Public Meeting In Penzance

Isles of Scilly Sea Link, otherwise known as the Route Partnership. This is the plan to improve (a lot will differ on the word improve) on the current system. I can’t at this moment say a lot, due to the fact I am a Member of the Stratigic Planning Committee, and on Monday we will be making a decision on this scheme.

Here is the BBC story on this item Link 

I can talk about the Public Meeting. This Public Meeting did not have to happen. There are no rules at Cornwall Council on when or why we should hold a meeting like this. The Chairman of the Committee, Neil Plumber felt a meeting was necessary to allow the public to comment on this. Over 200 people turned up. More would have, but the venue had limited capacity. 

It seems a huge majority of people of Penzance are against this. Its always hard to tell how many are really for or don’t give two hoots about this project because they are normally the silent ones. I believe over 1000 letters of objection have been sent in.  Penzance has a population of just over 20,000 (link). So are 18,000 in favour of it or don’t care? How many in the Scilly Isle are pro or against?  Sometimes its hard to tell the correct feeling on issues like this.

Anyway, the meeting. it started off well and by and large it was a peaceful affair with only a few people not understanding manners, or had the overriding urge to heckle (the Chairman did warn them). It only really nearly got ugly when the Chairman requested to someone who had spoken for a while to sum up. This caused outrage amongst the people. In response to that people offered their allocated speaking slot to this Gentleman. (which he duly took)

Only one Gentleman spoke up in favour of this proposed plan (brave man). I admired his courage in standing up in a room where 199 were against the proposed plans. He was heckled, but by and large he was allowed to speak. Even when he finished what he had to say he got applauded. (not the slow clap either)

Public Meetings can work, they only work when the people who attend understand they are for their benefit and don’t have to happen. Being rude or causing trouble may seem like a good idea, but it ruins any point that you are trying to make. Those from Penzance who attended got their points across in the correct fashion. I will now take that into consideration when I have to make a decision on this plan on Monday.


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