Tag Archives: Penzance

Vote Julie!

Back’long, Penzance world-champion kickboxer Julie Kitchen was denied a chance to carry the Olympic torch through West Cornwall in favour of some up-country people which seemed a little unfair. Julie is a 14x Muaythai World Title holder and is probably the best female fighter/boxer in the world.
She’s a great ambassador for her sport and for Penzance and Cornwall and a fantastic role-model for Cornish youngsters. However, in my opinion, she’s woefully unrecognised.

Kernow’s Julie Kitchen

Penzance Town Council have deciced to give the ‘Freedom of the Town’ to somebody either, ‘born, brought up or resident in Penzance and the surrounding parish’ which leads to some random suggestions such as Mike Luke, Jan Harvey and Caroline Jackson. Hollywood make-up pedlar and actress Thandie Newton is up there too.

Obviously Olympic gold medal winner Helen Glover has been put forward as well but I feel this accolade in terms of a sporting hero ought to go to Julie.

Vote for who you like but I feel this hard-working young woman deserves this.

Vote below:

http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/VOTE-Freedom-Penzance-recognise-achievement/story-17056453-detail/story.html

N.B. An Helghyer neither knows Julie nor has anything to do with kickboxing.

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BIH Withdraws Plans

So British International Helicopters (BIH), pulls out of Penzance, where it flies back and forth to the islands as it has done since 1964. Now it sells the land to supermarket giant Sainsbury’s. Apparently the only way the company can continue is if this sale takes place. Putting to one side (for the moment) the fact that Penzance does not need another supermarket, being served by no less than Co-op, Tesco and Morrisons (sometimes in multiples!), Penzance is the ideal town from which to fly a helicopter service to the islands (presumably why they put it there in the first place!). Next, it decides it wants to relocate several miles up the A30 to the small village of St Erth. The people of said village rightly say, ‘bugger that!’ and a few days after general feeling is made known through a public meeting, BIH pull their planning application and suddenly there’s talk of re-locating to Newquay airport, (where BIH already have their Navy support and aircraft maintenance services).

Call me cynical but all this smacks of smoke-screen. BIH have withdrawn too easily!  They (BIH) would hope, that the furore over in St Erth would detract from the sale of land for an erection of a Sainsbury’s and in some ways it has. Protesting, in the form of multiple banners and signage has occured along the A30 in the proposed new heliport area, while in Penzance, supermarket planning has gone through, almost as a fait accompli, with some councillors and civic leaders zipping up their collective fly and claiming no harm will come to the independent trader of Penzance.
The town is about to get the equivalent of foreign aid turning up with salt water and pirates!

From an aesthetic point of view, is another supermarket a good replacement for a vital transport link on the approach to Penzance?

You’re driving west, down the A30 towards Penzance. What are you greeted with? First off, the stench from McDonalds and KFC; then the unbelievably expensive road signs that wouldn’t look out of place on the M25, coupled with a round-about that defies all road-sense and the Highway Code. Next there’s, Morrisons, Halfords and B&Q and then… Sainsbury’s! But there will be a park and ride to save you the two minute drive into one of Penzance’s ridiculously priced car-parks!

So, the islanders who need to nip back to the mainland will no longer have the closest (and quickest) port of call. A town which is synonomous with the Islands and easy for visitors to access, will no longer have its aerial link. What it will have, is a new shopping ‘experience’ and somewhere for visitors to park their car to get bussed down the road.

Having the heli-link in Newquay is like having the ferry link in Falmouth. Ridiculous! The latter of course, was another outright lie put forth by the ‘great and good’, the former however, looks to be a reality.

The residents of St Erth were right to object – Penzance is where the helicopter should fly from, it’s just a shame that the wheels, or in this case, the blades, of big business are put above the needs of ordinary people.


Hospital Demo

Hands Off Our Hospital

On Saturday December 3rd, a demonstration will be held against cuts to some of the services of West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance.
Hands Off Our Hospital – a new campaign established to fight against cuts towards WCH, has issued a demand to have services such as a recently closed ward with 28 beds, re-opened and for the installment of a permanent 24 hour doctor in the Accident and Emergency department.

Long, has been the battle for WCH, with marches taking place over the years, while ‘Royal’ Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) do everything they can to diminish care in Penwith whilst sticking two fingers up at the tax-paying populace.

Most people would agree that it is an affront that the people of West Penwith have to travel a round-trip of up to 75 miles to Treliske for services that should be closer to home. This is a greater distance than a round-trip from Liverpool to Manchester! Would the people of these cities tolerate this?
Having no 24-hour doctor-led acute care also puts lives at risk.

As father says, “Who’s takin’ the piss outta who?”.

Join in the demonstration/march at 11am on Saturday December 3rd, outside St John’s Hall, Penzance.


The Enemy Within

Cornwall and her people have a lot to contend with day to day: low wages; high unemployment; house prices beyond the reach (and then some) of the ordinary hard-working Cornish person; the usual misrepresentation of who they are and where they are; crass overdevelopment in our towns for the benefit of others, (not the folk of Cornwall but the folk from Anytown, England); visitors who, not content with their idyllic holiday, feel the need to spout the virtues of their ideal i.e. a ‘nice hotel’ built smack-bang on the cliffs of one of West Cornwall’s stunning vistas, thinking that would be better than fields, burras and an unspoilt view of the Atlantic looking toward the Scillies!

Wading through that mire, is tough enough but made particularly tougher when you suddenly find yourself fighting a fellow countryman – the enemy within.

There are in Cornwall today, certain folk who are regarded by many, myself included, as Quislings. There is a long antecedent in Cornwall – types like John Kessell, who in the 1549 Anglo/Cornish War betrayed his employer Humphrey Arundell by supplying the English Army with the military plans of the Cornish forces of whom Arundell was Commander. Others of that period included Sir William Godolphin. Later; the oft sung bishop, Sir Jonathan Trelawny, relayed Cornish Stannary Parliament proceedings to the English Parliament in London.
In terms of today, of the many, one sticks in my craw more than most. Councillor Graeme Hicks.
Years ago as an Independent councillor in Redruth, Hicks stood by the people and fought for them, giving them a voice, making changes and generally being, what a good local boy turned councillor ought to be.
Fast forward to the juggernaut that became the unwanted Unitary Authority and suddenly, the Hicks we all knew and loved, turned in to some festering monster, dinged up behind a desk at Duchy Hall with a new title and a bewildering, new outlook. The new ‘Cabinet Member for Transportation and Highways’ was to become a figure of hate, particularly in West Cornwall.
Of the many things he is responsible, (these days, his abuse and strange descisions, flying in the face of Kernow, history and heritage, seem to know no bounds!) most will associate him with the ferry-link debacle in Penzance. Not content with abusing the electorate and those who dared to disagree, he rode rough-shod over democracy – when plans for his farcical Option A were rejected by the Council’s own Planning Dept. (an overwhelming majority of Cornish residents had objected), he smacked them through again, though this time to be, somewhat, suprisingly granted. ‘Surprisingly’, as the same people had objected yet again!
More abuse toward the electorate followed and it finally came to a head a few months ago when the Department for Transport refused to fund the by now maniacal Hicks’ and cronies’ plan.

The whole farce cost the rate-payer of Cornwall £724,606.32!
Broken down, it looks like this:
ECI contractor (design preparation) £463,507.96
Legal & internal consultancy £227,326.81
Other Costs £33,771.55
(All history of the above can be found online)

Curious to know what those ‘other costs’ included.

So, how does this make Cllr. Hicks a Quisling? Good question!
What turns a man who fought and spoke for Cornish folk in his ward? A man who seemed to want to make their lives better and to see a better environment surrounding them and no doubt had the same outlook for the rest of Kernow? How does the same become what has been described above? What happened?
Presumably with the foundation of the UA some councillors were give a set of cloth ears as standard, (with Hicks at the front of the queue). Perhaps being given a grandiose title and being part of a ‘cabinet’ went to their heads?
Or maybe something else…
I’m not saying any councillor including Hicks was tapped by a certain jug-eared secret monarch of a certain Celtic Nation but I bet I know what’s in his biscuit tin