Another Year Comes to a Close

Marna Blundy (left) Mayor, Sue James Deputy Mayor – for St Just-in-Penwith Town Council

2019 is nearing it’s end, a time when it is good to reflect back on thoughts at the start of the year. Fortunately or unfortunately for me, I committed them to a blog so you can see exactly what I was thinking and predicting!

The Challenges or 2019 as I set them out last January

I will not go over each headline from then and review it as that might be tedious. Whilst many will share my view that the Climate Emergency was more important to tackle than Brexit, the 3rd General Election in four and a half years is set to ensure we “Get Brexit Done” but the Government does not show the same determination to “Save Our Planet”!

Cllrs Sue James & Julian German listening to young people, in front of County Hall, taking part in 2nd Youth 4 Climate Strike, March 2019. Photo by Milo Perrin of Cornishstuff

It’s fair to say that I woke up to the Climate Emergency before some of my Political colleagues in Cornwall and, as a result, I did not keep my place in the Cabinet. Now, you would think that would have meant me twiddling my thumbs for the second half of the year but it does not seem that way!

Although started when I was in the Cabinet, I have carried on Chairing an informal Steering Group to bid to get an International Dark Sky Designation for West Cornwall. That has taken an enormous chunk of my time and is likely to continue to do so in 2020. If this has passed you by, the link will give you a flavour of what it is about.

Proposal Outlined for International Dark Sky Reserve

As I came out of Cornwall Council’s Cabinet, I was elected to be Deputy Mayor of St Just and with the Library being taken over by us locally on 1 November and discussions still ongoing over the toilets and car parks, it has been a busy 6 months locally.

So, Dark Skies, being Deputy Mayor and the recent General Election has meant I have not posted on this website for a while. My apologies if you are a follower but I daresay a relief to some, especially not getting an email from me for some time!

For those depressed or just fed up with Brexit or Politics more generally, my year has had some positive activities to end with. I was involved with the Wheal Buzzy project, planting wild flowers to save our now rare solitary bees. Also, my husband and I made a decision for our anniversary in September that we were not going to just buy ‘stuff’ and instead invested in some trees and hedgerow plants, 50 of each. The hedgerow plants are in but the weather turned before planting the trees and the advice was heel them in and they will be fine until less windy weather is with us, even if we wait till spring.

Wheal Buzzy project comes to Croft Mear, Pendeen to plant wild flowers

Croft Mear, Pendeen. Open space owned by Lands End Peninsula Community Land Trust, which I Chair. This is the photo of the area before any planting started. I’ll have to share photos and the fuller story in the Spring, when there is something to see!

In terms of Cornwall Council, whilst you might despair at the Spaceport decision, you can celebrate that the Forest for Cornwall project has just got under way. Not that I am in anyway suggesting that one offsets the other!

Forest for Cornwall Launch

Webcast of the Spaceport Debate at Cornwall Council – I did speak during the debate and voted against. Note that some public questions were also about the Spaceport.

Since I came out of the Cabinet you will see that the Waste Contract plans are not working out as I envisaged at the start of the year and was responsible. Sadly, it seems our local recycling facilities, at Pendeen and St Just car parks, are likely to go, without weekly recycling being introduced. Not good but a fight to keep them seems unlikely to succeed, if I’m being honest.

Waste Contract and our Recycling Banks

The Community Cemetery in Pendeen is progressing through planning at the moment and, if change of use is granted, it will be all systems go! The Skatepark is slower progress but funding applications are being made and, it is hoped a start can be made in the first half of 2020.

So, let me end with a message offering you seasons greetings when I hope you can have some time off and enjoy the company of family and friends. I know that our wonderful local community has a welcome place for those that might otherwise be alone and there has been a stream of festive events to entertain.

Back, more regularly, next year!