Chairman's Report 2021/22

For the second year the business of Breage Parish Council has been influenced by the dictates of Covid 19 and latterly the Omicron virus. We have managed to successfully discharge the functions of local government whilst following central government guidelines to keep parishioners and councillors safe. The thanks of Breage Parish Council go to all the many parish community and faith groups who have worked so hard to maintain the social cohesion that is so vital to the wellbeing of the communities. The latest and newest addition being Ashton Hub at what was previously the snooker club. The group are making terrific progress in providing much needed community space in the village. Whilst the majority of council meetings were held remotely via zoom in the early stages of the pandemic, we are now steadily moving back to our previous role with no personal restrictions at our regular meetings. The regular meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of the month with the Planning and Land use meetings held on the last Wednesday preceding the regular meeting. Both meetings commence at 1900 in the parish rooms and members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend. We also hold Planning Pre-Application meetings where an individual parishioner or developer thinking of submitting a planning application can arrange an informal meeting with Breage Councillors to better understand the policies outlined in the Neighbourhood Development Plan and other planning issues. This has proved to be a useful method of developing a better understanding of the planning process and parish planning compatibility. The parish finances are in good order with several projects underway or completed. We have constantly striven to keep the tax/ precept burden for Breage parishioners as low as is practicable whilst supporting parish services. Currently the services provided by Breage Parish Council cost 66p per week or £34:32 per year. We are constantly monitoring the situation to ensure that our parishioners are not being “double taxed” for services that are already paid for via council tax to Cornwall Council. Last year saw local government elections with some councillors leaving and new members arriving. The parish council is currently three Councillors short of its complement so if you feel that you would be interested in serving your community as a Councillor please contact the Clerk for an informal discussion. Due to its rich mining heritage, Breage in general and the Carleen/ Wheal Vor area in particular has found its self sharply in focus in the search for precious metals. A series of small exploratory drills will be carried out during this year to examine the viability of future larger scale mineral extraction. Breage Parish Council in conjunction with Cornish Tin, the exploration company, has held both virtual and live meetings to ensure that the parishioners are kept fully aware of progress. Derek Thomas MP has generously facilitated the e-news mail drop to ensure that as many parishioners as possible are aware of developments. Breage Parish Council is actively engaged with the D&C Police and Cornwall Council to reduce the speed of traffic through our villages by implementing the ”20 is Plenty” scheme and to reduce the incidence of speeding further by joining “Speed watch” which, after suitable training, uses volunteers with speed cameras to monitor and report speeding motorists. The Council is also a partner in the scheme of traffic regulation orders (TRO) that is attempting to ensure that emergency and utility vehicles can access our villages in safety. This has not always been the case due to the inconsiderate and frequently dangerous parking of some individuals. The play and recreation areas at Breage, Ashton, Praa Sands and Carleen continue to be well used and are, with the exception of Carleen, in the ownership of the parish council. Health and safety checks and maintenance are carried out on a monthly basis with public liability insurance being in place with BPC. As a burial authority we have made vast improvements to the cemetery at Breage and have incorporated additional land to ensure that Parishioners can be confident that this service will be available in the future. Further improvements are ongoing along with routine maintenance. The Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) is in its final stages of examination and will be submitted to you as parishioners by referendum during the course of this year. The wooden parish council notice boards scattered around the parish are being replaced with aluminium which should give years of good service. Where space permits they double up to allow community use. Lower Trevurvus pond will be fully reinstated by the end of the year as a wildlife haven and water source. This exciting project is being carried out by BPC in partnership with the local school and others. The public rights of way (PROW) in the parish continue to be maintained by BPC and the council has signed up and agreed to be part of the Enhanced Local Maintenance Project which seeks to further improve and where appropriate create new and enhance the existing paths to ensure they are accessible to all users. BPC has taken the responsibility for the Lengthsman project in the parish; this scheme ensures that culverts, gullies and run-off areas are kept clear and that excess rainwater is able to run off safely to prevent flooding. Additionally road junctions on B, C and unclassified roads are kept safe by cutting back excessive vegetation. Funding has been put in place to enable BPC to employ an apprentice Clerk/ Financial Responsible officer who it is anticipated will be in post this year. This exciting opportunity will allow the right candidate to be fully trained to degree level and be able to progress to wherever their ambition takes them in local government administration and further. Full details will be available on the BPC website and in the press later this year. Preparations by the parish council are in place to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. A small leaf lime tree has been planted in the cemetery and a Jubilee garden is planned for Coaches Corner at Breage. This is supported by Trevena Cross nursery. Additionally all the school children in the parish schools will be given a celebratory gift to commemorate the occasion. Individual community groups are arranging their own street parties and other events which will be promulgated on social media outlets. Breage Parish Council would like to take this opportunity to thank the many organisations and individuals who so generously give up their time to make the parish the pleasant place it is to live in and so welcoming for our visitors. On a personal note, I would like to thank my councillor colleagues for their enthusiasm and support over what has been a difficult year for us all. Our Clerk and Financial Responsible Officer, Mrs Carol Macleod, has managed to keep the office and services running throughout and Mrs Sarah Orpin has kept the parish rooms clean and safe during this difficult period. The continued support of the contractors and sub- contractors who have kept the technical and maintenance operations of the parish in good working order is very much appreciated. Finally in closing, thank you to the Parishioners for your support in enabling Breage Parish Council to deliver these community services.

Councillor Tony Woodhams Chairman

Breage Parish Council

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