Sunday, 20 April 2014

Annual report to St Enoder Parish Assembly

Earlier this month, I presented my annual report to the St Enoder Parish Assembly, which took place at Summercourt New Memorial Hall. The full report was as follows:

Annual report: 2013-2014

In May 2013, I was very pleased to be re-elected to serve St Enoder Division on Cornwall Council for the next four years. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who supported me with their votes, and I would also like to thank everyone who has assisted me with my work over the last twelve months.

Listed below are some of my activities during the last year, though the list is not exhaustive.

1.         Roles at Cornwall Council

Following the election, I was elected as the Chairman of the Environment, Heritage and Planning Portfolio Advisory Committee, and I serve on the Constitution and Governance Committee. I do also however attend a wide range of other committees as a non-voting member.

2.         Other organisations

I have served on a number of other organisations, both Cornwall-wide and locally. These include: China Clay Local Action Group (Chairman), CRIG (Cornwall and Isles of Scilly RDPE Implementation Group, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Rural Partnership, working group for the development of CLLD (Community-led Local Development) programme for 2014-2020 (Chairman), China Clay Area Training and Work Centre at St Dennis (Chairman), Fraddon Millennium Green, Indian Queens Pit Association and the Governing Body at Summercourt School.

3.         Indian Queens Pit

The new community building at the Pit, for which I was able to secure grant funding, was officially opened on Saturday 13th April 2013 by Andrew Waters, in his position as Parish Council Chairman. A new fundraising publication, which I had produced about Indian Queens Pit and the wider parish of St Enoder, was also launched at the event.

4.         Extra land for Indian Queens School

I have been involved with the initiative to secure extra land for the use of Indian Queens School. This is linked to the plans to increase the size of the School and to enhance its associated play and green space. Cornwall Council formally agreed to swap land at a former school site in Camelford in exchange for the field on the western side of Indian Queens School on March 12th 2014.

5.         St Enoder Youth Club

Throughout the last year, I have helped to build a partnership between Cornwall Council and St Enoder Parish Council to develop a Youth Club for local teenagers. I also submitted a grant application for £10,000 to the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme to go towards the construction of a youth club building in the Indian Queens Recreation Ground; and I am delighted that we have just been informed that the application was successful.

6.         Indian Queens Victory Hall

I was also able to secure a £5,000 grant from the Clay Country Local Action Group to purchase 191 chairs and nine tables for the Hall. This was linked to the £23,000 grant that I had obtained last year, which had funded a new floor and kitchen improvements.

7.         The Kelliers

I have continued to act as the liaison between Cornwall Council and St Enoder Parish Council with regard to the finalisation of a 99 lease for the Kelliers. Delays have been caused by obligations associated with the closed landfill sites in the area. It is hoped that the lease will be sorted in the next two-three months.

8.         Highway works

I have spent a lot of time lobbying Council officers about the condition of certain roads in St Enoder Parish. Patching works on the old A30 through Fraddon and Indian Queens were completed in August 2013, while surface dressing and relining of this stretch of road is planned for May 2014. Cormac carried out some temporary patching of the worst pot-holes at Highgate/Gaverigan Roundabout in February 2014 and the resurfacing of the roundabout is also timetabled for May 2014. I am continuing to press for further repairs on a number of local roads – many of them in the more rural parts of St Enoder Parish – and for the road bridge near Perrose and Retyn (closed because it had been undermined by the amount of water in the river beneath it) to be repaired and reopened.

9.         Flooding problems

Following a number of flooding incidents in St Enoder Parish in December 2012, March 2013, December 2013 – February 2014, I produced a detailed report about what happened. It was updated on a number of occasions and I used it to lobby on behalf of local residents. As a consequence, road ditches and associated pipework near two properties at Dennis Junction on the old A30, east of Indian Queens, were upsized. Nine properties in Fraddon and Summercourt have meanwhile been assessed through the unitary authority’s new Property Level Protection (PLP) and will be fitted with flood doors, pumps, etc, to safeguard them against flooding in the future.

10.       Waste water problems at Trevarren

I have continued to make further representations on behalf of local residents, who remain concerned about the surcharge of waste from the foul water onto the highway at Trevarren. I am pleased to be able to report that I have received assurances from South West Water that they are prioritising capital works in Trevarren as they develop a programme for dealing with external flooding across Cornwall from 2015 onwards.

11.       Planning appeals

Planning matters have dominated much of civic life in St Enoder Parish over the last twelve months. A number of contentious applications were refused by Cornwall Council, but the applicants went to appeal. I was pleased to be able produce a series of detailed statements (each about 3,000 – 4,000 words long) for the planning appeals. These included proposed turbine at Beacon Road, Summercourt (PA12/02362); proposed turbine at Nancolleth (PA13/07654) in the neighbouring parish of St Newlyn East; proposed solar farm at Burthy Farm   (PA13/05983) and a proposed traveller site at Toldish, Indian Queens (PA13/02083). I represented the Parish Council at the planning hearing on the Toldish application on 1st April 2014. I have also completed a detailed response to Cornwall Council’s consultation on the draft Supplementary Planning Document on affordable housing on behalf of St Enoder Parish Council.  

12.       Neighbourhood Plan

St Enoder Parish Council has started work on the production of a Neighbourhood Plan and I was able to make a successful application to the “Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning” for £7,000 towards the costs of producing the Plan.

13.       Community payment from solar farm

When the planning application for a 2.67 hectare solar farm at Glebe Farm, Summercourt (PA12/05890) was approved by Cornwall Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on 31st October 2012, it was agreed that a unilateral undertaking be signed to pay £5,500 to St Enoder Parish Council as a one-off community payment. However, the developers failed to sign the document but I put significant pressure on them until the payment was made.

14.       Formal road adoptions

Some longstanding issues have also been addressed in the last few months. This included the formal adoption, by Cornwall Council, of the roads and associated pavements in Fairview Park, St Columb Road and St James View, Fraddon.

15.       Clay Country mobile library / one-stop-shop

Cornwall Council continues to be in an extremely difficult financial position, because of massive reductions in funding from central government and rising costs. I am extremely saddened that the unitary authority has now announced, amongst other things, that – in order to keep to its reduced budget – it plans to cease all mobile library and mobile one stop shop services. The Clay Country mobile library / one-stop-shop is under threat and I am doing my utmost to oppose the removal of the service.

16.       Environmental improvements

I have been lobbying Cornwall Council on a regular basis to “tidy up” certain areas within the Parish, such as the entrance into Heather Meadow, Fraddon, and a pavement into Summercourt (soil slippage), which were cleared by CORMAC in December 2013. There has also been a significant increase in flytipping in recent weeks and I continue to bring a number of incidents to the attention of Cornwall Council’s contractor. This has included a large number of mattresses dumped on local verges.

17.       Letter from China Clay Area Network Meeting

In co-operation with the Network Manager of the China Clay Area, I recently drafted a letter which addressed local concerns about the inequitable provision of council services across Cornwall. At the meeting of the China Clay Area Network on 24th February 2014, the letter was endorsed by all Cornwall Councillors and parish councillors present, and sent to the Chief Executive, Corporate Directors and the members of the Cabinet. This followed other representations on matters such as the lack of parking enforcement in the China Clay Area.

18.       Civic functions

As the local Cornwall Councillor, in October 2013 I was very pleased to be able to officially open the 85th Indian Queens Music Festival in October, and the Ocean Housing affordable housing scheme at Mowhay Meadows and Martha’s Meadow in Fraddon. At the new housing scheme, as well as performing the ribbon cutting duties, I also judged a well-contested pumpkin carving competition.  

19.       Research into World War 1

I was privileged to lay a wreath at St Enoder Churchtown to mark Remembrance Sunday last November and I have started work on a book about our area and the First World War. In particular, I am researching the lives of servicemen from Fraddon, Indian Queens, St Columb Road and Summercourt who were killed or died in the First World War, and whose names are remembered on local war memorials. I am also researching the narrative of how thirteen men, who worked at the Trewheela China Clay Works near Fraddon, collectively joined the Territorial Force of the Royal Engineers in August 1914.

20.       My Community Fund

I have awarded the £3,000 in my personal Community Fund for 2013-2014 (allocated to all Cornwall Councillors) as follows:

Fraddon Village Hall – £400 towards redecoration of the Hall.
Indian Queens Band – £450 towards new instruments.
Indian Queens Pantomine Society – £400 towards a projector.
St Enoder Parish Council – £1,000 towards the new Youth Club for local teenagers.
1st St Enoder Scouts – £450 towards new dining tents and cooking stoves.
Summercourt Memorial Hall – £300 towards new tables.         

21.       Inquiries

I help local people with advice and assistance on a daily basis and can be contacted on 07791 876607 or 

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