I went to the fantastic Heartlands regeneration project in Pool yesterday, which helped kick off the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall’s three-day visit to the county.
They were greeted by lines of local people who braved the dreadful weather, makeshift rain macs and all, to greet the couple on their visit to the former tin mine, which has been transformed into what’s been described as ‘Cornwall’s cultural playground’.
There was plenty do during their two hours at Heartlands, including a tour of the adventure playground which has been designed by local kids, meeting supporters of the project, checking out the local businesses who make up the market place on the site and unveiling a stone engraved to commemorate the visit and draw links to the area’s mining industry.
Some pictures, which show the weather in its glory, are below. Thankfully, the rain didn’t take the shine off the day for those who were there.
Cornwall’s house price problem hit the headlines again today, with news that local MP Stephen Gilbert can’t afford to buy a house in his constituency.
Mr Gilbert, MP for St Austell and Newquay, put his PR skills to good use by using his own circumstances to highlight the problems faced by locals who have no hope of saving for a 20% deposit in high value areas like Cornwall.
I’ve been working with the HCA and Cornwall Council over the last week to plan the announcement of an investment in Troon, near Camborne.
We announced yesterday that the agency is to invest up to £900,000 in vital work to protect housing from subsidence caused by a derelict mine in the village.
The investment will fund safety engineering work to stabilise 4 ha of ground affecting around 50 homes, and marks a milestone in a long-running project to support residents who have been affected by the problems.
It is hoped that the work will stabilise the ground underneath the homes and halt a decline in property values, which are thought to have fallen as a result of the problems.
The agency has been praised by councillors and local MP (and David Cameron’s former spokesman) George Eustice. I hope the work makes a difference to the village and the lives of the people living there.
Having good quality photography to support our work has been tough to come by for much of this year, thanks mainly to a spending freeze which has virtually stopped all work from being commissioned by the agency. But there has still been the occasional great image to use, often generated by partners who thankfully see the value that decent pictures can add to a story.
Here’s a (small) collection of my more memorable snaps from 2010. Thanks to the partners who supplied these images during the year.
Cornwall’s floods will have posed a huge challenge for the county’s public services and the communication teams that support them.
They will have needed to revert to crisis procedure, with a clear focus on getting vital information and services to areas that most need them, whilst responding to rapidly changing events.
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New homes in Cornwall, delivered by Ocean Housing
The Government’s consultation over its proposed New Homes Bonus should lead to an interesting debate over how local authorities can lead the development of housing in their communities.
It is the first step on the road to delivering the pledge to provide incentives to local authorities to deliver new housing that people of all ages need.
This is welcome, and not least because it highlights one of the most glaring issues facing the country today: that there is not enough housing to meet the needs of local communities.
Often, however, debate about the need for affordable housing loses out to objections about overdevelopment. Any initiative that encourages local people to debate the benefits new housing can bring has to be a good thing.
It’s now up to local leaders to lead the debate. I will be following it with interest.