Monday, 23 September 2013

Garlenick Turbines Community Fund

Nominations are sought for advisory panel members to help distribute up to £65,000 in funds in the next year and then £15,000 each following year.

5 people from Grampound with Creed will join the Cornwall Councillor and a Council member nominated by the Parish Council to form a panel of 7.

If you are interested in making sure that good local projects are supported, please put yourself forward. Write to the Clerk before 5 pm on Friday 11th October 2013. It would help if you provide some words (250 max) saying why you think that you should be one of the members of the panel. Should more than 5 wish to join then a postal ballot in late October will be conducted by the Parish Council.

How the community fund process will work (who does what?):

1) An application is made by an individual or an organisation. This would normally be through an online form.

2) The application is screened for eligibility. e.g. it must benefit the community of Grampound with Creed.

3) All applications for which payment could be made are passed to the Advisory Panel for consideration.

4) Payments to successful applicants and the appropriate financial returns and monitoring are completed.

There are opportunities for applications to be revised if they don't meet the criteria or the advisory panel feels they should not be prioritised or paid in full.

As you can see the Advisory Panel has an important, community-led function. Grantscape is a national charity appointed by Airvolution to administer the fund.

Additional detail is available on Cllr. Bob Egerton's website.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Budget talk at Summit

At the recent Town and Parish Council Summit, Councillor Alex Folkes, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources, presented figures and forecasts for the Cornwall Council budget painting a gloomy picture of future shortfalls. This was part of a series of presentations he has been making prior to the budget debate that will take place to decide the 2014/18 budget.

The figures are available on the Cornwall Council website's Budget Consultation page.

Alex said that the amount of savings that will be required could not be made by 'efficiencies' and hard choices about the types of services, the level of Council Tax, and the future of Cornwall Council need to be made. There was a lively discussion.

Emergency and Flood Planning at Summit

There was a discussion on Community Emergency Planning at the Town and Parish Council Annual Summit.

A number of communities in Cornwall, including Grampound with Creed, have published Emergency Plans focussed on Flood risk.

This section of the summit talked through the broadening of such plans to cover other emergencies. Led by an ex-army and an ex-RAF pair of presenters we were encouraged to think through all the possible scenarios and develop sensible plans.

One particular example was a house fire in the centre of a village that required a 200 metre exclusion zone. This would require helping the emergency services clear residents to safety. A plan for such a scenario would be invaluable on the day.

Parish & Town Council Annual Summit

I attended this event hosted by Cornwall Council at Kingsley Village Exhibition Hall (in the basement) on Saturday 21st September. The event was chaired by Cornwall Councillor and Portfolio Holder for Devolution and Localism, Jeremy Rowe.

A good number of parish and town councils were represented and there was the familiar feeling of adversary between the unitary authority and local councils. A 'them and us' simplification by some. However, I felt the Cornwall Council cabinet members, staff and agencies were professional and open.

A number of specific issues were raised (pricing competition between Cornwall Council and local community car parks, the development of an unnecessary footpath, and so on). Whilst Town and Parish Councils felt that they weren't being listened too Cornwall Council felt they weren't being guided. However, there was an eagerness to improve communication, to listen and learn from local knowledge.

A number of broad issues of importance to Grampound with Creed were addressed:

Neighbourhood development planning (still a long way off completing the work)

Community Emergency and Flood planning (encourage emergency planning to include flooding)

The 2014/18 Cornwall Council Budget (shortfall in funding with increased spending likely - a gloomy picture)

Neighbourhood Planning at Summit

There was an entire section dedicated to Neighbourhood Planning at the recent Town and Parish Council Summit.

There was a reminder of the Coalition Government's initiative called Community Rights and the opportunity to access £60m of public money to fund development projects. An example of these rights, without money attached though, is Grampound with Creed's registering its Right to Bid for community assets including The Dolphin Inn. Other Rights include local mechanisms for

There are very few that have been formally completed and the first, in Cumbria, was adopted in May this year. One of the staff at the planning desk said that a total of five have been adopted so far - none in Cornwall.

The principle advantages of doing so were explained - the 25% share of Community Infrastructure Levy, and the fact that Cornwall Council must refer to the Neighbourhood Plan in its planning decisions.

The basic task is about colouring maps for "what can be developed where", we were told.

Neighbourhood planning is not without its difficulties though and other Town and Parish councils talked about the same challenge that we have had at Grampound with Creed. Many are at the same place having to go back and start again with talking to the community. I met one parish councillor who had stood for election because there seemed to be lack of enthusiasm for planning in the parish. With a lack of community engagement how could a parish council be confident that its proposal could win a referendum?

One suggestion for Community Engagement was to hold a rave with a questionnaire to be completed by children and young adults attending. (My teenage children have already given this the thumbs down).

At the last Parish Council meeting Mark Taylor suggested getting a stall at the village markets. This was productive in the past and could be used again.

The experience of Rame Peninsular - coordinating a plan between five parish councils - was given as a case study. They started by looking at the broad aims of economy, environment, safety, and quality of life. After that they conducted a housing needs survey and gathered economic data. Consultation was key,
"voters who have not been involved are more likely to vote 'no' which wastes the cost of the referendum and the time spent by volunteers developing the plan", said Councillor George Trubody. He went on to say, "we're still a long way off completing the work".

Monday, 16 September 2013

September Parish Council meeting

The agenda of the forthcoming Parish Council meeting on Thursday 19th September at 19:30 hours in the Town Hall has been published. The meetings are held in public and anyone who wishes to attend can do so.

The draft minutes of the Extraordinary General Meeting in August and the Planning Meeting in September have also been published and they will be discussed at the Full Council Meeting above.