Porthleven Mobile Post Office starts 15th July

I have been working with the main body of the Post Office to secure an alternative provision after our Post Office closed for good. I am very pleased to say a mobile service will be going live w/c 15th July.

The schedule for Porthleven will be split over nine hours a week, split over 3 days. The hours of service will be from 14:00pm – 17:00pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The location of the mobile unit will be in Kitto’s Field.

My thanks go to the Post Office team for making sure Porthleven has a Post Office facility going forward. My thanks also goes to Cornwall Council for allowing the mobile unit to be parked in the car park. And finally, Porthleven TC who have worked with me to secure the mobile unit.

 

The Future of a Post Office Provision in Porthleven

The imminent closure of the Post Office provision will impact on many residents and visitors alike. The question being asked is what happens next.

Since it was clear the current operation would stop, I have been working with the main Post Office to find a solution. Things might seem have been quiet, but this is in part due to the legal conditions the main post office has to operate. Namely, they are not allowed to approach another business whilst a current provision is in operation due to contractual reasons. I wish it was different, but these are the rules the PO has to follow. Once the current operation has ceased or the term of notice is ended, the main body can talk to others who may  be interested in taking on the full function or parts of it. Be rest assured conversations will take place with possible options.

The good news is there will be some sort of Post Office provision in Porthleven. However, it is unlikely we will see what is currently offered replicated. As to where a new facility could potentially go rests on a very important factor. A willing business, space to provide a certain level of service, and a future operator of a Post Office function has to have a separate business income to support the operation.  As the model of Post Offices do not work in a stand-alone function. So placing a function in a chapel/church/village hall is not viable and would very unlikely get approval from the main PO. I have had many conversations with the main body about all options and they were quite clear on future requirements.

In the meantime, or if an permanent home cannot be arranged, Porthleven will have a mobile function to deliver a range of services. The level, and frequency of the visits are still being finalised. But assurances from the PO say a mobile function will operate, but there might be a few weeks in between the current and future provision.

Concern has been raised on the ability of electric key-charging facilities. Unless someone takes on a key-charging contract (which is separate to the Post Office function) there will be no key-charging in Porthleven. However, I have had a conversations at an alternative location which I am hopeful will progress.

I am not trying to be cryptic, but there are still a few things that need to be clarified and I am hopeful these will all be addressed in the next few weeks. As I do not want to give information that is not fully approved.

Once I have more information, I will let everyone know.

 

The three candidates standing for Porthleven Town Council

The three candidates who are standing for the Town Council on the 6th September have now published their election leaflet.

To aid who you might vote for, here are their leaflets (listed as the appear on the poll).

The vote will take place on the 6th of September. Those voting in person, the Polling Station will be at the Public Hall and voting can take place between 7am and 10pm.

Porthleven Shipyard building turned down for the second time.

For the last two-years Trevor Osborne has tried to build in the Porthleven Shipyard. The first application to be submitted, was rightly refused by the West Planning Committee last October for a variety of reasons.

Fast forward six-plus-months and the latest incarnation of the building was on the agenda for a decision at the same Committee. The footprint of the building is smaller, as is the bulk. The entrance that was proposed along Methleigh Bottoms has also been removed.

However, the same fundamental reasons the town council and myself have objected to is:

  • The proposed development is not in harmony in terms of shape, scale, massing, bulk and proportions with the existing character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed development does not protect or enhance the character and appearance of the area;
  • The proposed design does not respond positively to the Porthleven
    Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy.

A further point is the buildings use. Whilst the aim is for some sort of innovation hub, details are not clear of the functions of such a building, especially when many hubs have to diversify to make them financially viable.

To be clear myself or the Town Council are not anti-development. But any development has to be more beneficial to a community than harmful. On balance, this buildings is more the latter.

After a robust debate, two councillors (Councillors Graham Coad and Mike Thomas) proposed approval. However, all was not lost, and a series of Councillors spoke against the applications.

A vote was taken for approval, but it was lost 7-8. Therefore, the motion for approval was lost. The next motion was for refusal put forward by Cllr Joyce Duffin. This motion was carried by 8-7. Which means the application was refused.

The applicant has the right of appeal, but this has to be done within six-months of the decision notice. The previous decision from October has passed the the six-months window, and therefore, my understanding is this application cannot be appealed.

Porthleven Cemetery and its current condition

There is a lot of concern and heartache over the state of Porthleven Cemetery, especially around the issue of it being overgrown and the gravesides looking unkept. I share those concerns as this is not good enough.

In response to those concerns, I have written to the Head of Service to highlight how people feel. Yes, many people who are buried there as long dead, but families who are still in the area (or further afield) expect a certain level of dignity for their departed relatives. More so with recently bereaved families.

I have had a response from the Head of Service who has assured me the area will be cut early next week as a priority. I was also informed this area was cut four-weeks ago. Though from looking at the length of grass, this has grown very quickly!

In days gone by, there was someone who maintained this area, but this hasn’t happen for over a decade – if not longer. Cornwall Council has assured me this area is cut three times a year. Yes, that might not be frequent enough and have asked for more cuts to take place, but I have also asked if Cornwall Council would allow community cuts to take place. This is where a group of volunteers help keep this area more tidy. This is not ideal, but might help solve some of the heartache families are feeling.

There was a group called Pride in Porthleven, but this was superseded by the Porthleven Environmental Group. I will be asking this group to see if they will be willing to take on this project.

Porthleven TC wants to hear your views on parking in Porthleven

Parking especially on-street parking is a problem in Porthleven. There is no one reason for the issues, but the causes include Porthleven wasn’t designed with the motorcar in mind, More car ownership, Porthleven is a popular destination for visitors and people’s bad and inconsiderate parking.

There is no magic bullet to solve all of the issues; and in some cases there will be no solution. However, Porthleven TC is holding a drop in session at the public hall on the 30th June between 10am and 5:30pm. This is so views can be given on where the problems are – yes many are well known – and ideas to solve those problems.

After the session, the Town Council will talk to Cornwall Council about which ideas are possible and can be taken forward.

Hopefully, as many of you will be able to come.

Council Election for two positions on Porthleven Town Council

There will be a Election for two position on Porthleven Town Council. The date of the election is Thursday 19th July.

More details can be found below.

If there are two or less candidates, then there will be no polling day, as those nominated persons will be elected unopposed. If three or more, there will be a poll and the two with the most votes will be elected.

Good luck to all.

Coronation Park transferred to South Kerrier Alliance

The official transfer of Helston’s Coronation Park to South Kerrier Alliance (SKA) has finally happened. I started this project near five-years ago when I felt this area would be better if it was run and managed more locally. It has been a bumpy road, but one that has been worth it.

SKA will take on a 99-year lease of the park from Cornwall Council with the Council contributing £109,000 towards capital works improvements.

This is not the only money has received as the SKA is also be supported by funding from the Helston Downsland Charity and grant monies of £81,447 from West Cornwall Local Action Group through the LEADER programme. With additional money pledged directly by SKA, this will create a £300,000 investment fund for the Park.

 

This £300,000 will be spent on improving the boating lake, paths, play park and general repairs as well as making a significant contribution towards a new skate park. Additional funds will be needed to fully replace the Park’s skate equipment but the SKA team is confident that with help from the community a new skate park could be up and running before the end of 2018.

The Gang who have all made it possible – Maxine Hardy (Cornwall Council), Me, Vicki Mathews (SKA) Tim Grattan-Kane (Downsland Trust), David Turnball (SKA) and Julian Rand (WLAG Leader).

I am very happy SKA will be running this site from now on. They have some exciting plans for this area that will make this area the jewel is deserves to be. We all know the areas is in need of refurbishment and with the SKA in control, there are more funding opportunities open to them than if it was a Cornwall Council asset.

I have to finish by saying thank you to everyone who has made this happen. It has been a long road from start to finish, but I am glad we are finally here with the official hand-over to SKA.

Ducks take to the water in the annual Porthleven Duck Race

The Porthleven Duck Race now in its 4th year is firmly in the calendar of events that takes place in Porthleven. The aim is to have lots of fun seeing homemade ducks take to the water in both children and adult races and raise a little money for a worthy cause.

It starts a week before the race where people come to the public hall to make their ducks. There is one rule, the duck has to be homemade. The rest is up to a persons imagination and artistic skill.

From construction it is off to the races the following week.

Not only are there prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the children’s and adults races, but for the best dressed duck. The latter is always hard as being Mayor too, you have to pick one out of so many!

As a reward for this, and by tradition, the Mayor gets their own personal duck to race. A highlight in your term of office.

This year’s charity for the event was Cornwall Air Ambulance. The event is free to enter, but people can also buy a little plastic duck for the charity race as well as bid in an auction for a couple of specially made ducks for the event. This year a whopping £220 was raised for the Air Ambulance.

Well done to all who took part. Huge thanks to the Porthleven Community Group for organising this event.

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