Friday, 27 January 2012

Launceston's Annual Debate

Last night saw Launceston's annual debate at the Town Hall. More than 70 people came to discuss issues of interest to our town and the surrounding villages.

We had invited Graeme Hicks, the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, to come along with Tim Wood the Assistant Head of the Council's Transportation Service because of the keen interest in buses, roads and parking. Many thanks to Graeme and Tim for coming.

The first key issue was buses. Graeme was able to tell the audience that the decision had been taken to abandon planned cuts and the existing network will be safe for the next two years. The questions he received included:

  • concern about the lack of routes to Bodmin, Truro and beyond;
  • asking for the town bus service to be extended to properly include Stourscombe and Kensey Velley Meadow;
  • concern about what will happen in two years time;
  • anger at the decision by the council to take a Government grant intended for community bus services and use it for other services

We then moved onto the issue of parking and two key themes came up:

  • the high cost of season tickets which is forcing many business owners, residents and workers to abandon car parks and use the streets or private areas
  • the hourly charges which are hitting town centre businesses

Finally we moved onto the issue of streets and highways and there was concern about:

  • parking on zigzag lines
  • 20mph limits outside schools
  • the lack of investment in Launceston's roads for many years

After Graeme and Tim had left we discussed the core strategy and town framework. These are important consultations on the issue of development in Launceston and across Cornwall over the next 20 years. I've covered the key issues here.

After two years in the chair of the Community Network, for the coming year that role will be taken by my colleague Adam Paynter who represents Launceston North on Cornwall Council.

Hopefully there will be a big report in next week's Cornish and Devon Post on the meeting.

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