During visits to Coverack in the past week, I witnessed the most amazing effort to bring some form of normality to this coastal village. Devastation would describe the scene following the flash flood on Tuesday and everyone pulled together from the outset to clear up and repair the area. Teams from Cormac, the Environment Agency, RNAS Culdrose, the Fire Service, Coastguard, the parish and volunteers from further afield, including the international NGO Khalsa Aid, combined forces to bring about a remarkable turnaround that has made a difficult situation very much better. Lighter moments include the Methodist Minister’s reluctance to speak to the media because she was concerned about what she might have on her hands after sorting belongings from the mud and a home-owner determined to take selfies with his wife loading silt from the garden into a borrowed wheelbarrow. Unbelievable as it may seem, the road is open and little is left of the debris collected and then deposited by the flood water. The media have moved on and various professionals have done their jobs. However, whilst homes are still drying out and businesses being refurbished, it is vital that all the repair work is adequately funded and completed as soon as possible. I’ve assured the Parish Council that I will continue to work with them and their community to find ways to ensure this is the case.
There is an urgent need for Cornwall Council to support residents of Penzance and, in particular of Chapel Street, who are seeking decisive action to save the former Ganges building. In 2012 officers wrote in response to pleas for help promising to ‘progress as quickly as possible the most appropriate course of action to secure the preservation of the building in view of its condition’. Following the very effective ‘savetheganges’ campaign by local residents, people are much more aware of this derelict building and hate to see it fall into further disrepair. The building is Grade 2 listed and remains in urgent need of love, tender care and renewed purpose. Something I am supporting local residents towards and something the council has powers to deliver.