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Chairman's blog

16 April 2015

If you mention athletics in Cornwall the name Alan Rowling will soon come into the conversation.  I recently had the privilege of assisting the Lord Lieutenant when he presented Alan with his BEM honour at Tehidy Golf Club on behalf of the Queen.  More than 100 relatives and friends from the world of athletics were there to celebrate with Alan as he was presented with his award.  The citation was lengthy as Alan has done so much for Cornish Athletics raising it to a standard that has meant our athletes are not disadvantaged by living so far away from London.  My congratulations to Alan he is a truly deserving recipient of such a prestigious award.


The Prince’s Trust really does some sterling work helping disadvantaged young people. I attended the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Prince’s Trust Pass Out Parade on Wednesday 15 April at the Eden Project.  It was a perfect day and a memorable event held in a fantastic location – a really great way to spend an afternoon. The transformation brought about by the course on the lives of the young people who took part was so apparent. The course providers had laid on an excellent varied and exciting series of events.  The residential aspect of the course introduced a level of routine that came as a shock to some!  Without exception they all rated the experience very highly and felt that they had gained so much.  It was a privilege to be a part of the award ceremony and a real joy to meet so many of the parents and helpers. I wish all the young people well for the future and hope that they all manage to secure employment.

Some really wonderful opportunities come my way as Chairman of the Council.  Yesterday on behalf of the council and the people of Cornwall I was able to welcome HMS Argos back to Falmouth.  She has been away for six months on a unique mission, sailing thousands of miles to Sierra Leone and assisting in the fight against ebola.   It was most interesting to learn about their expedition and the logistics involved.  What appears in the media as something quite straightforward to achieve was a truly herculean task.  They achieved so much and delivered not only aid but also reassurance to the people that we do care.  Understandably so much of Sierra Leone’s economy is in ruins with businesses closed as foreign nationals have fled the country and tourism is non-existent.  It will take years for the country to recover.

HMS Argos not only delivered supplies and expertise but also gave the people hope for the future and did so much for our reputation in that part of the world.

It was great to chat on the dock side to many of the excited children and their families who stood in the cold waiting for their loved ones.  Argos is now back where she belongs and as one local said to me “the view out of my bedroom window has had something missing for months but now that has been put right”.

So welcome back Argos, we have missed you but Falmouth and Cornwall is very proud of you and so pleased to see you all safely home.

The Navy has been in town and I do hope that many of you were able to get to Falmouth to see the visiting fleet of NATO warships.  Ten ships from many different navies are working together on ordnance clearing exercises and they were welcomed to Falmouth by the Mayor and Mayoress, John and Linda Body.  On the Thursday before Easter I was delighted to host a Cornish cream tea afternoon reception in order that the Commanders, Captains and their senior personnel were able to meet the majority of our Mayors from up and down the Duchy.  It was an interesting and useful occasion and quite fascinating to learn how such differing naval cultures can come together to work for a common cause.  Falmouth received the bonus of having over 600 Navy personnel allowed on shore visits and Cornwall had the opportunity to promote itself to a wide audience which will hopefully result in more tourism in the future.

My Easter highlight - even better than the glorious weather - was the Cornwall Youth Brass Band Concert held at St Michael’s Church Newquay on Easter Monday.  What can I say?  All of the CYBB concerts are excellent, the standard is exceptional, but this one was just amazing. The young musicians had worked so hard and it all came together so well.  They were all pleased with their performance and justly proud.  Seventy young musicians from all parts of the Duchy performed and represented many different bands.  Seeing these talented and dedicated young people performing so well makes me want to yell at the ‘doubters’, the’ doom mongers’ and all those who denigrate our young people.  Please support our aspiring youth and do attend some of their performances and you really will see what young Cornish people can do.


Room 3E:01,
County Hall
Treyew Road