Last night we had the second informal meeting for the Launceston Community Network Panel. As it was still informal (in other words, the Cabinet had not yet signed off on the formal functions and powers of the Networks), we decided to invite two organisations who are not controlled by the Council to come and make presentations about their work.
And so we heard from Sgt Aaron Ward and his colleagues from the Police about their work and priorities. Although the levels of crime in Launceston and the surrounding area are low (averaging 12-18 recorded crimes per week) there are still many concerns. The biggest one in town is to do with parking and parking enforcement. The ability of the Police to enforce anything but obstruction offences has been taken from them. Their replacements - civil enforcement officers - are few in number and their time is limited. I was horrified to hear there are just 5 for the whole of Cornwall and they spend almost no time in the town. In addition, the current signs and lines make most regulations unenforceable. In December this issue will be addressed but we will still need someone to enforce the rules. Launceston Town Council has asked Cornwall Council to allow it to enforce, but has yet to hear back.
In rural areas the biggest problem is speeding and the Police are working with local residents to look at this.
We then heard from Kate Milton from the Primary Care Trust about health concerns. Kate explained what action the PCT could take to address local health concerns and how they are trying to consult local residents.
At the end of the meeting, Paul O'Brien, the Mayor of the town, asked us to look at how we can work with all the different businesses, community groups and Council departments to promote Launceston as a venue - for businesses and for the houses for workers to live in. This was a great suggestion and we'll try to include that as early as possible in our work programme.