Camborne Town Council News, September 15.

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 13.18.01Produced by the Town Clerk, the newsletter gives more information on

Restroom – Camborne’s community toilet scheme

The bid to take over open spaces and parks from Cornwall Council

Consultation on the future of Camborne’s library service and Passmore Edwards building

Grants to local community groups

Camborne’s Christmas Lantern Parade

Opening hours, councillors and contact numbers, dates and times of meetings coming up.

Newsletter September 2015

Just click on the link above.

Kerrier Way

Answers to some of the questions people in Camborne have been asking about Kerrier Way.

Local councillors are very concerned and had a meeting raised the problem of dangerous parking, obstruction and diversions with the Highway Manager at our regular meeting earlier this week.

No, cars are not meant to be parking on the space between the two lanes of the new road. It s dangerous and residents have been asked not to park there but some continue to do so.

The problem has been made worse because the council has gone ahead and closed one end of Dolcoath Road, which means now that coaches are diverting down Dolcoath Avenue because of the obstruction of Kerrier Way. This involves coaches in manoeuvring though the short road between Dolcoath Avenue and Road, causing more traffic problems, as people are (legally) parked there as well.

Our very helpful Highways Manager is on to it. Residents in the area are being leafleted – again. He is also following up with Planning Enforcement as we do not believe that the original plans for Kerrier Way included an open, car width space in the middle of the road, just asking to be parked on. Whether it is trees, planters or fixed bollards, something more effective than yellow lines needs to be installed.

I have been in touch with Bert Biscoe, the Portfolio Holder for Transport, so he is aware of the problem and has said it must be sorted. It is really important we get some solution before the much delayed East West link road is finished. In the meantime, please be careful – I know of at least one near miss when a parked car driver opened his or her door as another car approached. Fortunately the moving car driver had quick reactions, the next might not be so lucky.

Yesterday evening at the network

IMG_0836Yesterday evening was the regular Community Network meeting for Camborne, Pool, Illogan and Redruth.

First on the agenda was the management plan for the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty along our North Coast to Godrevy. It may come as a surprise to some that areas in and around Camborne are designated AONB but it only takes a bit of exploring to find that out for yourself.

Next we had our debonair Portfolio Holder for Localism, Jeremy Rowe, adopting a hair shirt on the tortured progress of devolution from Cornwall Council to local towns and parishes.

Nobly, Jeremy took responsibility starting off with an arrogant approach, which led to bad relationships between the Unitary and local councils. Even more nobly, he declined to mention that the Conservatives were running the council with the support of the Independents at the time. He also paid tribute to the exceptional work of Ray Tovey – the previous Conservative Portfolio Holder, as a shining example.

Jeremy has actually been very helpful and has worked extraordinarily hard at getting the whole devolution on track and mending fences with local councils. But frustration with the whole issue remains and fair play to him for spending his evenings doing what he can to make the whole thing work better.

The upshot was; Cornwall Council has made mistakes but let’s move forward. They are trying really hard on this despite staff shortages and huge pressures. Let’s work together as we all need it to work. That is fine by me. Today I will be asking Jeremy why the rugby ground in my ward of Treswithian, may be left out of Camborne Town Council’s negotiations to take over open spaces in the town and parish. The official line is that it generates an income stream for Cornwall Council.

Actually, that is tiny compared to the amount Cornwall Council will save by devolving the open spaces to us. The ground was bought with Camborne Park by Camborne Town Council many years ago. Leases and covenants have expired but the intention for it to be owned by the people of Camborne for leisure was clear. And Cornwall Council acquired the land in the local government reorganisation, so what moral right does it have now to hang on to it?

Lastly, many areas of CPIR will be part of a trial on recycling plastic. Don’t do anything different unless you get a mailing from Cornwall Council but please – everyone – remember to recycle what you can!

More information on recycling in Cornwall

Sewage outflow on to Cornwall’s beaches

0912Haylestorm211258931At the last Cornwall Council meeting, I put in a question to the Cabinet on the regular sewage releases on to our beautiful beaches. 

As well as being damaging to our economy and tourist industry, the sewage is bad for health.  When the beach is closed, there are signs to let people know but this is not enough.

Last time it happened, I saw people turning back from the beach at Godrevy to go elsewhere – not realising that the beach further down was open.

The Environment Agency had already been to the beach to test the water – before the outflow, so the extent of the pollution may not be recorded but it is there. The quality of bathing water is really important to Cornwall’s tourism. Businesses that depend on the beach have to cancel their activities if they can’t get in to the sea.

I am also concerned that with all the new building in Camborne, this will get worse.  South West Water have told me they have no plans to upgrade the sewage works at Kehelland. Recently, I asked a Planning Officer if the sewage outflows were a reason to refuse development until the problem was sorted. I was told No. SWW have permission to release into the bay so increased pressure on the system is not a reason for refusal. This is wrong, in my view. It’s about time we stopped dumping our sh*t in the sea.

Here is the question and the response from Cllr Joyce Duffin, the Portfolio Holder.

Discharge of Sewage

To: Councillor Duffin

From: Councillor Robinson

Cornwall’s beaches are among the best in the world and a key part of our economy, yet are compromised regularly by the discharge of sewage due to inadequate sewerage systems. What action or lobbying has the council undertaken to prevent South West Water’s regular discharge of sewage onto Cornwall’s beaches?

Reply: Councillor Duffin

The problem of Combined Sewer Overflows (or CSOs) is not limited to Cornwall, or to the South West Water (SWW) region but is a national issue. Much of our old sewerage system is based on combined sewers whereby both foul water and rainwater are carried in the same pipe. This means that heavy rainfall can cause the system to become overwhelmed resulting in a mixture of raw sewage and rainwater being released in a controlled fashion into watercourses and eventually washed down onto beaches. CSOs are regulated by the Environment Agency (EA). Permits are based on a complex range of conditions, including their potential impact on bathing water or shellfish water compliance. Investment in the sewerage system is governed by OFWAT, who are responsible for approving SWW’s 5 year business plan. If CSO discharges lead to deterioration in bathing water quality compliance then the EA can add improvements in their National Environment Programme and SWW in their forward business plan.
The Council’s Scrutiny Management Committee reviewing Flood Risk Management recently interviewed SWW and questioned their representative about the issue of CSOs. SWW has estimated the cost of separating surface water from existing combined sewer systems at around £2 billion, in addition to huge disruption to town centres and infrastructure. SWW’s current 5 year business plan has allocated £463 million on improving the sewerage network across its region. Cornwall Council is the Bathing Water Controller on 79 of the 82 designated bathing waters in Cornwall. The Council works closely with both the EA, SWW and, with the assistance of bathing water champions, we provide notifications where bathing water quality could be impacted. The Council communicates with and meets with both the EA and SWW when issues are brought to its attention to help ensure that water quality standards are maintained and where possible improved at designated bathing waters in the county.
Both myself and the Cabinet Member for Communities will be attending a meeting in October with representatives of SWW, the EA and Council officers with responsibilities for environmental health, beach safety and flooding and coastal environment strategy to discuss the implications of new Bathing Water Standards and explore improvements to the situation. The Council will also be pursuing this issue through the work to implement the Cornwall Deal which has a specific section on how we manage flooding, coastal erosion, water supply and quality. This will give us an opportunity to explore if the three responsible organisations can agree and resource standards that exceed minimum legal standards in Cornwall.

Tregenna Fields application rejected

Cornwall’s west planning committee today refused to approve plans to build 94 homes and a 60 bed care home on Tregenna Fields, to the west of Camborne.

Many people were united in opposition to this development. I was allowed to speak as part of the development is in my Cornwall Council ward and had to start my piece with stating my support for more homes and development in Camborne, which is not always popular.

I think Camborne is a very underrated town with a lot to offer residents: a lot of heritage buildings,  and fascinating history that makes us a World Heritage site, the quoit, the Flat Lode Trail, Tehidy Woods, the Red River Valley and easy access to the fantastic North coast.

The right development will attract more people to live in our town and bring employment and opportunity for those already here.

Tregenna Fields is not the right development.  It would put paid to the emerging plans to build a relief road to the west of Camborne and build mixed retail, industry and housing with good access. It would direct even more traffic through residential areas of my ward, past a school and along a small road through housing for disabled and elderly people. Cornwall Council in my view has a responsibility to these people.

The site is also a green field site in a town that has lots of plots of brown field land available. I made my arguments as best I could.

The good news was that the planning committee, despite the recommendation by the officers to approve it, listened to the protest and rejected the application with only one vote in favour.

I believe our planners were right to make a stand on this – developers make more dosh from green field sites so they prefer them. We need regeneration and well thought out development.

It was a bit worrying that the planning officers dismissed the Camborne, Redruth and Pool masterplan, plus the hours of Community Network planning and consultation as ‘not really plans’ and it was baffling that Nine Maidens school will benefit from the education contribution in order to provide more places in Camborne schools. I must have misheard as that would be plain potty.

No doubt the developers will appeal so this is not the end of the story and I will be joining others in working to defend the refusal.

Well done to all who spoke so well at the meeting: local campaigners Dave Biggs and Ivor Corkell, newly elected Pendarves Councillor John Herd and Cllr Jeff Collins who spoke on behalf of Camborne Town Council, who recommended refusal.

Camborne Library Update

On Monday, Camborne Town Council held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the news that Cornwall Council officers had recommended that all Cornwall’s libraries were to be tendered for a third party to run them.

By the time of our meeting, all had changed. The Communities Committee at Cornwall Council rejected this recommendation and insisted that the council consider the many communities that had expressed an interest in running the libraries themselves.

Good for them – for all the cynics and nay sayers, out there, this is why we need councillors to make decisions.

There were many discussions at the town council, it was a long meeting and two members of the public turned up and sat through it.  And a Mr Hart, who came late, shouted at us all, called us a disgrace and then left. His beef is that the building belongs to the people of Camborne. Morally, I think we would all agree. Legally, this is not the case.

The decision of the council is to express an interest in running the library. We will also be surveying the residents of Camborne to find out their views and how much extra they would be willing to pay on their precept and whether they value the building as much as the library. We were all agreed that we must consult widely and only go ahead if the people of Camborne are with it.

We also need some firm answers to a lot of questions from Cornwall Council, so this will not be an easy or quick process.

Is Cornwall Council prepared to offer anything toward the running costs? It would be unfair if Camborne paid entirely for its own library, accessible to anyone in neighbouring parishes but in other towns, the library is still fully funded. In essence, we would be subsidising others.

Would other parishes be prepared to contribute?

Will Cornwall Council transfer the building to Camborne for a nominal sum?

What backlog of maintenance is outstanding on the building?

What exactly are the running costs? There are many vague areas and Cornwall Council’s own figures come with a warning that they are not to be taken seriously. Which is worrying, in my view.

One thing Camborne Town Council has to be clear about is exactly what the price tag will be in Camborne and whether people in our town will pay it.