Monday, 9 March 2015

Penzance TC votes yes to BID, for weed spraying and no to MCZ

An interesting and animated town council meeting this evening, with a full agenda covering a diverse range of topics.  Hereafter the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Starting with the good, there were 2 presentations beforehand one on Jubilee Pool and another on the Business Improvement District. The pool continues to progress well and there still on track for an Easter 2016 opening. With the final details and engineering problems to fix and finalise Cornwall Council are assuming a 10 month construction period. 

The BID seems to be progressing well and the businesses of Penzance are voting (by post) at the moment.  As the town council owns 2 non domestic properties that are above the minimum threshold, Penlee House and Gallery and Penlee car park, we got to have our say. Councillors were pretty much all in support and voted yes (as did I).

The bad, well weed spraying is and isn't bad. It is dissapointing that Cornwall Council no longer do it, thanks to Conservative and Liberal Democrat austerity. Personally I'd prefer good old fashioned weeding to chemical spraying and I don't really object to weeds to be honest and if I was that bothered I'd buy a trowel. But this is a democracy and I know from the emails I receive people do care about it, so I did join with all those councillors present to vote to take on weed spraying and appoint a contractor.

As for the ugly, it was put to the town council to respond to the consultation about the proposed Maritime Conservation Zone for Mount's Bay. Which will encompass the area around St Michael's Mount from Cudden Point west and inland to Long Rock. In order to protect key inshore species of sea grass, rare jelly fishes and giant gobies. Which would manage this are but not necessarily restrict leisure and fishing activities and should not affect what already goes on.

The debate at council revolved around the need for weight to be given to the harbour and a possible break water. The recommendation I feel reflected these views with support for the MCZ so long as it didn't impact upon infrastructure, something I spoke in favour of and voted for. This was not passed however and instead the council voted to not support the MCZ as it might (or indeed might not) impact upon future dredging and dumping of that spoil at sea. I don't agree that dredging spoil should be dumped into inshore waters as it is at the moment. The debate then descended into a farce as councillors couldn't work out whether we were voting on a new MCZ or an extension to an existing one. So much for informed debate!

The Mount's Bay MCZ consultation pdf is here.

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