Having arrived early in order to make my affirmation of acceptance of the duties and responsibilities of a councillor I sat down with some trepidation to await the start of my first Illogan Parish Council meeting.
It was a lively enough meeting - there was evidence of tensions between various groups of Councillors - a sign of things to come I suppose.
I had submitted two motions to be voted on. I had asked IPC to take the appropriate action to sort out a verge on one of the main roads into Ilogan. The embarassing state of this verge had been raised several times when I was knocking doors during my election campaign. The council agreed to take action to sort this out.
Another issue that had been raised by parishioners was the vegetation encroaching on a footpath along Bassett Road. The vegetation (as well as looking untidy) is becoming a health and safety issue as it was narrowing the footpath. I am pleased to report that appropriate action to sort this problem out was also agreed.
During the meeting the progress on the Illogan Parish Plan was discussed. I pointed out that the original questionnaire contained no references to the celebration of Cornish history or culture. It was stated that as it was the Illogan Parish Plan the intention had been to concentrate on what was happening in Illogan. I was pleased when it was confirmed that Illogan was at least in Cornwall and I was subsequently assured that the people of Illogan had brought up ideas around Cornish history and culture, during the recent roadshow, and that there would be scope for including events and activities around this important subject within the plan.
Over the last few weeks I have discovered the answer to the question that I was posed on numerous occaisons before the election. The reason that the people of Illogan were not sent ballot cards or informed about the election was because IPC had decided not to pay for this to happen.
On one hand I can understand the need for good housekeeping and keeping costs down. However, I think it is difficult to put a price on democracy and I will not vote in favour of this policy for future by-elections.
On a final positive note IPC has recently agreed to support an application to Cornwall Council to supply a street sign for Tregullan. For some strange reason there isn't one at the moment which causes residents all sorts of problems!