Annual Parish Meeting & Annual Council Meeting 2024

It’s fair to say that it was the greatest number of local groups and organisations that gave annual updates to the Altarnun Annual Parish Meeting held in the Village Hall on 8th May. In all, 27 reports were delivered on the evening, all of which are published on the Parish Council website ‘altarnunpc.co.uk’.

The representatives included Ruth Simpson on behalf of Penpont Players and Friends of Altarnun School, Ann Rider, for the Knit & Natter & Church Hall Renovation Fund, Roy Rider for the Chatterbox group & Fun on the Green, Helen Naylor for the Craft and Produce Market as well as Community Lunches. Peter Allen kindly delivered on behalf of Altarnun Table Tennis Club, Altarnun Bell Ringers, Altarnun Village Hall, the Tre Pol Pen, Altarnun Local History Society, Altarnun Walkers, Altarnun Twinning Assn, Altarnun Christmas Lights & Altarnun Fun Fortnight. All of these were reported as thriving, apart from the Twinning Association which is suffering from the increasing costs of travel and post Brexit bureaucracy around passports which has made it more difficult to organise exchange visits. However, planning is in progress for a small group from Altarnun to go to Gueltas in late 2024 or early 2025 and that after elections the new Mayor of Gueltas will visit Altarnun. Things might look a little differently by then and hopefully further plans can be drawn for the schools exchange visits.

Ecclesiastical representative Anthony Naylor reported on the Anglican church activities in the parish and also how he his developing links with other denominations and also those on the fringe of Christianity to be inclusive to as many people as possible. It was also pleasing to hear of the church Youth Group being relaunched.

For all these organisations to succeed takes a lot of hard work and there was a common theme throughout, that support for these groups is always welcome because the few that actually run them will not be around forever and continuity planning is key to their continued success. So anyone prepared to share the organisational burden is so very valuable.

A member of the public spoke on the importance of maintaining pressure on the powers that be, to ensure the right outcomes on proposed changes by National Highways to the A30 between Kennards House and Altarnun to avoid villages to the south of the road and Five Lanes being turned into HGV rat runs. Altarnun councillors took this on board together with the County Councillor’s strong objections to the proposals.

Adrian Parsons reported from the perspective of a Cornwall Councillor, stressing how much the cost of living pressures and financial budget cuts are impacting on the councils ability to deliver essential services and maintain our road network to a decent standard. The is a move afoot to sell assets including beaches, green spaces and beauty spots to raise funds to keep going and avoid financial failure as some other local authorities have done. Locally however, the good news has been that both Launceston library and leisure centre have been saved along with free school transport for children ding Launceston College.

The Parish Council annual report echoed Adrian's pessimism on the financial front and it is likely that in the not too distant future the annual precept it receives from Cornwall Council will have to be increased to meet rising costs and financial commitments. The cash reserves remain very positive but are being eaten into to manage day to day costs.

During the year three new councillors joined the ranks at Altarnun Parish Council, Matthew Halls, Glyn Pooley and Steven Masters all born and bred in the parish and it is expected that they will all stand for re-election for the new council due to be enrolled in 2025.

The clerk reported that further Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) grant monies had been received during the year and they were being put to good use in upgrading street furniture around the parish.

Also integral to the parish looking so well is the continued dedication of ‘local hero’ Paul Smart who is out, literally, in all winds and weathers making sure things are right for us. Thank you Paul!

The Annual Parish Council meeting dealt with the usual annual housekeeping matters and review of governance documents. Cllr Craig Dowler was elected as Chair, once again, for the year to May 2025, with Chris Bloomfield remaining as vice chair. Cllr Debbie Branch continues in her role which involves a periodic review of the clerk’s work in respect of the councils finances and related governance matters.

During discussions it was agreed that tasteful signage be erected to highlight the location of our public conveniences., Also, pressure be maintained on Cornwall Housing to address and eradicate the ongoing issues at Penpont View.

Councillors had no objections to four planning applications including the redrawing of plans for a five bed residence on land south of The Anchorage in Trewint. The changes were seen as relatively minor and the proposed development appears to be in keeping with others around it.

The other cases involved a listed building consent for replacement windows at Trebullom House, an amendment to a prior application at Higher Tregirls Farm where there is a pending request to lift holiday let restrictions on a barn and allowing full residential use.

Lastly, there was an application to make further improvements to the Subway restaurant on the A30, which again was deemed to be in keeping with the existing built form and tidying the overall look of the building.

The next council meeting will take place on Wednesday 5th June at 7.30pm in the village hall. In the meantime please remember the clerk can be contacted on tel: 07841780397 or by email: clerkaltarnunpc@gmail.com.