Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The ideas and energy of a town: looking to Penzance's future

Taken from Penzance Town Council website
There are many challenges ahead for Penzance in terms of the town and local government. In some sense there is every reason to be optimistic there is a great sense of drive and new blood on the town council and new groups and movements emerging. Here's my thoughts.

At my first Committee meeting, that is General Purposes (GP) I was elected as vice chair. The town council has 4 standing committees GP, Planning, Finance and Property and Penlee House and Park. All councilors sit on 2 committees, (I sit on GP and the Penlee committee) Basically GP, deals with everything not covered by the other committees, and as a new councilor, I have a lot to learn about what is involved. But this is true of all of the new councilors, I think we all share a drive and enthusiasm to get stuck in and all of the committees have newly elected councilors as vice chairs. Exciting times and I promise to blog and try to explain to people what I do on the council and what the council actually does. I apologise for being one of those politicians that blogs a lot in the run up to the election and neglects to do so afterward. So there's drive and fresh ideas in the town council and I am confident guided properly by the old hands we can make a formidable force over the next 4 years.

Unfortunately I was unwell and did not make the Postcard to Penzance event at The Exchange. But I have spoken to quite a few people that were there. There are lots of great ideas for the town and how we shape it's future. It is very encouraging to see others coming forward proactively with ideas for the town, that consider the whole not just the economy and development. In addition I've noticed a new group 'Pop Up Penzance' who are working to fill empty shops, I'm interested to see how this works out (their facebook page and twitter). In addition we have a Town Team and perhaps a Business Improvement District BID on the horizon too. There's clearly no shortage of people willing to work to improve and shape the town. My only real fear is that people come together when necessary and don't all pull in different directions and waste time working against each other or on similar plans in tandem but oblivious to each others efforts. Communication is key!

The baskets today
Today I went up to see the Penzance Community Flora Group PCFG and to see the flowers and baskets ready to be spread around the town. It's a good example of people coming together and a small example of how Cornwall Council's cuts are hitting Penzance. Now I know that flower beds and baskets aren't the worst thing to happen in the name of austerity or in this town but anyway. In 2011 CC decided to cut the budget for the gardeners and flowers for Penzance. The PCFG was formed to fill the gap. Relying on the generosity of a number of businesses and organisations (I'd name them but I fear I might forget some...) and staffed by volunteers. They plant and propagate the baskets that hang far and around the town, more details on their website here. It's a great example of how people can come together and with hard work and dedication they can make a difference in the town. Exciting times in the town!


  1. Hi Rob, and hello from Pop Up Penzance,
    Congratulations on your successful election.
    We are just getting going and of course the challenge is to persuade landlords that temporary activity in their shops is good for them as well as good for the town. But things are looking good and we hope to have our first pop-up in the next month or so.
    We were at the Postcards to Penzance event and it felt to us that there was a real desire from people for working together for the benefit of our town. That is very much where we are coming from.
    Rachel and Maria

    1. Hi guys,
      Thanks for the comment and the best wishes. Really great idea and scheme. It's deplorable in my opinion that owners of shops let them get in such states. Thanks for swinging and the best of luck anything you think I can help with my contact details are on this site, don't hesitate to keep me in the loop.