Chairman’s Report

In an ever-changing scenario with regard to local government, Breage Parish Council has discharged its specific functions as defined by the various Acts over the past year.

I have attended various civic functions to represent Breage Parish Council in our neighbouring Towns and Parishes

Through prudent financial planning we have been able to achieve a zero percent increase in the Parish precept for this financial year in contrast with the massive circa 6% increase levied by Cornwall Council.

All services and projects have been maintained or enhanced with additional projects commenced and in their early stages. These include:

Completion of the transfer of Ashton Amenity Area to Breage Parish Council.

Commencing a bid for play/exercise equipment for Carleen and Ashton.

Establishing a steering Group to take forward the Neighbourhood Plan for Breage Parish: this will allow much more influence to be exerted upon planning decisions once complete and will become a material consideration.

Refurbishment of the Clerk’s office and the Parish Rooms is still ongoing in order to provide a more efficient business environment and a better experience for the electorate who attend our meetings.

Plans to upgrade all streetlights in the ownership of Breage with a view to hand them over to Cornwall Council.

Clean up of the Basketball Court area at Praa Sands. Thanks are recorded to Mr Matt Gordon, M2 Construction for generously donating both time and materials to enable this project to happen.

A circular walk has been created at Praa Green, partly to add interest to the current walks and to provide alternative routes to alleviate wear and tear on the regular paths.

After protracted discussion with Cornwall Council and agreement reached on the way ahead for the future management of Praa Sands Public lavatories, Breage Parish Council re-established a “tenancy at will” with Cornwall Council in order that the facility can remain open for our Parishioners and visitors. In addition financial measures have been put in place to ensure its operation during this financial year 2018/19.

Breage Parish Council has requested that Cornwall Council investigate an alternative system of operation in order to reduce the running cost and the financial burden on the Parish precept. This is currently in progress with a new system that substantially reduces water usage and the cost of emptying. This new system will be installed initially in the ladies facility and is expected to be in place by the end of May 2018. This will cause some inconvenience during the installation phase for which we apologise.

Running concurrent to this project Cornwall Council have agreed at the request of local businesses and some residents to explore the establishment of a Community Interest Company in order to allow the business community to have a greater input into the management of the facility. Breage Parish Council wholeheartedly supports this imitative.

Planning events in and around Ashton have seen the formation of the Ashton Residents Association to ensure that parishioners’ views are made clear to the planning authority and also demonstrate their views regarding matters in that area.

Godolphin Cross Community Association is to be congratulated on its overwhelming success and progress with the Old Chapel Community Centre and its continuing varied program of entertainment and community events. Breage Village hall continues to provide a valuable service to the villagers and the Parish generally.

Praa Sands Community Centre continues to be busy and well supported, as does Carleen Village Hall who will hopefully see their exercise equipment installed very soon.

The Parish Council will be welcoming old friends back again to commemorate the N461 Sunderland seaplane event of the Second World War. This will take place on the 2nd June 2018 at Praa Sands with further details published closer to the date.

May 2017 saw the local authority elections; eleven Breage Parish Councillors offered themselves for re-election and were returned which resulted in a cooption as the poll was not claimed and Mr Tony Best was co-opted, returning the Council to full complement.

Cllr Christine Toms resigned during 2017; this created an additional vacancy with the poll not being claimed. This vacancy was filled by the co-option of Mr William Perrin.

The Council has established a Finance and General Purposes committee under the Chairmanship of Cllr Tony Best; this committee is already having a beneficial impact on council business and is currently in the process of reviewing all council policy documents with recommendations being presented to full council.

The business of Breage Parish Council is work in progress and as such is under constant review in order to provide the best possible service and value to our Parishioners.

The Planning policies of Cornwall Council continue to be a challenge and occupy a large part of the Council’s time and resources. We continue to represent the views of the parishioners at both the Western area and Strategic planning committees as appropriate, supported by your comments received by email/letter or presented at public participation at our regular meetings.

The Parish is currently being inundated with planning proposals and if unchallenged these would very soon outstrip any infrastructure resources that remain or are expected.

In closing I would like to thank my Vice- Chairman Cllr Rosie Wyvern Batt and all my Councillor colleagues for their support and contribution to the Council’s business over the past year. We are all supported by Mrs Carol Macleod, our Clerk/ Financial Responsible Officer and by Mrs Sarah Orpin who manages to keep the administrative offices spic and span. My thanks go to you all.

Councillor Tony Woodhams – Chairman Breage Parish Council