From Our Cornwall Representative Steph McWilliam

CornwallLogoIt is summer, the sun is shining as I write and this month I would like to focus on the positive news from Cornwall Council. It is so easy always to talk about the problems and things that aren’t going so well but actually there is a lot of good work going on too.

We are fortunate to live in a low crime area and, despite the pressures on the budget, our policing teams are still managing to look after us very well. That doesn’t mean we should be complacent and we must still be careful about locking our doors etc. Please speak to children about not getting into vehicles with strangers (there was an incident recently, though fortunately the child refused and came to no harm) and continue to look out for neighbours but be thankful we live where we do.

Cornwall Council has been awarded extra funding for the Arts, which should help maintain our cultural heritage and tourism industry.

Hopefully you are seeing improvements in the roads with more potholes filled and more roads repaired. I can also confirm that winter problems have not been forgotten and officers are looking for solutions to prevent trouble in future bad weather.

Work to encourage new businesses to come to the AeroHub at Newquay is helping provide new jobs and the subsidy needed for the airport is coming down. Recent employment figures for Cornwall are also positive, although we realise this is partly due to seasonal factors.

The quality of education for early years is very good with over 80% judged to be good or outstanding so our young children are getting a great start here in Cornwall. There has also been praise for Cornwall’s Together for Families programme, which helps get troubled families back on track.

A team of Councillors is meeting to try and make Cornwall the ‘Land of Steam’ again, working with all interested people and groups. The aim is to have more steam trains running again, including restoring the turntable at St Blazey.

There is much more good news but I have just picked out a selection for now. There are difficult and unpopular decisions to be made in the coming months to balance the books. There are still some frustrations about outstanding work or planning decisions but I hope you agree that, now and again, it is worth taking a moment to appreciate what we do have. We live in the best part of the UK and we have great local communities. A large part of my work is to try and help sort out your problems, which I am very happy to do. However, this month it would be great to hear from you about what Cornwall Council does well. If an officer has impressed you with the response to your query, do let me know.

Thank you.

Cllr Steph McWilliam – August 2014