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Jacobstow Parish Plan

For proposals and discussion of the Jacobstow Parish Plan.

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PaulS's picture

Jacobstow Parish Plan meeting

The Jacobstow Parish Plan was discussed again on 15th June at the Parish Hall, Jacobstow.
Apart from the committee members and councillors, about 8 people turned up. The rest of the residents didn't miss much, but here is a short summary:

1. Improve Dog Bins: ask for upkeep, lids cleaning, etc
Comment - Now that's revolutionary!

2. Traffic A39: Parish Council (PC) to continue to liaise ... Speed watch regularly
Comment - i.e. steady as she goes

3. Affordable housing: PC to be aware ... new builds to take account of infrastructure and conservation
Comment - Another bombshell!

4. Conservation/ good footpaths and walking network/ clean lanes: Tree warden and volunteers to monitor ... PC to be informed ...
Comment - more inaction! Re-establishing and maintaining public footpaths could be a good project for us as residents to take on.

5. Public bench provision: PC to find a site, public to raise cash
Comment - at last some action - we might get a bench!

6. Dentist/ Chiropody/ Physio/ Hospital access and transport: Article, looking at giving info ... communication
Comment - yet again nothing happens or is planned to happen. Now this is an important issue; access to health services from the Jacobstow Parish is difficult and will become increasingly so as energy prices take off. The Parish Plan could have formed the basis of an action. Sadly it has not.

7. Car share/ public transport: parishioners may form a group to action something if they wish to!
Comment - At least it emerged from the discussion that most people have no idea where there is a bus stop in Jacobstow and hopefully the committee will ensure that a clear bus stop with a timetable is sited wherever this bus stop is.

8. Desired changes in waste/ recycling/ composting: Views to be published in Jacobstow Journal. Meeting planed
Comment - not sure what the meeting with the recycling provider is about because the survey was reported to showed satisfaction overall and meeting also happy with current system. Actually Cornwall Council waste several million pounds every year on buying loads of plastic bags for various types of recyclable rubbish. Would be better off providing hard plastic boxes for all residents as a one-off investment.

9. Employment: Support local businesses
Comment - No specifics, except for Cornwall Councillor Phil Tucker's suggestion that some local work units be refurbished to provide bases for small local businesses. Hopefully the Journal will help inform residents of all local businesses and their respective offers.

10. Local shop/ deliveries/ Post Office: continue to support ...
Comment - No mention of the Pub, no specific ideas, no plan.
One idea championed by Transition North Cornwall is the Cornish Diet. See here http://www.transitionnc.org/node/45, where over 80 local food producers are listed in full, with links to own websites, contact and ordering information. Would be good to promote in the new Journal. Unfortunately, Mike Quance has refused to publish my article on the subject. Fortunately, the same article is being published in several local Parish magazines, The Post, even the BBC have taken it up.

11. Parish Hall : 'if you want an activity - organise it', Timetable of events to be published in the Journal.
Comment - Ticklish subject. Councilor Reason uncomfortable with questions from the floor. Yet again, no action and no plan. There is so much that could be done - renewable energy grants are available for Parish Halls. Decorating could be organised amongst residents. Projector, screen and speakers could be obtained for perhaps under £500 to turn the Hall into an occasional cinema and much more. Another wasted opportunity.
Of course, to have a chance of obtaining a grant you need to be able to demonstrate local support, which is what the Parish Plan questionnaire could have been used for, as it has in our neighbouring Parishes. Shame that Mike came out so strongly against these ideas when I reported them to the Committee as feedback from Parishioners back in February 2009 and then excluded them from the questionnaires. By now we could have had several grant funded projects under way.

12. Publicity/ Communication: New Jacobstow Journal (JJ) being launched and improvement to local notice boards. Parish Council (PC) to publish membership and contact numbers in JJ.
Comment - Action at last, albeit one I put forward some years ago. JJ, which is financially supported by the PC (that is me and you), plus a grant (that is me and you again), should, if handled well, greatly improve information about events taking place and in fact may make it possible to organise events for the whole Parish in the knowledge that everyone will have read about it. However, no mention of publishing PC minutes or PC agendas, as done in other Parish magazines. Further more, space in JJ is apparently limited and, as an example, Mike Quance has already rejected my 6 line contribution - hopefully he will be able to put his personal prejudices aside. Also no mention of the possibility of establishing a Jacobstow website, which would have the great advantage of immediacy. Actually, for now, this part of the TransitionNC website can be used for announcements and any other communication. Do use it if you wish to make a point, for or against any of these or other comments and news.

13. Junior activities: parents/ young people to form groups. Possibility of use of school grounds, but need to be locked.
Comment - I am sure parents did not need the Parish Plan to allow them to form groups ... But the idea of using the school grounds for Parish fete etc is brilliant. Hopefully the JJ will facilitate.

Overall impression: disappointing. 'Much to do about little' to paraphrase Shakespeare, followed by 'wasted opportunity'.

And the disappointment is all down to the design of the Parish Plan questionnaire - as I noted back in July 2009, here: http://www.transitionnc.org/node/85/614#comment-614.

As a result of this object failure Jacobstow has lost estimated £20,000 to £100,000 in possible grants. Every single neighbouring parish has done much better, with St Gennys managing over £100,000 worth of grants and other support for their community.

It is amazing that our neighbouring Parishes managed to get worthwhile five-figure grant supported projects under way as a result of their Parish Plan reports, whilst our Parish Plan may perhaps be instrumental in getting a public bench sited in Jacobstow and a member of the committee is starting his own Parish magazine.

Call me naive, but I expected more.