Monday, 22 June 2015

Pain au Chocolat

You know what it's like.. stopped off at the garage for a pain au chocolat (can't beat the smell and hot choccy chips... just the thought makes me gooey) and what do ya know? All gone! Deep disappointment. Without hesitation I went straight into Plan B. A sausage roll at that time of the morning isn't right. Neither's a bacon and tomato turnover. I closed my eyes, reached out to the counter and took a lucky dip grab at the line up of hot plastic bags. Jackpot! Turned out I'd won a sausage bap, I can go with that. Get to the counter and there's a two for one deal on the Giant buttons! Giant Buttons follow the Jaffa Cake rule. Once the seal is broken you have to empty the packet. It's always been that way. So I put on half a kilo just on my way to the empire this morning. And now I feel all lethargic and rubbishy! The empire won't run itself, let's crack on shall we?

Let's get to the business end first. Last minute deal at the Beach House.... a weekend break. 10th /11th July £700 including unrestricted board and wetsuit hire. Sleeps ten. You know the score... give Elle a shout on 07760 126225. First to call with plastic seals the deal.

Now where were we....? Beach Licences? Remember that one, Polzy 2013! OMG what a trauma! Can't even bring myself to think about it. Stressy time. Let me bring you up to date... the council at the start of this year decided to roll out a licence scheme for all surf schools. Well all the surf schools perched upon land owned by Cornwall Council. So not all, but many. This didn't affect Polzy directly but it was a proposal that was deeply flawed and having previously experienced a council department that lacked experience and judgement and therefore one I lacked confidence in, I decided to put on my waders and get fully immersed in the battle. The proposal in itself was based on generating revenue and maximising council assets. No probs with that. However, the proposal was incomplete. And being incomplete it made the beaches less safe. I won't bore you here with the facts, hey I can do that by simply talking about what I've had for brekkie, but with 23 years experience of surf coaching it couldn't be more clear to me that intervention was needed. I trotted down to County Hall, fully wadered up and observed from the public gallery as the proposal was presented to the councillors. So incensed with what I was hearing, I stood up and started making verbal observations from the said gallery. Apparently this is not within the guidelines, the meeting was stopped and I was led outside by four burlies who highlighted the error of my ways. 

Prior to the second and final meeting in the main chamber at County Hall I wrote personally to each of the 120 councillors. The council department insisted it was a done deal. The feedback I was getting was that it was not. And so it was proved. The final vote was so close that the proposal in it's current form was not accepted and will need to be amended and re-presented at a later date. The sadness in all of this is that the council department responsible for the beaches put the proposal forward in the first place, it showed a huge void in understanding of how a beach works. They actually believed that what they were proposing was right and that's such a worry. Beaches are the most valuable asset Cornwall has, and the best and most experienced brains should be charged with protecting both their natural state and the safety of those who enjoy them. It is not good enough to simply paper over the cracks of this department. There should be no compromise on safety over revenue, none. To put forward a proposal that sought to do just that, is acceptable to neither me as a business owner nor you as a beach user. 

On the upside, what I can assure you of, and what I learned is that within the grey concrete fabric of the council buildings there lie some formidable council representatives as witnessed at County Hall on that final day of reckoning. And for that, particularly on this occasion, we should all be thankful. My faith in the council process was strenghened, not weakened. We live in hope that the next proposal is complete and restores our faith in a department that needs to get this right. This isn't about winning, it's about making the beach as safe as it can possibly be. Our door will always be open if they want to chat.

And where's that second bag. Need sugar.