Monday, 19 May 2008

Truro Farmers Market

The Farmers Market had a Do on Friday, to celebrate the markets 10th birthday. A lovely spread of local produce and a celebratory toast with Camel Valley champagne. The Farmers Market is a real success story with a great range on offer. Freshly caught fish from Falmouth Bay, organic meats and cheeses, local honey, great bread and, of course, home made pasties.

Chatting with the Town Crier, he congratulated me on my speech at Mayor Making. Nothing to do with the content, just 'we could hear what you were saying'. That's odd, because my wife says I mumble at home. Must be a man thing, said the Town Criers wife, he mumbles too!

Back to the Market Saturday morning. I always buy eggs, bacon and a 5 seed loaf to have a Saturday brunch treat. But armed with a recipe from Saturdays Guardian I also bought some fresh Cornish Asparagus, from a lovely couple who farm just outside Truro,and some Feta Cheese from the Olive Stall. Using a ridged frying pan I griddled the asparagus for about 10 minutes and served it up with thin slices of Feta Cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Even my 15 year old son loved it, although he did want to add a drizzle of Tomato Sauce. You can't choose your kids!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Carrick Sports and Recreation Centre

Down to the Carrick Sports Hall for a committee meeting last night. Like many committees in Cornwall it's composed of a number of very dedicated, but elderly people. Without their efforts the Sports Hall, or Hendra Hall as some call it, would have fallen into disrepair long ago. They spend most of their energy fundraising and applying for grants to keep the building going. Carrick send two Councillors along, myself and John Dyer to assist. Mr Dyer, having been there a lot longer than me has done a great deal for them, over the years. But what will happen with the new Unitary? With 80 to 130 Councillors no one will have time to go along to sports halls and village halls like this. There's a real risk that these places will slip off the new Councils radar and fall into disrepair, or worse still be seen as an asset and sold off.

I've today written to the Town Clerk to see if the City Council can take over this building, or play some role in securing it for the future.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


The Government says we have to build 6000 more houses in Truro. That's 12,000 to 15,000 new people adding to our existing population of just under 20,000, with no extra money for infrastructure. Anyone who was in Truro on Monday, when minor roadworks on Morlaix Avenue brought the traffic to a standstill for miles around, will wonder how the City is going to cope with all these extra people.

So I was interested to be invited up to Penair School by Persimmon Homes, who are hoping to build 450 houses at Tolgarick, which is out by Arch Hill. They were putting on a presentation to a class of 15 year olds. It was a good day, and although the developers wanted to focus on what the estate would look like, they allowed me to put the development plan into a wider context, asking did we want these new houses at all, could Truro cope with the extra population and would the development ever become a community, somewhere one would want to live.

It will be interesting to see the final report on the consultation exercise. I believe most people have responded by saying they don't want any development at all, and I wonder how that will appear in the planning application. Another interesting point is that the young people had no idea that this major change was occurring in their city. It's important to include them in the debate, because they will be the people living and working here in 20 years time. Changes made now affect them, more than most. So well done to Persimmon and the staff and Penair for organising Monday's workshop.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Hey Ma - Its Now 5 Years In Iraq

Mayor Making at City Council last night. Congratulations to new Mayor Sue Callen and Deputy Mayor Ros Cox. I gave a little speech which seemed to go down quite well.

Afterwards I was speaking to the Mayor of Wadebridge. He is, quite rightly, very proud of his son, who is serving out in Afghanistan. I agreed with him, that our soldiers out there, and in Iraq, are doing heroic work. But I had to ask, is the price in dead and maimed young men a price worth paying. An organisation called Help for Heroes has put out a shocking video which shows the dreadful reality of war. I thank god that I don't have to get up each day and do what those boys do, and I hope it turns out to be worth the price we're paying. I suspect it's not.