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131016 | Minutes meeting | Towans Partnership meeting documents

From Towans Partnership site [nb run through OCR so please check original]

Meeting Title: Towans Partnership   
Date:Wednesday, 16 October 2013  
Location:Frank Johns Centre, Hayle  
Chaired by:Dick Goodere  
Attendees:Dick Goodere (DG)
Nick Marriott (NM)
Barrie Bennett (BB)
Douglas Bell (DB)
Michael Roberts (MR)
Sally Foster (SF)
Carol Stevens (CS)
John Bennett (JB)
Anne Marie Rance (AR)
Nick Burt (NB)
Georgina Schofield (GS)
Jacqueline Merrick (JM)
Gwithian Residents
Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Hocking Trust
Sunset Surf
Gwinear Gwithian Parish Council
Gwithian Residents
Devon & Cornwall Police
Hayle Town Council
Save Our Sands
Gwithian Town Ratepayers Association
Community Archive/Hayle Mill Pond
Camborne Town Council
Supporting:Gavin Henderson (GH)
Sue Nicholls (SN)
Terri Winchester (TW)
Cormac Solutions Ltd
Cormac Solutions Ltd
Cormac Solutions Ltd
 Minutes  Action
The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting and asked attendees to introduce themselves and update their contact details on attendance list


John Pollard CC (JP) Vice-Chair
Steve Rumble (SR)
Lionel Pascoe CC (LP)
Debra Marriott (DM)
Rob Jefferies (RJ)
Michael Williams (MW)
Bill Makin (BM)
John Fulker (JF)
Martin Rule (MRu)
Ian Toy (IT)
Phil Drew (PD)
Hamish Gordon (HG)


Cornwall Council
Gwithian Sands Chalets
Cornwall Council
Natural England
Riviere Towans Chalet Management
Landowner Lethlean Towans
National Trust
Devon & Cornwall Police
Towans Project Officer
Gwithian Ratepayers Association
Cormac Solutions Ltd


Notes of Meeting Accuracy
The notes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting

Matters Arising
a) 3a) Proposed planning application for wind turbine was withdrawn – DG has heard that there could be 2 or 3 smaller turbines planned for Prosper Hill
b) 3b) DG met with Jon James who seemed very supportive and agreed to identify someone to sit on the Project Officer Steering Group but now either SN or GH will sit on it. Jon James provided contact names of Jon Haskins for parking and Pete Tatlow for countryside/highways issues – GH said that it is best to go through the call centre rather than try to contact individuals who may not be available
c) 3d) Footpath from Phillack to Mexico Terrace – GH confirmed that when funding is available it will cut back to the definitive line but in the meantime access is via a natural path running parallel to it
d) 3e) Conservation Enhancement Scheme – DG said that MRu has confirmed that signage is in place and ponies are grazing – JB saw the ponies and signage whilst walking his dog this morning and commented that the ponies are very calm
e) 4f) Camping on SSSI – CS said that extra patrols have been out but police have not received many incident reports and are not aware of any camping issues. CS confirmed that police would respond to reports of criminal damage
f) 4l) DG wrote a letter of support regarding the Millponds
g) 6a) BB accepted invitation to this meeting

 4Taken out of agenda sequence
Cormac Solutions Reports On Behalf Of Cornwall Council
a) Beach Management (Senior Beach Ranger) SN
Appendix 1 – report tabled
 1. Licensing of surf schools – other sports are not monitored. Sub-group is meeting again within next few weeks and if landowners decide they want licensing we will have to look at enforcement  
 2. Beach cleaning – well meaning volunteers left bags of rubbish beside the RNLI lifeguard hut. Next year RNLI waste will be classified as commercial. Same landowners as last year continued to clean their sections of beach; please let SN know about volunteer cleans so that she can make CC aware of this work   All
 3. Car parking - SN/GH will follow up on complaints  SN/GH
 4. Dogs on beaches – It was agreed this continued to be a problem between May and September in the dog ban areas. SN said that Tyrone Holmes from GGPC suggested at the Beach Management meeting that he would help to coordinate a multi-agency enforcement day after Easter 
 5. Events – only one application refused this year and that was because of a previous issue with applicant; Duchy wrote a very strong letter of objection 
 6. Hayle Harbour car park – JB said that Pete Haddock has put out 2 bags for rubbish
7. RNLI statistics due out next week Further discussions:
8. JM asked if any beach cleans were done by Camborne Volunteers – SN responded that they were done through Clean Cornwall but if she gets details she will pass information onto to JM. JM worked with the Marine Conservation Society and their interest for recording is linked to tide line but they could collect other rubbish without recording it
 9. Dog friendly beaches – JB said that Penwith used to have a very useful map and he wondered if CC produces one. SN said that dog friendly beaches are listed on Visit Cornwall website. JB said that information should be displayed at all access points to beaches with restrictions. DG observed this is more a Hayle issue because there are dog information stickers on the signs for Gwithian beaches. JB informed that from Phillack Church past the ponies, turn left onto the beach and there are no signs. MR suggested asking if the Parish could push CC for maps. SN said she would ask Rebecca Kirk about maps and SN suggested the Parish could ask about enforcement for dog restrictions 
 10. Dog mess – SF said that owners not picking up after their dogs are a big problem; JB observed that he had never seen anyone not pick up but SF said that she sees people and confronted an owner at St Gothian who was very rude to her. SF suggested dog licensing with chipping and DNA testing of faeces like they do in Germany. DG informed that the problem was recently highlighted at Tuckingmill Valley Park by sticking a flag in the faeces and wondered if the dog mess issue across the Towans was something that MRu could consider as part of the Towans Project. SN said that she knows ‘Dog Watch’ stickers in residential windows worked well in Penzance
11. Surf licences – MR asked if there was financial benefit in licensing surf schools. SN knows that National Trust charge but the majority of the ownership is with Duchy and if they charged there would be an enforcement issue. They could introduce zoning but this would have to be self policing
12. MR asked about businesses operating from car parks and SN explained that if it is a CC car park and we have enough information we can take action but she has not received any reports at the present time. SN is keen to get everyone to work together because some land owners have allowed access through their land onto beaches that they do not own. There is a model from Aberdeen University that CC used in Polzeath and enforcement is key – the working group will report back after their next meeting
 13. SF is not happy that this group are not doing anything about dog mess and suggested leafleting car windscreens; SN advised that this could become a litter issue and that you need a licence to do it - JM supports SF and suggested that volunteers could develop a ‘Dog Watch’ scheme. SN will feed back comments from this meeting to Rebecca Kirk. SF said that Sarah Byham had been very proactive in dealing with dog mess problems. GH said that she organised a ‘YUK’ campaign and whilst it worked for a couple of weeks it was not a long term answer; whereas the Tuckingmill approach is having a longer lasting impact. DG will invite Rebecca Kirk to the next meeting to address problems

b) Progress and work Programme (Countryside Officer) – GH
Appendix 2 – Report tabled
  1. Peter’s Points steps – Phil Drew had requested that work be done in the spring but we have to fit in with college academic year. A perching point will be put in half way up the steps
  2. Fly tipping of tyres at Gwithian Towans
  3. Camping reported but when officers looked the campers had gone


Updates From Local Organisations
Camborne Town Council – JM
a) Camborne Town clerk saw that the planning application for the wind turbine had been withdrawn so no action was taken
Mill Pool - GS
b) Local MP George Eustice contacted Defra and received a reply but it contained misinformation. Defra do not know the history of the pond as they seem to think it is flood defence but it was part of an amenity scheme. GS has made George Eustice aware of the . correct information. Simon Jeffrey’s from Environment Agency has admitted that water level is too low
c) Police attended and removed 2 tents from the island; the campers created a large amount of rubbish. GS’s wants a bridge because easier access could help to resolve issues like this in future. AR view is that we need a holistic approach and asked who paid for 2001 operations. DG said that he had an email from the Hayle Town Clerk who said that the management and ownership was still with CC but Hayle Town Council have been very involved and supportive over a number of years
d) Egrets on the pond now number eight
e) Turtles – there have been 4 new babies this year
Save Our Sands – AR
f) Copperhouse Pool – SOS has approached Hayle Town Council and Hayle Harbour regarding looking after the pool and SOS Chairman Howard Lyons attended a meeting in Falmouth where Professor Birt gave a talk
g) Wheal Jane mining closure report – SOS are talking to Hayle Town Council, Environment Agency, RSPB and Natural England and their aim is to encourage better relations
h) Wilsons Pool – RSPB have approached Hayle Town Council to request that this is encompassed with other works. JB
commented that improvements would make it a better facility and said the Coal Board give funding grants for cleaning up general mining waste
Hayle Town Council - JB
i) The Bluff Black Rocks disabled access received planning permission but La Touche Trust has objected
Devon and Cornwall Police - CS
j) JF who covers this area has no specific issues.

 k) CS asked about unused building near the chimneys at Upton Towans. Her colleague is involved in a rugby club project and would be keen to use it to set up a boxing club. NM said that CWT manages this area and there has been talk in the past about a visitor centre or café. CS will ask her colleague to contact NM to discuss the proposal  CS
 Gwithian Green - SF
l) Butterfly transect ran from 1 April to end of September. Results are not yet finalised but numbers in general have improved especially the Meadow Brown which has increased significantly this year. Data will be sent to Butterfly Conservation’s UKBMS website. DG completed the transect for Uptons Towans which last year recorded the most sightings in the country of the Silverstudded Blue, a UK BAP species.(A species under threat) Numbers of butterflies have increased by 40% over the previous year which indicates the good health of the area. SF said that data from all over the UK is reported to the Government and this could mean funding for further monitoring so recording is extremely important
Gwinear Gwithian Parish Council – MR
m) Presentation for Neighbourhood Plan is on GGPC website - if anyone would like to comment before 1st November please email Vida Perrin. GGPC are developing a Neighbourhood Plan for the whole parish but also working on a Design guide with local residents for Gwithian Towans Chalets. The aim is to retain the nature of the area and be more specific than TM5 or TM8. If it is approved it will become the bottom line of planning for the chalets. The Neighbourhood Plan has to go to referendum and only those on the electoral register will have a vote. The Design Guide is different it does not require a referendum but will require thorough consultation. DB observed that Design Guide is getting to a contentious stage and GRPA are keen to get interim measures in place. The local community group will prepare a document by the end of the year. DB feels that if you are resident or landowner you should have a say but at the moment only those on the electoral role can vote in a referendum
 Charles Hockin Trust - BB
 n) Charles Hockin’s granddaughter inherited the Trust many years ago but advisors live in Australia so things tend to move slowly. In reference to overflow car park and the issue of the right of access over the Common to John Hosking’s farmland BB confirmed that the farmer does not have permission to cross the land belonging to the Trust if the agricultural land is used as a car park. As far as he is concerned there is no legal agreement regarding this matter. BB is happy to put any proposals forward to his client regarding use of land for a car park but legally they could not allow access to continue. DB said he had witnessed blockage for emergency vehicles because the main car park was full but if restrictions had been communicated in advance alternative arrangements could have been made. GH thought that the gate leading to the track was part of the management scheme and he will feedback the matter to CC car park management. BB reiterated that the car park closure was an immediate legal necessity
 Cornwall Wildlife Trust - NM
 o) Chimney car park - access to chalets has come to a head with vehicles parking on the verges so bollards will be put in or boulders placed along the verges
p) Upgrading entrance – consulting members about access improvements, there will be a notice board for changeable information and maps
q) Block Works discharge clean water onto Upton Towans and with Environment Agency and CC agreement they will be removing silt to their own land and NM hope that vegetation will grow over the area within the next year
r) Scrub cutting at Loggans Moor
 6Any Other Business
Project Officer working Group (JB/MR/DG/GH)
 a) Went out to tender and received 5 respondents, they interviewed 2 and Martin Rule has accepted the appointment Steering Group has had one meeting with Martin and he will be contacting each member of the partnership. DG said that Martin will ask 3 basic questions:
a. What are the key issues
b. What would you like the ranger to do
c. Would you commit funding to the post for the next 5 years
After initial contacts Martin will provide an evidenced based report to the steering group and feedback at the January partnership meeting. Urgent issue is to get logo and letterhead, to this end JB/MR will meet with Nixon Design. Towans Partnership should have a website and DG asked if anyone with web experience wanted to volunteer to design it. JM commented that Camborne Town Council are paying to have their website smartened up and feels it is important for it to look professional. JM suggested it would be nice to involve local school children in a completion to design the logo; DG agreed but explained that the time factor means we need to get it done quickly. SF thanked all on the steering group adding that it is amazing what can be achieved by working together. DG on behalf of the partnership will write a letter of support for Martin Rule to introduce himself to interested parties. MR said that a good website would £2-3K
b) Water Framework Directive – Tom Fletcher from Environment Agency has been invited to the January meeting

Date Of next Meeting
Provisional dates for 2014 – venue will be Frank Johns Centre, Hayle unless advised otherwise

  • Wednesday 22 January 2014
  • Wednesday 23 April 2014
  • Wednesday 23 July 2014
  • Wednesday 22 October 2014
  Appendix 1

 Towans Partnership Meeting – 16th October 2013

Report from Sue Nicholls, Senior Beach Ranger,

CORMAC Environment Team

• The Hayle Beach Advisory Group (sub group of the Towans Partnership) met on Friday 11th October. The main points discussed at this meeting were:
1) Licensing of surf schools. This season has seen an increase in surf schools operating off the Hayle beaches which at times has caused issues for the RNLI Lifeguards when trying to manage the black/white flagged areas. Consequently it was agreed that the sub group would meet again in the next few weeks just to discuss how to manage surf schools and any licensing which was introduced by landowners. The invitee list will be extended to include those inland owners (i.e. campsite owners) who may be permitting schools to access their land to get to the beach as they need to have an overview of the impact this could have on the beach itself. Although this needs to be managed it has been acknowledged that it needs to be done so without further detriment to the area.  
Beach cleaning. Although the Beach Ranger has not received many direct complaints about litter on the beaches it was reported in the meeting that in general the area between Peter’s Point – St Ives Bay is very dirty because there is no-one cleaning it. It appears there are people undertaking regular voluntary cleaning i.e. students from some surf schools and surf action but these are not being recorded so the Beach Ranger has asked that anyone involved with any regular cleans let her know so the details can be logged.  
3) There were some complaints about car parking and the way in which the car park was managed with the closure of the overflow car park but as this was not reported to either the Beach Ranger or Countryside Sites & Trails Officer during the season little action seems to have been taken. Doug Bell, Sunset Surf had emailed the Car Parks Operation Manager and apparently not received a reply so the Beach Ranger has suggested that he copy her in on any similar emails as she may be able to help follow up any future problems. In the meantime the Countryside Sites & Trails Officer said he would liaise with the Car Parks Operations Manager over the concerns raised. Complaints regarding the toilet opening times were also raised as apparently the toilets were open late some days but again this was not reported to anyone in countryside or beach management.  
4) Dogs on the beaches are still an issue which is causing concern and it was suggested by Councillor Tyrone Homes that the Parish Council be notified as they may be able to help organise for Cornwall Council enforcement officers to spend a day at Gwithian next season to undertake education/enforcement.  
5) Events have gone well this season and there are no more events scheduled for this year (at the time of writing this report). There are still ad hoc events happening but it is hoped more people will become aware of Cornwall Council’s online event process following some publicity work. Councillor Homes also suggested that Gwinear Gwithian Parish Council would be willing to include something on their website linking it to the Council site and also to include information in their Parish magazine. The Beach Ranger is going to write something to enable this to happen in the near future. It has also been agreed that the moratorium on events will continue with July and August being kept free of events.  
  • Complaints were received about litter in the car park owned by Hayle Harbour. The Beach Ranger was able to liaise with the Council’s Waste Team and get Cory to do a one off clean. Pete Haddock was quick to respond and was going to keep a regular eye on the area as well as conducting litter picks as/when he could with the limited staff resources he has. The difficulty is because of a lack of a litter bin here people are filling the dog bin with normal litter but the Harbour Master is trying to get a budget so they can provide a litter bin there in future. The Beach Ranger has liaised with Clean Cornwall and it is hoped that a volunteer group from Camborne may be interested in doing some cleans in this area.
  • The RNLI statistics for this season are still being collated and will be available at the next meeting. The lifeguards have an extended service on Gwithian beach and will continue to cover weekends in October and then the half term week 26th October – 3rd November when they finish for the season.

Appendix 2
Gwithian Towans & St Gothian Sands LNRs

Report to Towans Partnership Group

October 2013

Gavin Henderson
Sites and Trails Officer
CORMAC Solutions Ltd


 Management work and other issues arising since the last meeting

  • There was a lot of ragwort evident on the Towans during the latter part of July and August. Some work was carried out to control this by hand pulling with the assistance of volunteers co-ordinated by The Conservation Volunteers in the areas to be grazed on Gwithian Towans this winter.
  • Over the summer there were a few incidents of fly tipping and litter left from parties in the dunes. We received only one report of people camping on Gwithian Towans and on inspection found that they had already moved on.

Works planned in the next 3 months

  • A group of Duchy College students are planning to spend a day carrying out maintenance work to the steps and drainage bars on the beach access path at Peter’s Point.
  • Shetland ponies will again be borrowed from Natural England to graze targeted areas of Gwithian Towans for approximately 3 months from January. As in previous years they will be managed by the use of temporary electric fencing.
  • Scrub control will be carried out on Gwithian Towans during December/January to prevent further encroachment of some of the larger areas of scrub into the dune grassland.

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