from Harbour and Dock.

I believe this is a sensible way forward and one that I very much welcome. This could all have been avoided if the proper process was followed…

It should be noted that placing parking restrictions on a stretch of highways doesn’t necessarily stop parking for a couple of reasons.

Those with Blue Badges can park on double yellow lines for up to three hours (so you just replace parked cars with another type of parked car). If you ‘double clip’ a yellow line which means no parking at any time, you do stop parking, but you also stop any delivery vehicle stopping to unload/load as it is an offence and will result in an instant parking ticket. To overcome this, you then need a loading bay. As you can see, placing parking restrictions without proper thought, just causes more problems.

 

Help for those businesses who saw a large hike in rates

I know a number of businesses in Porthleven and the surrounding area saw some eye-watering increases in Business Rates after the Valuation Office Agency (part of HMRC) reviewed the current tariffs. In a process that is little better than rolling a dice and multiplying the figure by that number thrown, the method of justifying an increase is if an area is successful in terms of shop space demand, and doing well, then the Valuation Office Agency can charge more. 

In combating these hikes, I am pleased to say Cornwall Council is going to use a £2.72 million business rate relief fund to help as many businesses as possible. This funding is Cornwall’s share of a national business rate relief fund announced in the March Budget to support businesses facing a steep rise in their rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation

It has been agreed to assist all businesses with a rateable value of less than £200,000 whose business rates have increased by more than 12.5% following the revaluation. This will provide 50% discretionary rate relief on the increase in rates in 2017/18, decreasing over the following three years on a pro rata basis as funding is reduced. The scheme is expected to help 875 businesses.

Qualifying businesses will see the relief awarded against their gross bull after any other reductions have been taken into account. My suggestion would be for anyone who believes they should get this help is to contact Cornwall Council’s Business Rates dept.

 

 

Proof of ownership requested by the Harbour and Dock Company for the Moors Playing Field

At last nights town council meeting during the Mayor’s report, the town council were informed and updated on a situation that has arose in reference to the Moors Playing Field (aka Bottom Park).

Porthleven Town Council has received a letter from the Harbour and Dock Company (H&D) informing the council that a caution has been lodged with Land Registry by the H&D against the Moors Playing Field.

The caution is as follows:

“Is to establish quite clearly that it is the Porthleven Harbour & Dock Company which has the benefit of the restrictive covenants and also rights of access over the property”.

Furthermore, the Council has received a request from the Harbour and Dock Company for proof of tenure/ownership of the Moors.

In consultation with the town clerk, this matter has been handed to the Council’s solicitor who will advise on the best course of action and a report will come back to the September meeting of the Council.

In the documents held by the town council and previous legal advice it is clear the town council are the rightful legal trustees of the Moors Playing Field

Below is a map of the area.

Thank you for the support

A few days have passed since the Election results have been called. Like any campaign it takes a few days for you to recover, and then, you have to get on with the job.

I want to say thank you to all supported me in both the Cornwall Council and Porthleven Town Council Election. It is always humbling to receive such support.

for those who are trying to contact me, I have a new Council email address (which everyone has). It is now: andrew.wallis@cornwallcouncillors.org.uk

I am without a phone for a few days, but will update as soon as I do.

In any campaign, there are winners and losers. Credit to those candidates who stood against me and campaigned hard. I always respect those who stand for election.

Thoughts and thanks must go to those who have held office and lose at an election. There are many reasons why someone loses, as many have given years of public service. You might not always agree with them, but they should be respected for standing and trying to do their best.

Loe Bar Beach Footpath Closure – update

A few weeks ago I informed readers of this blog that the official footpath that goes across Loe Bar will be closed to allow the EA to expand the culvert that discharges water from the river Cober into the sea via the bar To remind yourselves, click HERE.

Users of this area where concerned to whether this area can still be accessed during the work. I have now got confirmation that whilst the official footpath with be closed, people can still access and cross the Bar whilst the work is carried out. 

So fear not, Loe Bar will be accessible. 

Helston College’s new school building unveiled 

Yesterday, was the first time the public were able to see the proposed new school building for Helston College. This journey of getting a new building been a bumpy road, with many setbacks. However, this building will actually happen with the building work starting this September and opening in January 2019.

I am over the moon this is finally happening as one of priorites as Lead Member for Children’s Service has been to get getting proper funding our schools. And I was pleased our bid to the Government for a replacement building for Helston College was accepted. 

Massive credit must go to the college’s head teacher, the governors and all staff who have worked tirelessly to make this new build a reality. 

During the build, students will continue to use the existing buildings. Once the new building is open, then the old site will be demolished and replaced with sport facilities. The Sports Centre will remain in its current place. 

Many will wonder why there is not a whole school build option. This could not be achieved as the Education Funding Agency would not fund the extra millions. 

Planning will now be sought now the design and layout has been finalised.

The Parliamentary Boundary Commission makes its decision on Devonwall

The Parliamentary Boundary Commission has today confirmed –  as expected – that it is recommending a new cross-border parliamentary constituency of Bideford, Bude and Launcestonbetween that will straddle the historic borders of Cornwall and Devon.

This decision has formed part of the part of the 2018 review of parliamentary boundaries and the plan to reduce the number of MP’s from 650 to 600. 

In a statement issued by Cornwall Council in response to this news: 

“As we said in our robust submission to the Commission, we strongly object to this proposal which would create a new constituency crossing the historic border between Cornwall and Devon for the first time in Cornwall’s history.

 As well as destroying the integrity of Cornwall’s historic border, which would cause great distress to numerous residents , this proposal also conflicts with the spirit and intent of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

 We strongly believe there are cultural, legal, geographic and political reasons to maintain our border in terms of Parliamentary representation and we will be lobbying Parliament and calling on the Boundary Commission to rethink this proposal.”

From this announcement, there will be a second round of consultation on these proposal by the Commission; then following that, the final recommendations will be laid before Parliament in September 2018. If accepted the new boundaries will be active for the General Election in 2020.

More details can be found HERE

 

Helston College rebuild work to start in September

It has been a long time coming, but the much needed building work for Helston College is due to start this September – yes really this September! Helston College was part of the successful bid to the Government by Cornwall Council to get much needed money for C-Block and other works. The many posts on this subject can be found HERE.

With the project moving forward, the school will undertake a series of engagement meetings with companies hoping to gain the contract for the new build. This contract will be hopefully awarded in April. At the end of April or early May, there will be public consultation as part of the planning process.

This is really exciting, and something I have pushed for since the previous disappointments. Details on what will be built are still being finalised, but a start date is fantastic.  Huge credit to the College Head, Governors and staff at Cornwall Council for never losing faith in getting this money.

The deputy PM, Head of Helston School, the former MP and me at the official announcement of the rebuild back in the day

Helston Town Council to close the Porthleven Road for Flora Day after it reconsiders its decision

Back in September 2016, Helston Town Council decided not to apply for a Road Closure for the Porthleven Road during Flora Day 2017. I was very concerned this was an error and would put the public at risk as my previous blog highlights.

Several months on and at last weeks Helston Town Council meeting I congratulated the Mayor, and the Councillors for agreeing to reconsider their previous decision. In reaffirming my concerns, I wrote another letter to the town council. My second letter is as follows:

“Further to my letter dated the 7th September 2016 which expressed how I was very disappointed that Helston Town Council had decided not to apply for a Road Closure for the Porthleven Road on Flora Day 2017; I am pleased this issue is being discussed again by the Town Council.

My view on this issue is exactly the same as it was beforehand. This road must be closed on the grounds of public safety due to the sheer number of people attending Flora Day and the Fair. Without a Road Closure it will put the public in danger from vehicle movements

Furthermore, not closing the Porthleven Road will lead to serious congestion due the amount of traffic trying to navigate the area both near the Fairground Car Park and at the junction to Furry Way. This will in turn increase the risk for the public.

There is a minimal cost to having a Road Closure, as the cost of applying for one can be absorbed into the other application for the event.

The viewpoint of Cornwall Council should pay for this because it receives around £1400 in payment from the Fair is not possible. As you know this income is used to maintain the car park and keeps it free. Without the income, it makes my role more difficult in arguing against making it a fee paying car park.

I have asked the Fair operators for a contribution to help with the minimal costs for operating a Road Closure but as yet, I have not had a formal response to this request.

This closure has proven to work in the past, and I strongly believe it should continue. I urge you as public servants to reconsider your previous decision and apply for a Road Closure for Flora Day 2017.”

In the months between my two letters , I have been talking to the Fair operators, Anderton & Rowland to see if they would help out financially. I am pleased to say they agreed to my request for £500 to help with the small costs of a Road Closure. All credit to Anderton & Rowland for this, as they understood the importance of this Road Closure (their response came just after I sent my letter).

I am very pleased to say, Helston Town Council  at last nights during one of their committee meetings, they have reconsidered their original decision and will now go-ahead and apply for a Road Closure for the Porthleven Road for Flora Day 2017.

Whilst I disagreed with their original decision, credit to the town council for now applying for this Road Closure. Thank you.

 

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