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!