St Minver Lowlands Parish Council Annual Report



ON WEDNESDAY, 18th MAY 2011 @ 7.30pm


Cllr. Mrs Mould (Chairman)

Cllr. Taper

Cllr. Mrs Webb


Mr Jolyon Sharpe (CC)

PC Taylor

Mr Warren Jago (PHC)


Mrs Alison Cox (Scouts)

Mr David Short (PARA)

Mr David Wills (Cemetery)


Mrs Jago


Mrs Thompson (Clerk)



Chairman’s Welcome – Cllr. Mrs Mould welcomed those present.


Apologies – Cllrs. Blewett, Gibson, Gilbert, Gisbourne, Morgan, Rathbone and Taper; Mr Brian Crank (The Link); Mr Henry Cavender, (Tubestation); Mr Alan Duncan (RNLI).


Parish Council Reports – Cllr. Mould, Chairman.

I would like to begin by saying what a pleasure it is to be delivering this report having been elected Chair for another year. I would like to thank all Lowlands Parish Councillors for their continued support and to congratulate Cllr. Gail Webb on being elected Vice Chair. Gail replaces Sharon Gilbert and I would like to thank Sharon for all her hard work and support. Everything we do would not be possible without our Clerk, Gillian Thompson, she ensures the smooth running of the Council at all times and we need to congratulate her on steering the council to being awarded Quality Status. She has chosen to have the certificate posted to her rather than have it presented, so I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank her on behalf of us all.

We continue to have 2 meetings a month and although of late we have seen a drop in the number of planning applications, both meetings seem to have full Agendas.

Footpaths – we have been notified by Cornwall Council the amount of Grant Money allocated to us for keeping our footpaths cut. It is enough to cover the cost of two cuts a year but our precept will have to fund any extra work that may be needed. The grant only covers the cost of cutting 1 meter width and side growth, any overhead cutting costs extra and we are asked to remind landowners that if your property borders a footpath it is your responsibility to keep any overhang cut. Also I would like to ask all Parishoners who have hedges bordering the road to please ensure that they do not encroach upon the highway, overhang pavements or obscure yellow lines. If we are unable to resolve these issues CC have informed us they will cut the hedges and invoice the householder accordingly. We also have complaints about people placing stones along their boundary with the road. We would remind you that you are responsible for any damage that may be caused to any vehicle – very often the verges are the only means of cars passing each other.

Highways – potholes continue to be a problem; please let us know of any new ones that appear and we will report them. The proposals for double yellow lining at Rock, Polzeath and Port Issac have been advertised and we hope to know the outcome by the end of May. There have been some road closures especially at Trewint for repairs and surface dressing, and we are very keen to get the repairs underway for the road through Penmayne. Highways advise us work is scheduled for later this year to repair and resurface, we feel it is long overdue. The new developments at Dingles Way have been a huge success but the amount of heavy lorries using the narrow road has damaged the verges and road surface and the people who live in Penmayne have been very patient, but understandably want the road restored as soon as possible.

We continue to keep in regular contact with Padstow Harbour Commissioners, Beach Rangers, and other local bodies some of whom will have a report to deliver later. Minutes of meetings are sent to Highlands PC and vice versa, we keep up-to-date with CC affairs via our County Councillor, Brian Gisbourne, and I would like to thank him for all his hard work on behalf of both Parishes and for the effort he makes to attend all the PC meetings. His input is invaluable in keeping us informed of the seemingly unending changes at County Hall.

Finally, I would like to say that I hope you have all had a chance to look at our proposals for the Trewint Playing Field in The Link magazine or the Cornwall Advertiser. Our aim is to draw up an initial plan for consultation when we have assessed the feedback so please let us know your views. Our website continues to be updated regularly and is an excellent way to contact your council and to read the minutes of our meetings.

Income And Expenditure Account 2010/11 Summary

INCOME 2009/10






INCOME 2010/11





Brought forward



Council Chamber



Brought forward



Council Chamber


Bank interest






Bank interest



















Amenities/ Maintenance











VAT input






VAT input


VAT refund






VAT refund



















Carried forward






Carried forward















Police Report – PC Malcolm Taylor.

Crime Figures – I wish to start with some general information concerning Home Office figures released at the end of January, which placed Devon & Cornwall as the third safest force area in England & Wales, with 53 crimes per 1,000 people over a 12 month period to September 2010. That compares to 76 nationally and 63 in the South West region, making Devon & Cornwall one of the safest places to live, work and visit. We are outperforming the national average which has seen crime fall by 7% and in the South West region by 9%.

Although this is encouraging news, I wish to inform you of more up-to-date information for your local areas as follows: for the period from 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011 we have recorded a total of 65 crimes which is one less than last year’s figures of 66 crimes. I wish to provide the following breakdown to give a more accurate picture for an overall comparison.

Theft 20 this year, last year 28.
Assaults 8 this year, last year 2.
Criminal damage 8 this year, last year 12.
Burglary 23 this year, last year 19.
Alcohol related 4 this year, last year 2.
Sexual 2 this year, last year 0.
Drugs 0 this year, last year 2.

The one obvious figure that stand out and is of some concern is the number of burglaries, with a further increase again this year from 19 2o 23, an increase of 4. these relate to three locations: Treverrow (back of the Pavillion Buildings, in Rock), St Moritz Villas and on the Greenaways in Trebetherick.

Current Trends – again, I have to report that throughout the Wadebridge area we have been victim to several fuel and oil thefts, covering both commercial and domestic premises. These have generally been confined to isolated properties and second homes o holiday homes. We are advising people to take additional measures to secure their premises and to take note of any suspicious vehicles or people in the area, at whatever time that may be. We have also had a spate of slate thefts from premise in similar locations.

Pub Watch – this continues to go from strength to strength, with many new Members signing up to cover the areas of both Polzeath and Rock, which has given us a united front of all Licensed premises against any anti-social behaviour in or around those properties. The Committee has recently banned two individuals from Pub Watch.

Other Items – Police Cadets, the first event organised recently with a beach clean at Polzeath. Changes to Police organisation, due to commence on 20th May 2011.

Mr Jago said that with savings of £50M to be made by the Police, this must have an impact on the service to the public, particularly with emergency cover.


Cornwall Council’s Beach Ranger Report – Mr Jolyon Sharpe

Mr Sharpe spoke about the changes that have occurred within Cornwall Council and how his service area would be managed in the future. Budgets are extremely tight and there would be a certain amount of fundraising needed.

As far as the Beach Ranger Service is concerned, CC recognises the good they do and a similar scheme will be extended to the rest of Cornwall. However, there will be a reduction in service, e.g. Polzeath beach will not be cleaned as often, but he was confident that it would not impact on the Blue Flag status.

There had been a terrific start to the season, due mainly to the excellent Easter weather.

With regards to the Beach Management Planning, this will direct the service for the future, including the setting out of future aspirations. Mr Sharpe indicated that the existing plans will have to be reviewed in light of this management plan.

Lifeguards were patrolling Polzeath over Easter and for the main season will be running from the 29th April to the 25th September and a weekend service will be running over the October half-term.

He paid tribute to the volunteers, who keep the Maritime Centre open. More volunteers will be welcome. A recent initiative has been the liaison with the National Trust, who have helped develop a volunteer post to help work with the Centre to broaden the range of activities that will be run throughout the up-an-coming season, such as the Marine Discovery Day scheduled for 2nd June 2011.

He gave a report on the quantity and type of debris that is washed ashore.

The outcome of the annual survey, carried out on August Bank Holiday had produced some interesting results.

Finally, he spoke of the educational visits the service makes to schools. In 2010 they visited 26 schools and gave 51 presentations to a total of 2,637 children.

He was asked if there was to be a BBQ bin on Polzeath Beach. Mr Sharpe confirmed they are being trialled this year.

He was asked about Coasteering. He said it was regrettable that there had not been more dialogue between the operators and St Endellion Parish Council before a ban had been introduced. Mr Jago said the Padstow Harbour Commissioners had licensed one company to operate in Rock. Cllr. Gisbourne said the Council had no option but to ban the operation as this was the advice given by Cornwall Council’s legal department.

Cllr. Taper asked about water quality at Polzeath. Mr Sharpe said this was only a problem in rough weather. The biggest problem is from agricultural run-off.


Padstow Harbour Commissioners – Mr Warren Jago

Mr Jago reported that the Commissioners have just spent £6,500 refurbishing the ladies toilet block in the Rock Quarry Car Park. This has involved knocking the four cubicles into three to allow better access, retiling the walls and floor and replacing the old joinery and doors. We very much hope that the public will treat the block with respect and that we will suffer no more incidents of mindless vandalism.

Cllr. Mould asked if it was morally acceptable to close the toilets in such a busy area. Mr Jago said that the amount of money made on the Rock Car Park was far lower than that for their other car parks. Cllr. Mould said there was already a problem with human faeces.

The waste bin in the Rock Car Park is a bit of a problem to us – Cornwall Council have sometimes left it for 2 weeks before emptying – this means that the bin is usually overflowing with rubbish left on top or alongside it. Providing another bin will just attract more rubbish (and increase costs) and lockingit will just mean the rubbish will be left alongside it. The problem appears to be that we are not just dealing with our own waste – there are many discarded household appliances and bags of domestic waste, which are obviously coming from private residences or holiday cottages. We installed CCTV to give better security for the dinghy park, but it now appears we will be using it to try and work out who is depositing domestic waste in our commercial bins!

Dog fouling along the coast path and dunes has also been a nasty problem, which appears to be getting worse. PHC are working with Cornwall Council officers to try and improve the situation. The Dog Wardens recently patrolled the area and issued fines to dog owners who did not ‘pick up’. They have promised to come back regularly and have said that they can also act on reports received from PHC’s Beach Masters if they witness this ani-social act. PHC have also requested that the dog waste bin is moved from the 10mph sign near the Golf Club Road to the Rock Quarry car park, where it will be more visible.

PhC have started investigating the idea of expanding the Rock Quarry car park into the small dune area between the car park and the new ‘Rock Inn development’ but as the area is part of a SSSI, there is no point in submitting any planning application before consent is reached with Natural England. Natural England have stated they would normally oppose any development in a SSSI but if the ‘socio economic’ factors made the expansion a necessity, they would have to study what grows in this patch during the summer months of this year. Having convinced them that this extra space is essential, we are now awaiting the results of this study before proceeding any further.

Mr Wills asked how many extra cars the extension would accommodate. Mr Jago said 40.

The car park “full” sign on Rock Road has now been installed and is operational – we wait to see how much effect this will have on queuing traffic during this summer season.

The sea wall defences along the front of the dinghy park and Rock Road are now completed – this has been an ongoing programme over several years and our thanks go to Bronco Lane for an excellent job. There is some stone left on the beach, which we could remove, but are hoping it will be of use to the private land owner adjacent to our leased area, who is apparently going to continue the scheme further along the area where the wood sleeper wall is failing. The only regret over the entire project is that environmental bodies did not find favour with PHC’s offer of constructing an additional slipway to allow local gigs to be stored and launched from the redundant hard standing next to the Waterfront Activity Centre.

A major worry to PHC at present is the proposed introduction of a Marine Conservation Zone within the entire estuary. This could effectively stop the sand dredging which is essential to keep the navigational channels open. It could also prevent the laying/moving of moorings and may impact on any future developments, maintenance of existing structures and the aquaculture businesses that have started to prosper.

In the Harbour Master’s opinion the estuary is already very well protected by legislation such as the Water Framework Directive, The Water Resources Act, The Environmental Protection Act, Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, Food and Environmental Protection Act, the Coast Protection Act and many local byelaws. What will be gained from any further bureaucracy is difficult to ascertain, however, the potential for a very negative impact on the local economy and jobs is very clear to see.

Other projects that have been carried out by the Commissioners in the area last year include additional dredging to try and clear the channel to the Rock pontoon / moorings, replacement of the rotten walls alongside the footpath and outside the ladies’ toilets and continue support of Cornwall Council in the works to improve the paths and ecology around the Rock Sand Dunes area.

We look forward to continuing our excellent relationship and working with the local councils in the coming year.


St Minver Cemetery Committee – Mr David Wills

Cllr. Mould wished Mr Wills many happy returns.

Mr Wills said unfortunately it had been a busy year for us – with 10 burials and 4 ashes interred, 1 grave space reserved and 8 memorials erected.

Mr Olly Bishop has done our mid-term audit and was suitably rewarded.

Mr Paul Soloman is continuing with the maintenance and under the watchful eye of the committee doing, we consider a very good job.

In November St Minver PCC asked us to take over St Enodoc Churchyard, which we agreed to do. As Mr Steve Hewett has been doing the maintenance for several years, we decided to ask him to continue. Mr Bill Nimmo is going to keep an eye on it. St Enodoc maintenance will cost an additional £1,200. Add this to the £10,000 we already spend, and it works out to be a substantial cost to the two Councils. It is difficult to see how this can be reduced and keep them all in the condition we require. It doesn’t seem long ago when this amount of money was all the Councils spent in total.

Capital expenses this year were replanting some Escallonia plants, reinstating the cattle grip and replacing the water tap. Mr Lane and myself have provided and planted a new tree on the turning circle. This is the third time, but it looks a better tree and we consider the planting to have been a more professional job. We also put in more daffodil bulbs.

I would like to thank Ms Mary Dunn, who has taken on the Clerk’s job from her father and is doing an excellent job.

I cannot thank all my committee members enough for all their help and support.
Mr Wills then referred to St Minver Lowlands Parish Council’s decision to request a quotation to maintain the churchyards in its area.

He explained that a joint Cemetery Committee had originally been created to manage the churchyards because the alternative was for the closed churchyards to be passed to the Cornwall Council and the costs then passed back to each individual Parish council. The split in the costs had, until recently been 66.6% paid by Lowlands and 33.3% paid by Highlands. This had now been revised to a split of 60% to 40%, to reflect the population split.

Mr Wills was asked for a breakdown on the annual grass cutting costs for each individual churchyard (there are additional maintenance costs). It was pointed out that based on these figures, the split was very unfavourable to St Minver Lowlands Parish Council.

  • Lowlands
    • St Enodoc = £1,200
    • St Michael’s, Porthilly = £1,710
    • TOTAL = £2,910
  • Highlands
    • St Menefreda Churchyard = £3,420
    • Top of Cemetery = £630
    • New cemetery = £1,890
    • TOTAL = £5,940

St Minver Scouts – Ms Alison Cox

Ms Cox said there are currently 15 Beavers and all is progressing well. When the children reach the age of Explorer Scouts they go to Wadebridge.

She was thanked for all her work in making this possible. 


Polzeath Area Residents’ Association and Activity Support Group Members – Mr David Short

Mr Short reported PARA has a full Committee of 12 members, and for the first time a named group of Activity Support Group Members these are co-opted member who liaise or assist with specific joint activities of Para and other parties.

PARA Activities which is aimed at supporting the community in the following ways: organising two evening events; one an antiques evening and the other a music evening.

The annual Carol Concert was combined with the switching on of the St Minver Lights. A Cookery course was organized at the Trebetherick Stores for which a grant of £675 was received from the Donor Fund of Cornwall Community Foundation. The Computer Club which meets every two weeks at the Tubestation continues to be popular and last year (autumn and Spring Terms Only) use 128 places.

One driver retired from the Hospital car service but we were fortunate to recruit another driver, Mr. Gary Cooper.

PARA supported PVMCA with funding for equipment which included a microscope. Also a small bursary was given to the volunteer working with NT and PVMCA


Meeting Closed – 21.25.


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