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:

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.


The Bloodhound programme and building a Rocket Car from a block of foam

Who doesn’t want to build a Rocket Car? I certainly do, and I was really pleased (understatement) to be able to undertake the Rocket Car Accreditation Training that will enable me to teach young people how to build and launch their own Rocket Car. In fact, I have never been so excited over a bit of foam before!

My bit of foam..

From a bit of foam, I turned it into this thing (if I do say so myself) of beauty that is my Rocket Car.


Number 11

Day-one of our training which saw 30 adults being as excited as a child on Christmas Day and about to start the training on how to build a Rocket Car. Our two instructors were great, both part of the Bloodhound programme team. They talked us through the must-nots, and how far you could go in sculpting your Rocket Car as the were a few parameters you could not go past, but other than that, you had a free reign.

You started by either drawing on paper, or the block of foam and then cut away the excess and then shaped with sandpaper to the design you want. No blueprint, you just used your imagination and whatever aerodynamics skill you had. There were so many different designs being built. You could not help but marvel at some of the designs. But the questions on everyone’s lips were will it go fast, or at least faster than someone else!


Tables full of rocket cars!

And then there was the rockets to fit into the cars. These were very cool and we learnt how to arm them and how not to have a misfire.

Once our cars were ready, it was off to the track to have a little friendly competition to see how fast our Rocket Cars could go down a 50m track. Before we could launch our cars, we all learned how to set up the speed capture equipment and how the car rockets were ignited. As we will have to do this for real when we work with the young people.


Setting up the speed capture kit

And then it was the races and how my Rocket Car reached a speed of 40.25mph over 50m!


I cannot wait till day two of the training…

Celebrating the success of our Children in Care 2016

Every year, the team from Cornwall Council’s Virtual School puts on an event to celebrate the success of our Children in Care. I have the great honour of presenting certificates to many young people.

The Head of the Virtual School and me

These certificates are awarded for a multitude of reason like doing well at in schools and/or some other achievement like sport. It is a great event and very humbling when you understand some of the backstories of these young people and how they are dealing with them; yet still doing their very best at school with the support of the team from the Virtual School. 

Every year a fancy dress theme is chosen. This year’s theme was super heroes. It was brilliant to see so many young people dress-up. However, it is not just the young people who partake in dressing up, but the entire team too. 

Thanks must go to the Penryn Uni campus and their student ambassadors who help make this event so special.

I will finish with my huge thanks to the entire team of the Virtual School for all the work they do. They are heros, just like the young people they support. 

The Team

A sneak-peak of the new Porthleven Skate Park prior to official opening in two days

With only two-days to go till the Mayor of Porthleven officially opens the £125,000 Moors Skate Park. The park has been built and designed by Maverick but with a massive amount of community input on how it should look and ride.

I visited the site today. It is amazing and a thing of beauty. Maverick have done us proud. Prior to the official opening on 9th November at 4pm, here is a sneak-peak of what everyone has been waiting for…..

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