Bude, Stratton & Poughill Annual Town Meeting

Last night, I attended the Town Meeting, which apparently had a better turn out than last year’s, which I missed. The Town Meeting offers an overview of what the Council has been doing, what Cornwall Councillors have contributed, and what is happening with the Police in the area.

 

These are just my notes, which I do not have time to fully write up, but you get the gist. Any questions, please ask and I’ll do my best to answer them.

 

The Mayor

Mayor Bob Willingham opened proceedings. He mentioned the rationalisation of committees, keeping council efficiency but of more interest to most locals was the Town Council taking on the management of Bude Library and Information service, to secure its long-term future. The town now has a greater say over the service and there are plans to make the buildings even more inviting with changes to the decor.

He also mentioned the taking over of the Summerleaze and Crooklets beach play areas, plus creating a new one for Summerleaze. Additionally, securing ownership of the toilets closed at Stratton and Poughill. Toilets within the Town Council’s remit are cleaned daily. The aim is to keep them free to use and fit for purpose.

Council office staff costs were reduced overall.

Pitch and Putt will be reopening after the Council replaced the building 2018. They are now advertising this facility, another attraction for Bude.

Bencoolen play area is having a complete refurbishment, including the replanting of 5 trees.

The Council’s facilities team now have yellow uniform. They work tirelessly on bins, baskets, etc., plus general maintenance, and deserve our thanks.

Installed water fountain in the Triangle. Cooperation with Refill Bude to reduce single-use plastics.

Office staff are communicating more effectively via the Mayor’s Facebook page and a monthly article in the Bude & Stratton Post. Trying to engage with a younger demographic.

Town council newsletter on services and events now being produced.

Bude Heroes Awards was created to raise awareness of unsung heroes. Community engagement.

A39 cycle path being cleared by BRAG.

Not for profit groups can apply for grants from the Town Council. Grants have been awarded to the Folk Festival, Connect Bude, Sea Pool, Pilot Gig Club, Carnival, etc.

Castle now has full accreditation by the Arts Council. Great tourist attraction. Wins from Cornwall Heritage Awards for Gurney Stove as Object of the Year. Special award for creative use of space, environmental policy, etc.

Cafe limelight highly commended re environmental work.

Castle was chosen alongside 3 other museums for immersive heritage experience. £700k shared between 4.

Plans

Environmental Policy  to create a sustainable community.
Bude in Bloom to make the town even more attractive.
Improve Parkhouse Centre entrance to be fit for purpose.
Morwenna Triangle needs safer alighting and boarding for buses – an aim. Senior citizens have fallen getting off buses.
Neighbourhood Development Plan needs strengthening – reviewing
Stopped plan for block estate of 300 houses in Bude
Castle is working on Earth festival, Heritage Day, Gallery Programme and Creative Workshops

Thanks were given to Bob for his hard work as Mayor.

Peter La Broy

Peter said had the Town Council not taken on the areas mentioned above, they would probably have gone. The Library would have shrunk a lot without Town Council securing it.

County council
Peter has served on many committees including the Audit Committee and Economic Growth Committee.
Serving on high street vitality team.
Working with Bude Coastal Community Team and new owners of Tripos
David Parsons also working with councillors to save Compass Point
Would like to extend the Triangle to create a more central focal point for the town, possibly with toilets.

David Parsons

Town Council used to control all its facilities from sewage to the library.
Due to local government reorganisations, control was taken away, eventually given to Cornwall Council
Truro feels a long way from the centre so taking back control important.
Town Council increasingly important.

Stratton MIU/Hospital. MIU and medical services cover cross border including Devon as we are a border town. Therefore, Devon Council members are now also involved and Devon commissioning.
If we add in Devon users, then we are looking at potentially 30000 people or more using the service, nearly as big as Truro.
In the interim 111 service is robust and works well. Clinicians are giving advice. Not just people reading questions on ‘phone.
For mobile phone users, he suggested using NHS quicker App for a list of what’s open, waiting times, etc., and can dial 111 or 999 as required/appropriate

Grants moderate amounts of Cornwall Council grants are available – apply to Peter or David – e.g., grant given to toy library.
Canal. Great heritage asset. Important for history and economics of town. It’s been neglected, so started the process with Peter La Broy of establishing what needs to be done to get it back to a reasonable standard. Sea lock and two upstream locks need work, and dredging required. Listed asset. Clear long term vision req with canal and harbour society. Plan to see the overall long term plan.

Police

Julian Morris, police inspector for north Cornwall – inspector 7 years
Lived in Bude 20 years
Coaches Nippers and helps at Rugby Club.
Covers 4 towns
Geography is a challenge to policing as the nearest custody centre is Newquay 47 miles. Sometimes the team cover Holsworthy, and for mental health services, the location is Redruth.
5 response teams, each has 1 sergeant and 5 PCs to cover Bude (out to Morwenstow), Camelford, Callington, and Launceston.
CID at Launceston
Crime-wise Bude has seen a 1.6% reduction in crime in Bude, but crime has risen across the sector

County lines, drugs work important, predominantly based in Callington. Cuckooing using vulnerable people to let them use their houses to deal drugs, using dedicated phone lines; hence, the name.
Some drug dealers convicted.
Asked people to recognise the signs and call the police, esp if vulnerable neighbours seem to be targeted; give intelligence.
Hidden crime, like modern day slavery. Be aware.
Child exploitation, sexual exploitation and abuse. Is happening in Bude and being dealt with, helped by work of PCSOs.
Travelling criminals, tracking, etc
Mental health and vulnerability on a daily basis people in crisis is a big challenge for the Police.
Antisocial behaviour, youths and criminal damage an issue.
Dispersal powers used been used in town over weekends and will be this weekend, too.
2 youngsters authorised as police targets for stop and search.
Criminal behaviour orders req evidence, so reporting of issues to the Police is needed
Xanax, used to treat anxiety and available online drug has caused issues, been working in schools re this.
Social media safe use.
CCTV – useful in the town
Devon and Cornwall alert system – emails, scams, etc for awareness – the public can sign up for these.

Questions

Litter bins used for dog refuse, joint bins, create unpleasant smell for people using bins. Cornwall Council has dual use bins. All ends up in the same place. So it is about disposal.
All gets burned at St Dennis
More waste bins than dog bins so dual bins used to encourage people to pick up dog poo.

Play areas. New housing estates – no play areas at the estate by Lidl
Mayor Bob says housing there not finished. There will be a large multi-use play area where site office is. Provided by Bovis. Residents will pay a charge to maintain that.
Discussion of developers not living up to promises.

CCTV effectiveness of it? Have volunteers keen to work it. Will reinvigorate it if needed. Cameras are still operating but it is a big job for Street Pastors and police, volunteers, etc. The number of youngsters avoiding serious trouble is amazing due to this system. Interested in doing CCTV, get in touch with the Council. Street Pastors also need volunteers. If you want to be involved, DBS reports are needed. Takes time.

Thanks to the Town Council. Coastal Community Team appreciates the admin and rooms for meeting help. Discussions with the council, etc. A network of connections. Collaboration.

Public toilet cleaning team need congratulating.

Crooklets Donut and noodle shop fell through as leases were a nightmare. Legal process underway for Town Council to take on the toilet block.

Recycling figures – Cornwall generally below national levels last year. Bude does better than most Cornish towns. Rubbish collection cycle may change. Increasing recycling collection and weekly food waste. General waste every fortnight. Not sure of mechanisms of this. Contractual. Cornwall council offer a subsidised digester for vegetative waste, grass cuttings, etc.

Town council tried to get Jennings Bus Station land but questions over the valuation. Needs a plan to deal with sites that become available, as had they succeeded the proposed Travel Lodge site could have been a community building. Suggestion to make a photographic plan. Virtual supplementary planning document.

How can the Town Council help Police? Get Alison Hernandez here?  Funding. CCTV. Reopen Bude police station? We lose police officers for hours if they need to deal with custody or mental health issues, and clears town of police taking people to the Newquay lock up.

2 Comments

  • John Gimson says:

    Thanks Dawn, Good to see this report. And it would be better still if more people would get involved with what goes on in Bude and the surrounding area.

    Yes, there are hundreds, if not thousands, already involved in community groups – all helping, and at risk of citing an over-used phrase, to “make a difference”. But more are needed. It’s quite easy, just decide what you think could be better if only … and get involved.

  • Mrs S Adams says:

    I’m not a local, just an enthusiastic holiday maker of 30 years visiting, but we have the same issue with housing developments in our area. They get planning permission for houses plus lots of ‘community assets’ such as parks or road improvements. They then build the houses and say that they have run out of money for the community facilities. How about getting them to build the community stuff BEFORE they do the housing? I have made the same comments to my local councils.
    Keep up the good work!

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