Cllr Steph McWilliam, Cornwall Council

CornwallLogoAt a recent meeting at County Hall, all the Group Leaders were committed to Cornwall Council’s efforts to help with the refugee crisis. However, we are also aware that we have a severe housing shortage and a funding shortfall for existing services. Officers are working with other councils, the LGA (Local Government Association), the government and various charities to ensure we do what we can without unintended consequences.

S McWilliamThe offers from the people of Cornwall to take refugees into their homes are much appreciated but the welfare of these vulnerable people must be the priority. It may be, for example, that Cornwall is not the best location for unaccompanied children, who may need specialist support and contact with those who speak their language. Whatever the outcome, please be aware that there is a lot going on behind the scenes.

Apparently councillors have no role in planning enforcement, which came as a surprise to me. I am often asked to look into activity which may be outside of the planning permissions granted and where enforcement action is being taken. I had assumed that if the local community asked me to intervene I could request that the decision be made by a committee or for the decision to be reviewed but it seems not. However, do please continue to notify me if you have concerns and I will continue to ask questions about whether this system needs a few changes.

I would like to thank Cllr David Skelton for his persistence in getting information about the roll out of Superfast Broadband and the options available to the residents of South Hill Parish. He has become something of a local expert, combining his knowledge of the local area with his understanding of the technicalities of FTTP (Fibre to the premises).

If you are looking to place an order, please have a think beforehand about the different issues. Not all providers are offering Superfast and some properties still won’t be able to access broadband for a while. Others may be able to but the costs vary considerably. However, there is progress at last.

Finally, I have just had confirmation that the winter maintenance plan for our roads will be the same as for last year. This may not be all we would like but at least it hasn’t been cut back any further.

Thank you for your support and for keeping me up to date with your views on local matters.

Steph McWilliam – October 2015