I wrote last time that 2014 roared in like a lion – and the lion is still roaring and raining to boot! Whilst the Parish has been spared the worst of it, give some thought to the plight of those around our coast and further afield in Somerset who have taken the brunt of it. Imagine the misery of 2 feet of water in your house for weeks on end and no end in sight and houses wrecked by wind and wave.
Now the good news- congratulations to Connor Downs school for winning the ₤50,000 prize in the Big Lottery/ ITV Peoples Millions competition with their imaginative “Cultivating Futures” outdoor area for growing fresh vegetables. Well done everyone involved with the project ! This helps the Parish on its way to securing one of the Parish Plan Objectives – promote a healthy eating culture through the provision of Parish allotments, garden-sharing and other initiatives.
More good news – The Elizabeth Sampson Playing Field in Connor has also secured funding for the installation of a new basket swing to complement the existing play equipment and to make the field a better community play area. Funding came from Comic Relief, The Big Lottery, Gwinear- Gwithian Parish Council and the Local Community Chest (allocated by our late Cornwall Councillor, Ray Tovey), thanks to the CDRA for helping us achieve this.
Neighbourhood Planning is moving along – you should all have had a leaflet about this – and we will be carrying out a series of consultations to gauge your views. These consultations (likely in the form of community surveys) will take place later in the Spring and will be widely advertised. Meanwhile the team is busy building the evidence base of what makes up our Parish – descriptions of key features and a description of the makeup of each village and hamlet in its setting. All this is necessary as supporting information when we finally submit the Plan to external scrutiny ahead of a public referendum. Given the diverse nature of our Parish and the detail required, the Parish Council has voted to put additional funds from next year’s Parish precept to accelerate the process as fast as possible as many of our communities are being faced with developments- some welcome and some not. As planning is the single biggest item of concern to parishoners, we need to move as fast as we can to construct the Neighbourhood Plan.
As part of the Neighbourhood Plan but more local and specialised, we expect the draft Design Guide for Gwithian Towans to arrive towards the end of February and to move on to a local consultation promptly. The Design Guide concept (which has overwhelming support from Gwithian Towans residents) will set out a framework which will continue the unique “look and feel” of the chalets into the future. It is already being used as a guide for new construction in Gwithian Towans although it has yet to be accepted by Cornwall Council. A shining example of local communities taking charge of their planning destiny- and a good forerunner for the things we can achieve with the wider Neighbourhood Plan if you will all help us do so. See our new website www.gwineargwithianplan.org.uk
If planning is the No1 issue, then speeding is No2! During the last 3 months a little black box has been deployed around the parish attached to various signs and lamp posts which records vehicle speeds in both directions (but not number plates!) and the information gives a true reflection of actual speeds. Whilst we have had a hunch about “the usual suspect speeding roads” this has confirmed our worst roads as Roseworthy dip, Carnhell Green, Connor Downs and Upton Towans. The Parish Council as part of gathering information about the state of our infrastructure within the Parish has had discussions with residents in these various areas and these speed figures confirm residents beliefs and quantify them. At the same time, the PC has asked Cornwall Council for outline costs for a range of road change schemes to combat speeding. The initial response from Cornwall Council looks encouraging – so now armed with the speeding figures we will work up complete schemes and costs for further consultation. These schemes will, in part, be funded by the balance of the Section 106 monies that the Parish holds from the Rosewarne development and has already publicly earmarked this mostly for the Gwithian Ward (the first tranche of the monies was spent on Reawla streetscape and Angarrack Lane lighting).
Lots going on and more to do. Stay safe and well – and Spring is coming soon!
Oll an gwella
Chairman, Gwinear Gwithian Parish Council