Our Parish of St Just-in-Penwith Today and Tomorrow

Posted on: 22nd August 2020

My thoughts on our Parish of St Just-in-Penwith today and tomorrow, given the events of 2020 that none of us could have foreseen.

Whoever would have predicted that wearing a mask would become the 2020 look!? I am however really grateful that hairdressers are back in action as the shaggy dog look did nothing to set the new look off!

Me with my Cornish flag cotton mask – I am smiling!

There are a range of attitudes and behaviours around, in terms of staying safe from COVID-19 until a vaccine is available. To be fair, I think the period of rapid changes of what was or was not safe to do and the apparent inconsistencies between what we can and cannot do, have left people a little confused and making it up for themselves à la Cummings! In my head, I’m seeing it like a set of scales. We have to try to keep them in balance because, if they tip, the virus will be galloping through the population again, with deaths rising.

My assessment of the Governments stance is they are using the scales to open up the economy, so we are encouraged to eat out to help out, visit pubs, go on holiday and get back to spending in our High Streets. Oh, and build, build, build! To keep the scales balanced, they did not get our children back in school, where some children would be far safer, and gatherings of family and friends, in our own homes and gardens, remains very restricted; and this is where even the most law abiding family and friends I know seem to be interpreting the rules to suit what they want to do. As I understand it, only 2 households can meet in a home, socially distanced, or up to 6 people from a mix of households outside, again, socially distanced. But it is safe to have 30 people to your wedding! Is it any wonder folk are confused and are making up as they go along.

The interesting thing, now the Government has recognised that educating our children is important (or is it that they want their parents back to work?), is what they will stop us doing next month, to keep those scales in balance; or will they be keeping everything crossed that the virus will take a nap, and not take advantage of the fact we have tipped human contacts in its favour?

Government Guidance on Staying Alert – the actual Government Guidance, for those that want to check the facts.

I think that the virus has brought out the very best of our local community and human nature and the very worse. Let us all remember the start of lock down when my biggest problem was all the people wanting to volunteer to help and do something but not enough people were asking for help (damn them)! Now, we have inconsiderate parking and camping, people moaning about having to wear a mask to shop (perhaps they prefer a ventilator), BUT many are still wanting to help those struggling to feed themselves or their families. Donations to Foodbank and Street Food Project, food and money continue to come in during the Library’s normal opening hours, and if people speak to staff at the Spar shop Boscaswell, you can still donate tinned and dried foods there.

As with most Saturdays, my dining room becomes a sorting station for donations to Foodbank and Street Food Project

I really want to appeal to people facing job loss and those who have used up their savings but their incomes are not back to where they were last March, do contact Foodbank – email penzancefoodbank@churchestogetherpenzance.co.uk . Street Food project (feeding the homeless/ those in temporary accommodation around Penzance) are looking for new volunteers so, if you can offer a few hours per week and use Facebook, look for their Facebook page (Growing Links – Street Food Project) or let me pass on your contact details.

Looking Ahead

There are lots of Have Your Say surveys happening at the moment – the build back better idea. Find out all about them here

Some of you will have heard about the Governments plans to shake up planning and be worried how this might negatively affect our community of St Just Parish and Cornwall as a whole. I have never pretended to be a lover of planning matters and am not going to turn into your planning guru BUT, I have done a blog to share with you all I know about those changes including some that the Government wants your views on. Blog re Government Planning Reform

May 2021 will be time for elections – Town and Parish Councils, Cornwall Council and Police and Crime Commissioner (I bet you are excited about that one). I hope people remember how long a list you had for St Just Town Council in 2017, including 5 Community Candidates, 4 of whom joined us. Do not assume that the 12 people there at the moment will stand again and think back to 2013 when only 8 people stood so just walked to the table, without you having your say.

I hope to have some announcements and ideas, re elections, in September so, keep an eye on my blog and social media pages. If you would like to consider being a Councillor, get in touch. The community candidate idea worked for Town Council, so people do not have to stand on a Political ticket.

On the whole, I am very proud of the community I represent, and think that if we collaborate together we can ensure it stays a great place for future generations.