The Parish Council adopted a new member, Mr. Jem Marshal. There is still one spot left on the Michaelstow ‘council of five’ who work voluntarily to increase participatory democracy in the parish.
Issues this month included a detailed and very well put together planning application for a wind turbine, and the ongoing concern the Parish Council has for dwindling attendance at Michaelstow Parish Church. The council agreed to produce a postcard to circulate to every household in the parish – inviting them to Christmas Services. Also they agreed to fund one issue of The Magazine to every house in the Parish, in an attempt to increase local involvement.
Other issues considered included the maintenance of the chain surrounding Michaelstow Green and the most practical and cost-effective way to light the new car park planned adjacent to Treveighan Chapel. The Parish Council are also helping to re-install milestones on the Old Judges Road – see this link ‘the Judges Road‘ for more info.
Rev George F. Yeomans
Rev. George F. Yeomans
The main news from Michaelstow Parish Council this month concerns the passing of a gentleman who has been central to the Parish affairs for many years:
Rev George F. Yeomans and his wife, Una, settled at Bear Oak in Michaelstow in 1977. In addition to his many skills in building and carpentry, George was an advocate of self-sufficiency and ran Bear Oak Farm as a visitor centre demonstrating smallholding skills. Rev. Yeomans was a leader in every sense. His commitment to the Pentecostal Church was unparalleled as was his ceaseless work in community. He became a councillor on Michaelstow Parish Council in 1995 and was voted chairman in 1999, a position he retained until 2012. His knowledge and insight into local matters were essential for newer members of the council. He will be sorely missed by family, church colleagues and friends.
Michaelstow Parish has completed and delivered the Parish Audit on time this year and the annual accounts will soon be available on this parish website. Plans for a new car park for Treveighan Methodist Chapel have been confirmed which should help the hall become more of a local centre of activity.
With Jubilee fever storming the country at the beginning of June, Michaelstow Parish managed their celebrations a day later than everyone else. There was a tea party and presentation of Jubilee Mugs which had to move to Treveighan Methodist Hall due to rain, and a barbecue and bonfire hosted at the beacon, both of which were well attended and successful, with over 100 people attending the rain-free barbecue.
Behind these local, community-enhancing events are sleepless nights and people getting up very early to give their time so that others can enjoy themselves. These people are ‘local heroes’ who think about how to improve our quality of life and community in Michaelstow. Perhaps we should emulate them more?
Perhaps in these days of ‘austerity’ we should celebrate our abundances in Michaelstow by sharing them with each other. Cornwall has a long and fine tradition of self-reliance and resilience in the face of hardship – because historically we share things in strong communities. Perhaps it is a good time to restore some of these traditions by thinking about what we might do to improve our neighbours quality of life?
The Third of May saw the Annual General Meeting of the Michaelstow Parish Council. Cllr Glenton Brown spoke about the formation and structure of Cornwall Council and the mysterious ‘cabinet’ at its heart. Cllr. Lugg added some of his observations about the priorities of the council cutting front line services in preference to high visibility projects such as Newquay Airport. There was some discussion about the chaos of the new recycling scheme in Michaelstow as an example.
Rev. George Yeomans, who has been serving the Parish Council since 1995, stepped down as chairman and the Parish Council was forced to examine its role in Michaelstow. Cllr. Lesley Goodman was elected as the new chair with Cllr. Andrew Button as vice-chair. We wish Cllr. Yeomans a well-earned rest from the responsibilities of holding together a Parish Council in an age where it seems difficult to find volunteers for community affairs.
On a lighter note, excitement is growing over the Jubilee celebrations planned for Tuesday 5th June. Tea on the village green is from 3 pm, with a presentation of Jubilee Mugs to local children at 4 pm. In the evening there is a ‘bring your own barbecue’ party on the Beacon from 8.30 pm, on the ancient site of signal bonfires and Helsbury Castle. Hope to see you there!
Michaelstow Parish Diamond Jubilee Celebrations will take the form of a High Tea for children, with a presentation of special Parish Jubilee Mugs, followed by a barbecue on the beacon on 5th June.
If you can offer some help with this event please phone the Parish Clerk on 851356. Mr. Harris has kindly allowed us to use his land for this event and Michaelstow is very lucky to have such an historical site for this purpose. The Parish Council is planning to invite every household in Michaelstow.
Mr Andrew Button is collecting firewood and organising a ‘bring your own food’ barbecue for the event, please phone him on 850200 if you are able to contribute. Mrs. Yeomans is taking orders for the Jubilee Mugs which are £5 each – please order 6 weeks in advance by phoning 850297.
Mrs Goodman would like to organise a Jubilee tidy-up of the lanes of Michaelstow so please come forward to show some local pride by phoning 850585.
May 3rd sees the Parish Council AGM at Treveighan Methodist Chapel and we are inviting a speaker for 7.30 pm. Rev. Yeomans, the chairman of the Parish Council has announced he will be stepping down as chairman at this event.
Michaelstow Parish Council welcomes a new member, Mrs. Lesley Goodman. Mrs. Goodman’s first suggestion to the council was that there should be some kind of ‘welcome pack’ for people moving to Michaelstow to help enhance the community. As a parish Michaelstow is somewhat fragmented with five hamlets and about 84 houses. Discussion at the monthly meetings had recently touched on ways to ‘unite’ the community of the parish.
Planning applications this month involved looking at two new windmills proposed near Helsbury Castle and improvements to a local listed cottage. A discussion about windmills blew up with one councillor feeling that the tariff for wind farms was basically unfair to electricity consumers, who had to pay for the installations through their bills without receiving any direct benefit from local installations. Both applications were passed without comment.
Although the council had purchased an Ipad 2 for the clerk, he was unable to collect emails since a telegraph pole on the B3266 had been knocked down in an accident, leaving Fentonadle without any telephone or internet access for a week.
The chairman presented the first Diamond Jubilee mug to councillors as the council is planning to offer these to all the children of the parish during the celebration ‘high tea’ in June. Plans for the Jubilee barbecue are underway with the council clarifying their insurance responsibilities.
The council members also marked on a local map the places where the roads around Michaelstow are in a bad state and are sending a letter in to the Highways department to ask for urgent repairs.
The lack of news from Michaelstow last month was due to the Parish Meeting falling after the deadline for this magazine. The Parish Council was in party mode in the February meeting, discussing ideas for a community event to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee on June 5th. This event is planned for the beginning of June 2012 and will comprise of a childrens’ ‘high tea’ with presentation of Jubilee mugs, followed by a later barbecue on the beacon in Michaelstow. Please contact the clerk or Parish Council through our website if you can help at all – it should be a fun event for the Parish.
There was also discussion around the state of the local roads. Large pits, flooded with water, seem to be opening up in popular passing places on roads around Michaelstow. Some of the councillors are concerned with the pounding local roads and verges get from farm traffic. Their recent ‘conditions’ carefully discussed to improve the roads for all users in the light of local planning approvals seem ignored by the Planning Department.
A consultation document ‘Planning Future Cornwall’, has arrived from the Planners, putting forward proposals for the next 30 years in Cornwall. Links to this are on the michaelstow.org.uk website and as people living in Cornwall it seems important to respond.
So much information is arriving electronically now that the Parish Council have invested in a IPAD tablet computer to keep a good record of these and manage their affairs electronically.
Michaelstow Parish Council’s concern for the continuance of Michaelstow Church came to the fore once again at the December meeting, with a wide-ranging discussion of issues around traditional and modern aspects of Christianity – of whatever denomination. Conclusions concerning the reasons for low attendance and the church gradually falling into disuse included the general ‘fragmentation of community’, which seems part of our modern age.
Planning applications were centred around the proposal for polytunnels at Tregawn Farm. The Parish Council have done their utmost to involve local people in this decision, which has to weigh ‘changing the look of the countryside’ alongside ‘economic development’ and the investment of local farming families in their future. A consultation meeting on 25th November gave opportunity for local people to view and discuss the application, with posters and hand-delivered mail inviting local people.
The council decided to apply to the planning department to ask for conditions such as improvements in the road infrastructure, leading to easier passing, less mud on the road and diminished noise pollution.
The council are still one or two members short and invite potential members interested in local affairs, preferably living in Michaelstow, to come forward and apply. Please contact the Parish Clerk by email – ‘email@example.com’ – or through the Parish website form at www.michaelstow.org.uk .
Cornwall Council has Granted Conditional Planning Permission for the Installation of 50kw monopole wind turbine with a maximum height of 34.2 meters on land at Tregawn Farm, Michaelstow.
On Remembrance Sunday a wreath was laid at the war memorial by the Chairman on behalf of the Parishioners of Michaelstow.
The Parish Council sent their ‘late audit’ to the auditors and despite negative comments in the Western Morning News, the audit had simply ‘dropped between clerks’ and is now complete.
The Parish council share some concern for the future of Michaelstow Church which may be falling into disuse. The ‘Friends of St. Mabyn’ was given as an example of finding new people for the church – their concern being the interest and preservation of the building as much as the church services. It was discussed at a recent meeting how interest in this fine old building and the ‘church’ itself might be rekindled.
Michaelstow Parish Council is short of members and a couple of local people are to be targeted for a direct invitation to the council membership. It was recognised that the council might be short of a ‘quorum’ should two of the existing councillors not be able to make a meeting and the remaining members would be unable to make legal decisions. The council invite potential members, preferably living in Michaelstow, to come forward and apply. Please contact the Parish Clerk ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ – or through the Parish website form at www.michaelstow.org.uk .