This is a very new council which came into existence on 4 June 2009, when its 7 councillors, representing the three wards of Charlestown, Duporth and Porthpean/Trenarren, were elected. Prior to this the whole of the St Austell area, including the town itself, was the only unparished area in the county, without any elected representation at a local level, and relying on Restormel Borough Council to promote its interests. As part of the move towards establishing Cornwall as a unitary authority, when all borough councils were to be abolished, plans were made to create new parish and town councils throughout the St Austell area.
Restormel contacted local residents’ groups and other interested parties and, following a public meeting, working groups of interested volunteers were set up to work alongside the existing borough and county councillors in establishing the new parish areas and to prepare for the formation of the new parish councils. These later became Temporary Parish Councils. Plenty of training was provided. Crucially, St Austell Bay Temporary Parish Council consulted with local residents about what is important to them, and the questionnaire results and other feedback was instrumental in helping to guide the new Parish Council.
What we do
Parish Councillors represent their neighbourhood (ward) on the council, and meetings, which occur every month on average, are publicised in advance on the Parish Council noticeboards sited in each ward and on our website. Members of the public are more than welcome to attend, and may speak in the public participation section of the agenda. The range of topics debated includes:
- Campaigning on local issues
- Lobbying other agencies in support of local issues
- Supporting local improvement projects
- Joint working with other councils on issues affecting our parish
- Local planning applications
The Parish Council works closely with Cornwall Councillors, neighbouring parish and town councils, local neighbourhood watch representatives, residents’ associations, environmental groups and other agencies to try to achieve the best possible outcome for our communities commensurate with the amount of funding available through the precept.
To find out more about being a parish councillor http://beacouncillor.co.uk/
The Parish Context
St Austell Bay is a very rural parish, with only 594 homes at present, though a programme of housebuilding in two of the wards will see this rise considerably over the next few years. All three of the wards border St Austell Bay, a beautiful and extensive bay which is enclosed by the Gribben Head and Black Head, and which contains stunning yet secluded beaches, some of them private. It is a peaceful and private locality, yet one with a strong sense of community, and many thriving local organisations. Central to it is the historic World Heritage Site of Charlestown, famous for its harbour and tall ships, used as a location for many film and tv programmes, and justifiably popular with holidaymakers. The Cornish coastal footpath runs right round the seaward boundary of the parish, and many ramblers, both local and visitors, enjoy using this while taking in the panoramic views of Cornwall’s coastline at its best. Others enjoy fishing, sailing, gig rowing, golf, or simply relaxing in the best of what rural Cornwall has to offer.
There is almost no local industry apart from some agriculture and fishing, and only a small number of shops and businesses are located within the parish. However, residents are within easy reach of St Austell, which caters for most needs, and the county town of Truro is just 30 minutes away.
For more details on individual wards please click here.