Governance Review

Did You Know?

Parish councils make all kinds of decisions on issues that affect the local community. Probably the most common topics that parish councils get involved with are planning matters (they are statutory consultees), crime prevention, managing open spaces and campaigning for and delivering better services and facilities.

The village of Polzeath is split directly down the middle. At the point of the stream, (the boundary then hugs Tristram cliffs) this causes problems in the day to day management of this hugely popular beach. The entire beach is approximately 160 000sqm (39 acres) of which 96% Is in St Minver Highlands Parish and approximately 5200sqm (1.3 acres) or 4% is in St Minver Lowlands Parish.

The majority of issues in Polzeath are caused from the car park, seasonal traders and ineffective toilets, (Which is in St Minver Lowlands Parish). However both parish Councils are publicly perceived to be responsible for this area.

It makes logical sense for St Minver Highlands PC to be solely responsible for all aspects of Polzeath considering the sizeable acreage of the existing village and beach area already within St Minver Highlands Parish.

Rationale For The Proposed Change

One Official Body

To have one official ‘body’ overseeing the safe and efficient running of Polzeath Beach and surrounding area.

To have the management of any safety and anti social issues contained within one Parish Council, which will result in important issues dealt with in a timely and effective manner (ranging from street trading to dog fowling and everything in between). The existing boundary hinders timely decision making, with two Parish Councils having to combine efforts to govern.

Minimise Public Confusion

To remove any confusion as to which governing ‘body’ oversees any issues, making access to Highlands Parish Council easier for the public

Due to the nature and confusing siting of the existing boundary, it is commonly assumed St Minver Highlands Parish Council is responsible for the entirety of the beach and Polzeath itself. St Minver Highlands Parish Council have had numerous historical correspondence regarding issues which fall outside of Highlands, but DIRECTLY affect our parish. We aim to negate any public confusion with the proposed boundary change.

Core Community

To mindfully promote a core community feel in one of Cornwall’s most popular parish destinations

 St Minver Highlands Parish has an excellent community spirit, to which it deserves a progressive and forward thinking Parish Council, with the due care and attention of our community and all of its assets at its heart.

What are we doing now?

St Minver Highlands were the original instigators of the Polzeath Beach Management Group, which has secured the much needed Beach Ranger at Polzeath. With the existing boundary where it is, the group now consists of 2 councillors from highlands and 2 councillors from Lowlands, our CC ward member and various CC representatives.

We also are involved in the Polzeath Shaping Board, which is looking towards the future and exploring long term goals for the village of Polzeath. These committees and meetings take a huge amount of time to coordinate with both parishes involved.

Our proposed boundary change effectively makes organisation of these important committees easier, in turn giving us quicker response time in dealing with any immediate issues.

What is our goal?

St Minver Highlands Parish Council cares for our community and is looking towards the future. The future of our close community which also has a huge tourism factor involved. With a new boundary to include Polzeath in its entirety, we believe we can effectively and efficiently maintain the day to day management and family ethos of Polzeath and our surrounding area to its maximum potential.

We consider a vital goal to be one of rebuilding the facilities at Polzeath. To include brand new Public Conveniences, Showers, a new Community Room also an office for our much needed Beach Ranger. We are also mindful of costs of this goal and are working towards making this venture cost neutral in the long term.

St Minver Highlands Parish Council wish our parish to be enjoyed by all, residents and tourists alike, with up to date facilities, easy access to our Parish information, connectivity and community spirit.

Unifying Polzeath

To include the entire of ‘Polzeath’ village within the parish of Highlands, including the ‘highlands’ of clifftop land.

St Minver Highlands Parish Council consider the coastal area from Trebetherick point to Tristram to form part of the ‘highlands’ of the landmass area within the combined parishes. St Minver Highlands Parish Council have a long and documented history of clifftop and coastal management, therefore including this area makes logical sense. (The ‘lower’ region of St Minver Highlands Parish is located more inland towards the east, adjacent to the Camel Estuary, therefore logically would be better served under St Minver Lowlands Parish Council as they have more knowledge in dealing with tidal estuary issues and a closer working relationship with the Padstow Harbour Commissioners).

Champion & Promote

To effectively champion and promote our area conducive to the existing family oriented ethos of Polzeath, and all hamlets and villages within St Minver Highlands Parish.

St Minver Highlands Parish Council is well aware of the tourism aspect with our Parish and maintain to provide an excellent and efficient relationship with businesses and residents alike. We are also well aware of inland hamlets, villages and farming communities within our parish, which are predominantly residential year round. We wish to champion our unique flora and fauna regardless of the location within our Parish.

Merging A Mistake?

St Minver Highlands Parish Council firmly believes merging the two parish councils would be a fundamental mistake. With the consideration of workload needed through planning, highways and all other associated groups and committees (Polzeath Beach management group, Polzeath shaping group, cemetery committee etc).
 
We also consider our area is one of a highly sensitive nature owing to the huge influx of tourism in all of our villages.
 
To manage this would, we feel, limit and stretch resources and time, which ultimately will compromise safe and efficient management.
 

Land mass & residents

 By moving to the proposed new boundary, the ‘equality’ between residential numbers and land mass area with mean both ‘new’ parishes would be of similar size and population.
 
Current figures are
  • Lowlands 1162,  
  • Highlands 620
 
After potential boundary change
  • Lowlands decrease to 923
  • Highlands increase to 859

125 Years Of History

St Minver Highlands Parish Council is 125 years old on 4 December 2019! This is a poem from circa 1895…

‘A lovely place is Polseath Beach,
Unto Pentire cliffs it reach,
As I have been told by some about,
It is a mile when tide is out.
There hundreds come from all around,
To see what splendid scenes abound,
And walk the sands with many more,
That’s found upon the ocean shore
And Polseath now may still improve.’