Sunday, 30 June 2013

Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan

This is an update on the Parish Council's Neighbourhood Development Plan.

What is a Neighbourhood Development Plan?

  • A Neighbourhood Plan sets out a vision for an area and planning policies for the use and development of land. 
  • It will be about local rather than strategic issues.·
  • The plan needs to be compatible with national policies and Cornwall policies.· 
  • It should be focused on guiding development rather than stopping it.· 
  • If adopted by Cornwall Council, it will become a statutory plan used in making decisions on planning applications.
  • It can help to identify what community infrastructure projects are needed

Why should we have one?

  • It allows the Parish to have more input into planning decisions made by Cornwall Council
  • Certain developments pay a levy to Cornwall Council. The amount passed on to the Parish increases if we have a Neighbourhood Plan accepted

So far, we have canvassed the Parish for comments. As you may expect, a wide variety of views were received! Of main concern was the loss of amenities in the Grampound. This was before we lost the village shop yesterday. Concern was also shown about vehicle speeds through Grampound, as well as parking. The areas of housing were also covered in your comments but there was no consensus over whether we should seek more affordable/social housing in the village or whether no more development was desirable.

Unfortunately, less than 4% of the leaflet surveys delivered were returned. To have the Plan adopted by Cornwall Council, we will need to show strong local support, which we are some way off doing.

The Next Step

It is clear that we need to do more work to come up with a coherent plan which the majority of the Parish feels it can support. If you did not complete the original leaflet, I would urge you to now contact your Parish Councillors with your views so that they can be taken into account (contact details on the Parish Council page of the Grampound with Creed web-site

Finally, much of the preparatory work for the Neighbourhood plan was done by Allan Webb and Paul Fisher to whom I would like to extend grateful thanks for their efforts.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Farewell presentation to shop owners Graham & Jenny

There was a farewell presentation at Grampound Hall for Graham and Jenny Gingell who are retiring from the Hollies Store. Although Jenny will continue in the post office the store will be closing.

They were presented with two garden chairs in which they can be seen relaxing in the photo below. They were also given flowers and cards from well-wishers who had gathered after the Local Produce Market.

Graham said:
"We wanted to run a small village shop that treated people in the same way we would be expected to have been treated. If that's what we've managed to do then we are very happy."
Jenny added that her and Graham would now have more time for social events, that they would be visiting, and that she hoped Grampound would be able to successfully bid for funding for a community shop.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Traffic Speed Survey April 2013

There was a traffic survey undertaken in Grampound in April by CORMAC using a covert radar device fitted to a lamp post in Fore Street.

Councillor Bob Egerton highlighted the report at the recent council meeting. The report RadarClass A390 Grampound Site 2 April 2013 is now available on the Parish Council website.

The survey was conducted between 16th and 22nd of April this year and the device analysed traffic 24 hours a day in both directions of travel. Over 60,000 speed observations were made.


It found that about 80% of the traffic was within the speed limit and that the 85th percentile was about 31 mph.

It reports that 15% of traffic is above 31 mph (about 9000 vehicles per week), and 1% is over 40 mph (in both directions on the hill). The highest average speeds seemed to be on Sunday where 1:20 vehicles were travelling at more than 10 mph above the speed limit.

Village walk

At the parish council meeting on 20th June 2013 it was apparent that there are a number of issues that would benefit from being viewed so that a priority list could be developed. The Clerk suggested and the councillors agreed to organise a village / parish walk where they could gather information for this list to inform future debate.

The walk will be on the evening of Wednesday, 3rd July 2013. Are there any particular items you want the parish council to look at? Do you have any suggestions on how items on the list below could be best managed?

There are a number of options open to the council such as; talking informally to landowners, asking Cornwall Council or Councillor for advice or support, informing Highways and other services of outstanding works, organising local volunteers, or budgeting for works. Some issues may, on further investigation, may not be felt to be important, or just need a visual inspection to see if there is anything that needs to be done, but the council hopes to at least discuss them.

The list of items mentioned at recent meetings and an itinerary drawn up by the clerk include:
  • Muddy patches on the Fal Footpath
  • Surface waters near the house Miranda next to entrance to recreation ground, at the bottom of Old Hill, and on Creed Lane
  • Fore street step down for path on to Moor View
  • Mill Lane footpath
  • Flowerbeds on Fore Street
  • Weighbridge (not in our Parish) but certainly part of the village
  • Welcome to Grampound signs both ends of the village
  • Bus shelter, Bermondsey
  • Seat on Fal bridge, outside school, outside Treglines Cottage, and outside Town Hall
  • Overhanging trees near Lobbs garage / road crossing
  • Notice Board outside school which belongs to the Parish Council
  • Granite cross outside Town Hall
  • Town Hall - inside and out
  • Telephone Box
  • Various areas of poor road surface in Creed Lane, Pepo Lane, Mill Lane and Nantellan Road
  • High kerb steps in Bosillion Lane
Please get in touch with the parish council if you have any comments and they can be added to this list for consideration.

Photographs of a couple of these issues are shown below.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Planning training

There was planning training at Cornwall Council County Hall earlier this week. The presenters said that it was the largest audience they could remember and that's why they had to reconvene to the main chamber to accommodate all the parish councillors. They were happy with the interest it showed in their particular area of expertise but it reflects the importance of planning issues in Cornwall.

They covered the national perspectives and discussed the National Planning Policy Framework which came into effect last year. The Cornwall Council resources such as the online planning register were mentioned and a great deal of the regulations. They were quite careful in how they covered what was and was not a 'material consideration' for planning and rightly so since there is a wealth of regulations and case law to consider for each planning application. In practice it is the Government of the day's planning policy that is the most important material consideration.

The tone was, overall, quite honest about the complexities of planning but a little too academic perhaps for the audience. It could have benefited from some more of the basics such as the roles contained in the information on the planning website for parish councils.

There was some humour with a quiz of 'would you give this planning permission'. There was a slide of the (apparently) famous Headington Shark which would cause heated debate I'm sure if it presented itself to (the newly trained) Grampound with Creed's planning sub-committee.

Three Parish Councillors - Peter Wootton, Mark Taylor and myself attended .

Monday, 17 June 2013

Community Flood Plan

The Flood Plan developed by the Parish Council has now been added to the Cornwall Community Resilience Network's website. It has been drafted by the the Parish Council with advice from the Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service, and Charles Richards of Par and St Blazey Community Flood Group.

View the Grampound with Creed Community Flood Plan on the Cornwall Council website.

The plan is now also being reviewed by Liz Fraser, Flood and Coastal Risk Management Officer at the Environment Agency.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Code of Conduct training

There was a Cornwall Council Code of Conduct training session at St Columb Major Town Hall on June 4th delivered by Helen Ollett-Nash of Cornwall Council and members of the Standards Committee.

Photo of Helen Ollett-Nash at St Columb Major Town Hall

The Code of Conduct replaced the previous code last year with the introduction of The Localism Act 2011 and the subsequent regulations (The Relevant Authority (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012). All councillors agree to the code of conduct when they are undertaking their role as a councillor and it is their individual responsibility to apply it. Should they breach the code they can be reported to the Monitoring Officer, may be investigated, and even found guilty of a criminal offence. There is a convenient online form for registering complaints under the code of conduct. All the members of a nearby Parish Council were at the training session because they had received a complaint under the code of conduct after their first meeting in May.

To new councillors - and previous councillors familiar with the old code - the array of terms - disclosable pecuniary interests, non-registerable interests, paragraph 3.5A, proximity and dispensations - can be challenging.

However, the training was very useful and covered areas where our Parish Council has had debate in the last few years. The training covered the role of councillors who have been appointed to other committees in a village, represent external organisations, are debating an item concerning council (i.e. public) property, or may be perceived to have proximity (be close) to particular planning issues. The main discussions were around when a councillor was able to speak and / or vote on a particular issue. The training also covered the balance that must be struck between effectively representing the public and judging whether you comply with the code of conduct - or could defend your position if challenged.

A particular issue for our council was covered. Even though a councillor, being a representative of an external organisation, could apply (to the Parish Council) for dispensation to have full voting rights on a matter concerning that organisation, it is best that the individual 'speaks and leaves' the meeting before debate and voting. Should the meeting be not 'quorate' if they leave (i.e. at least three councillors able to vote) then it is best to defer the decision to a later or extraordinary meeting. Reassuringly. this is the exact practice that our council has agreed in the recent past.

Councillor Kay Chapman and myself attended.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Dedication of newly refurbished gates

A celebration - including a community lunch - was organised by the Grampound Hall Committee on June 2nd. They celebrated the refurbishment of the gates to the recreation ground and also the dedication of a tree for a long-serving previous chair of the committee David Adams. It was on the same day as the 60th Anniversary of the Queen's coronation.

The work on the gates was funded by money from Grampound with Creed Parish Council. The amount included the prize money from the Calor Village of the Year 2007/8 in which Grampound won best village in Cornwall and best village in the South West region.

Norman Paramour, the recently retired postman for Grampound, is the grandson of Bert Cundy who originally built the gates. Norman brought with him a number of photographs and memorabilia of Bert's forge. Norman is pictured here, in full Cornish regalia, unveiling a plaque on the gates.

David Adams was the chair of the hall committee when the funding for the current hall was won. He said "one of the best moments was the early morning phone call saying the funding for the new building was confirmed". The tree is a Rowan tree which replaces one that was removed when the new school classroom was built. David is pictured here with the tree and plaque - the new school classroom is seen in the background.