Monday, 4 January 2010

New Year

Failed to get up and do the Brown Willie run. But did get out for a slow 6 miles, along the river, and then braved the scales. Not a happy moment. Been out for a run, or walk, every day since!

But there are more important things than my weight in the weeks ahead. Tomorrow the Newham appeal starts. That's the plan to build 1000 houses on the edge of Truro, adding perhaps 3000 people to our population, an increase of about 15%. We knocked the developers back when they tried to slip it past the Implementation Executive, in the weeks between the ending of the old, and much loved, Districts and the start of the Unitary. I'm reasonably confident that we'll knock them back again, but it's always tricky with the Inspectors sent down from Bristol.

Friday sees the Parking Panel meeting again. I'm not a member of the Panel, no Truro Councillor is, despite Truro contributing something like £3 million a year to the Council, but Cllr Wallace knows best. And the plan seems to be to raise as much money as possible from parking charges. Mind you, the only plan I've come up with is Residents Parking for the whole of my ward. That means paying to park outside your own house, so another tax really. Not surprisingly it's got Officer support and knocking on doors I'm finding reluctant acceptance, but if anyone has a better idea, let's hear it.

Later in the month the Cabinet will discuss the southern relief road, but more of that when we get to it.

The Youth Council meets tomorrow night. They're in the process of setting up and I just go along to help out. The enthusiasm is inspiring, and I'm amazed at their confidence.
Plus, of course all the usual Licensing and Planning and etc, that occupies my time in between cleaning the B and B and finding excuses not to go for a run!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Blogging again

I'd sort of let this blog go to sleep, but Cornishcassandra has put it on his links, with the last time I blogged glaring out at me. 6 months ago. Election results. There were a number of reasons for stopping. Partly it just becomes a list of things a Councillor has done, as the Village Idiot pointed out last week, although happily he was talking about someone else! and partly because it's only read by people who are involved in politics and, for some reason, a large following I was developing in Inverness! The best way to talk to local people is still to get out and knock on their doors, which I've been doing with my Parking Survey. The old knock and drop, time consuming but a great way to communicate.
What I don't mention on the doorsteps, is that I've put on a stone since the campaign started, which for me was at the begining of February. In theory canvassing is good exercise, but in reality I would get home at half eight, make a pile of sandwiches and open a bottle of wine. Not much better once elected, too many buffet lunches and still home late to a pile of sandwiches. And no time for running. There's a Council up country that weighs the Mayor at the start of the term, and again at the finish, if they've put on weight they've obviously been troughing at the public expense. Looking bad for me at the moment. Still, I've been out twice this week, running down to Malpas and back, and I'm planning to do the Jamaica Inn to Brown Willy run on New Years Day. Won't be breaking any records, not least because my occasional running partner has reduced her training to having one of her Christmas chocs with her early morning cup of tea. But we'll be there.
Then, on New Years Day, I'll get on the scales. Thankfully not in public!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Truro Boscawen Results

At last a long and difficult campaign is over. Don't think I could have managed another week! But a good result to show for it, I got 578, Conservatives 512, Greens 155, Mebyon Kernow 149 and Labour 65 on a turnout of 41%, so LibDem hold! No time to sit about though, I couldn't deal with all the issues raised on the doorstep straight away, so get the ball rolling on them on Monday. Then there's the training, where the Council tries to swamp you with more stuff than you can possibly read, keep you of their backs, and the Thank You Focus for the Ward, oh and I'd better get round and thank my deliverers. We got out three Focus's, Blue Envelopes and a Good Morning leaflet, without their support I wouldn't have made it. Better look after them, because I think we're going to be needing them again soon!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

A Morning Off

Had the morning off from campaigning today.  Went to a funeral instead, that of a young girl, only 26, who had been my daughters best Friend in primary school.  The beautiful old church in Wendron was absolutely full, they even needed the Police outside to sort out the traffic. The service was wonderful, and very moving.  I'm not usually a fan of power point presentations, but the slide show of her short life, set to music, had us all in tears.  I'd forgotten to bring a tissue, and why does your nose have to run as well? Reduced to wiping it on my sleeve.  Well done to Mum and Dad, it was a lovely send off. You were both very brave today, the months ahead will be hard.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Bank Holiday Campaigning

Good weekends campaigning.  Knocked on about 350 doors and telephoned 200 Postal Voters.  Up till now, I've had no real trouble with the expenses scandal, but Saturday afternoon was hard work. Better today, so perhaps it was just that I was dragging people from the garden on a lovely sunny day.  Or perhaps people don't feel the same need to be polite, when they finally get an actual politician in front of them, after all they've heard. And no matter how much I protest that I didn't claim any expenses as a District Councillor, we're all tarred with the same brush, I suppose.  Still, I managed to get my views on local issues across, mostly!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


I've let this blog wither away over the last year, but now seems a good time to revive it.  I've been selected to fight Boscawen Ward, here in Truro, for elections to the new unitary authority, One Cornwall.  That's pretty much the Ward I represented as a Carrick District Councillor, so I'm very familiar with the issues, and am able to carry on with the campaigns I've been involved in.  First up, a plan to build 1000 houses on Newham farm, on the edge of Truro.  This application was so premature and poorly thought out, it's hard to see how they thought they'd get it through.  The Officers were against it, Parish Councils surrounding it were against it and just about every Statutory body consulted was against it, even the Police chipped in with 'concerns'.  How often do the Police get involved in Planning?  Stood up and expressed my residents anxieties, got to speak first so set the tone for the meeting.  It was unanimously rejected.  

It would be nice to think the Developers would take all this on board, and come back with a more suitable scheme.  But it looks unlikely.  Afterwards they had a go at me in the corridor. 'Elections, boys, that's what it's all about'.  Are the Police or the Officers or the Statutory bodies standing for election? The Parish's don't have elections till 2013.  So he must mean me. Well I'll oppose overdevelopement in Truro where ever it rears it's ugly head, I've got form for that.  See them at the appeal, I suppose.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Casting Votes

A tale of two casting votes this week. On Monday night, at City Council, we discussed the choice of sculpture to go on Lemon Quay. This has gone on for 9 years and finally we arrived at a point where the choice was narrowed down to two sculptures, a drummer boy on a ball, in bronze, or a more moder shape, inspired by a rudder, in granite. But instead of choosing, the usual suspects wanted to stop everything, choose none of the above, start the whole process again! I had intended to sit quietly, but this was ridiculous, how much money has been spent on Officer time over the last 9 years? and the money to pay for the sculpture was there, provided by the developers. If we started from scratch that money would go into the new Unitary's coffers and never be seen again, and we'd have no sculpture. The public had been consulted and a majority of those that responded wanted the drummer boy, so I proposed that we have that. I accept that it's link to Truro is not obvious, but I'm sure that there were people in Paris who said 'whats Mr Eiffel's tower got to do with Paris' and people who said ' what have Pyramids got to do with Egypt' and the boy looks good outside the Hall for Cornwall. So we voted and it was tied 8 - 8. Thankfully the Mayor used her casting vote to pass the motion, and we shall have our sculpture, barring any last minute skulduggery. Later in the week I lost on a casting vote, but I'll blog on that later.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Cornish Enterprise

Out on Sunday with the Truro Hash House Harriers. For those that don't know Hashing it involves following a trail across the countryside, finishing at a pub. Lots of false trails mean the group stays together, no matter what your standard of running. Actually running is a bit of a dirty word to Hashers! But on Sunday, instead of a pub we were invited out to St Martin's on the Helford river, to Chris Bean's place to celebrate the opening of his new Fish Processing Unit. Chris must be one of the last fisherman working out of the Helford, and will be familiar to residents of Truro through his wife Carolyn's wonderful fish stall at the Saturday morning Farmers Market. The bulk of the catch is of such top quality that it goes upcountry, under the name Kernow Sushi, to be served up in top Sushi Restaurants in London. Sadly Chris and his family have had a hard year. His boat, the Lady Hamilton, was sunk in a collision off Falmouth and they have struggled with Friends helping out and hired boats to keep the business going. Despite this they have managed to build a wonderful 'state of the art' fish processing building, that looked good enough to live in and that blends in with the beautiful Helford countryside. People sometimes say the Cornish are a laid back lot, perhaps too laid back for their own good. But they are also a passionate a hardworking people and the Bean family, down there on the Helford, typify that commitment to family and place that makes Cornwall the special place it is. Hats off to you guys, and thanks for a lovely afternoon.

As an aside it was pointed out to me that Chris's daughter, who I only know by her nickname 'Kipper', had tiled the roof of the new building, and a great job she's done. She also sails with her Dad taking her turn hauling nets and was on board when the boat sunk. We're not talking about some fine big farmers daughter here, Kipper's just a slip of a girl, and will make a fine wife for someone one day. Sadly not for a soft City boy like me, though!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Mayor for the Day

Another go at trying to resurrect this blog. Its not that I've been idle, the reverse really, too much going on! Anyway, one of the things I've been working on is having two young people be Mayor for the Day, as part of the Children's Commissioners Changeover Day. We did this last year and it was well received. The school actually contacted me, saying they were keen to do it again. So next Friday, the 7th November, the Head Boy and Head Girl of Penair will be Mayor for the day. They'll be meeting the Town Clerk and the Manager of the BIDS board for an overview of whats planned for Truro. Then off to Carricks offices to meet the Planners for a presentation on the Newham development, a 1000 houses to be built in town, followed by a presentation on the choices for the sculpture proposed for Lemon Quay. Then the Skateboard Park, or Splatt as it seems likely to be named, followed by tea with the Mayor in her Parlour.

We all learned a lot last year, so this time the young people are being involved in projects that are likely to make the headlines over the coming months. The intention being that they can encourage informed debate with their classmates and perhaps contribute to the debate in the town.

Friday, 8 August 2008

LibDems or SAS

A surprising answer on Wednesdays edition of The Weakest Link. Anne Robinson asked, and this is not the question exactly, I wasn't taking notes, What is the name of the elite fighting force created by Donald Stirling in 1941?. The contestant looked puzzled, brightened and answered The LibDems! I suppose that means the SAS are by election specialists with a forceful approach to pavement politics!