Many homes in Withiel are among the small percentage in Cornwall which are unable to receive ‘superfast’ fibreoptic broadband. This is bad luck – only 13,000 houses in the whole county are outside what they call the ‘fibre footprint’ – and it’s especially unfortunate for those who are excluded while people across the road can get the service. The Parish Council has been concerned for the past year that this would be the case, but only in the last few months has Superfast Cornwall admitted that many of us in the Parish are outside the fibre footprint and will have to make alternative arrangements or be left behind.

The only real solution at the moment is satellite broadband, where a company puts a Sky-like dish on your house through which you download your emails, surf the web and so forth. Superfast Cornwall will pay for the installation of your satellite dish if they cannot provide you with fibre, but the satellite companies charge monthly and some of their charges are quite ferocious. If you want to download films or spend your whole life on Facebook, you could be looking at serious bills.

Good advice is thin on the ground. In my experience Superfast Cornwall is keen to broadcast its successes but would rather forget its failures – those areas which cannot be fibre-enabled. ‘It’s all on the website’ is the tone of their curt emails. And indeed it is – to check whether you can get fibreoptic broadband, go to and click on ‘check your line’ near the top of the page. Put in your landline number, and if fibre is available to you it will say so. You can then follow the instructions on how to get it.

For much of Withiel Parish, however, it will say: ‘Sorry, superfast fibre broadband is not available to you just yet’. It offers you the option of registering for further information. It’s not worth doing this, as all you’ll get is a series of emails about Superfast Cornwall’s latest successes, and it will only make you jealous.

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The appalling state of the roads in Withiel was the primary concern at the Parish Council meeting on July 2nd; Sue Kirkby, in the Chair, described them as a “disaster area” and nobody disagreed. What is to be done?

Councillor Kirkby had driven all the roads prior to the meeting and had noted where the worst potholes were. The worst stretches, she said, were between the two crossroads south of Withiel, where a near-permanent pool of water obscures some dangerous traps for vehicles, and between Councillor Harper’s farm and Butterfly Corner. Other sections like Withiel Hill were also bad.

Councillor Kirkby is to pass a report to County Councillor Chris Batters, who will take it to the County Council highways engineers and request a site visit. Once that has been done, he said, he can put pressure on the County to push the work up the schedule. Councillor Batters had driven over the road at Withielgoose and agreed it was as bad as anything he’d seen.

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Draft minutes of the meeting of

Withiel Parish Council

at the Village Hall on

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Chairman declared the meeting open at 7:15pm

281 /14 Attendance: Councillor Kirkby (Chair) Councillor Coy (Hon Sec) Councillor Cubitt, Councillor Nott Bower, Councillor Malone. Apologies  received from Cllr Shearer.

Plus County Councillor Chris Batters, PCSO Linda Thomas, four members of the public and newly appointed Withiel Parish Council Clerk Robin Turner as an observer.


282 /14 There were no members’ declaration of interest or requests for dispensations


283 /14 The minutes of the meeting of 4th June 2014 were approved and signed. Proposed Councillor Nott Bower, seconded Councillor Harper. Passed unanimously.


284 /14 Invitations to address the meeting:

Cornwall County Councillor Batters mentioned the site visit at Ruthernbridge involving County Council engineers who are working on ways to get vehicles to straighten up before they hit the bridge parapet. Nothing had yet been heard from English Heritage,

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Members of Withiel Parish Council are hereby summoned to attend:

Withiel Parish Council Meeting

at the Village Hall on

Wednesday 02 July 2014

at 7.15 pm

Members of the Parish and Public are invited to attend


281 /14 Attendance: Apologies from Cllr Shearer

282 /14 Members declaration of interest and any requests for dispensations

283 /14 To approve the minutes of the meeting of 4th June 2014

284 /14 Invitation to address the meeting:

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A solution may be at hand for the motorcycle noise nuisance at Ruthernbridge, which has been causing stress and disturbance for years. PCSO Linda Thomas reported to the Annual General Meeting of Withiel Parish Council that the owners of Cork Woods had been traced, and they were upset that the woods were being used by off-road motorcycles. They live far away from Cornwall and were unaware of the abuse of their property.

It has been deemed impossible to stop motorcycling in the area up to now because the ownership of the woods was unknown, and the owners are responsible for the nuisance. But PCSO Thomas said Cornwall Council’s Environmental Officer Jason Drew had traced the owners. “We are now in dialogue with them,” she said. “They don’t want motorcycles in the woods, which is good for us because we can now turf them off.

“The owners’ representative is finding out how much it would cost to fence off Cork Woods, and to put up signs warning that bikes are not allowed. There is also a suggestion of having local people who would be designated as representatives and who would have permission to remove people from the woods. If people riding in the woods refused to leave, the representative could then dial 999 and we can remove them. Ultimately, we can get a

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Seven members of the public joined Councillors Kirkby, Coy, Shearer, Harper and Malone for the May 7th meeting of Withiel Parish Council, which commenced five minutes after the AGM had ended. Also present was PCSO Linda Thomas; apologies were received from Councillor Nott Bower.

We had to begin by electing a new Chairman; Councillor Malone proposed that Sue Kirkby continue in the role, Councillor Shearer seconded and the motion was unanimously carried. It was decided to postpone the appointment of a Deputy Chairman and allocation of responsibilities to councillors until the new Clerk is in place.

Sarah Newton is one of two candidates for co-option to the council; she stood to say she’d like to be considered as she wished to be proactive about the affairs of the parish. Born in Ruthern, she has worked in the NHS for 28 years, involved in emergency planning, and believed her skill-set and contacts from that role could be useful to the council and the people of Withiel.

Councillor Shearer reported that we have a new footbridge over the Ruthern at Tregawne; she proposed that a letter of thanks go to

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Draft Minutes of the meeting of

Withiel Parish Council

held in the Village Hall

on Wednesday May 7

Present: Councillor Kirkby (Chair) Councillor Coy (Honorary Clerk) Councillor Shearer, Councillor Malone, Councillor Harper. PCSO Linda Thomas, plus seven members of the public. Apologies received from Councillor Nott Bower


The meeting commenced five minutes after the conclusion of the Annual Parish Meeting


245/14 Election of Chairman

Councillor Kirkby was re-elected as Chairman. Prposed Councillor Malone, Seconded Councillor Shearer. Accepted unanimously.


246/14 and 147/14 Election of Vice Chairman and apportionment of Councillors portfolios.

Councillor Kirkby proposed that this be postponed until a full council was sitting with a professional clerk. Seconded Councillor Shearer. Approved unanimously.


248/14: Attendance – as above.


249/14: Members declaration of interest and requests for dispensation: None.


250/14: Invitation to members of the public to address the meeting.

Sarah Newton stood to announce that she was available for co-option to the council. Born and raised in Ruthernbridge, she said she had decided to become proactive in local issues and felt her experience as a business manager in the NHS would serve the council and the people of Withiel.


251/14: Approval of the minutes of the meeting of April 2nd.

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Members of Withiel Parish Council are hereby summoned to attend

Annual Withiel Parish Council Meeting

At the Village Hall on

Wednesday 07 May 2014

Five minutes after the conclusion of the Annual Parish Meeting.

Members of the Parish and Public are invited to attend


245 /14 Election of Chairman

246 /14 Election of Vice Chairman

247 /14 Apportionment of Councillors’ Portfolios

248 /14 Attendance

249 /14 Members declaration of Interest and any requests for dispensations

250 /14 Invitation for members of the public to address the meeting

251 /14 To approve the minutes of the meeting of 2 April 2014

252 /14 To consider matters arising from minutes of the meeting of 2 April 2014, and which are not agenda items below

253 /14 Finance

254 /14 Neighbourhood Planning

255 /14 Report on a meeting of the Bodmin Community Network Panel attended by Cllrs Kirkby, Malone and Shearer.

256 /14 Invitation to members of the public to address the meeting

257 /14 To agree dates of next ordinary meetings: Wednesday 4th June, Wednesday 2nd July and Wednesday 6th August

The meeting will then go into closed session to consider the following two agenda items:

258 /14 New Clerk: selection of candidates to interview

259 /14 Vacancy in Office of Parish Councillor: Co-option of a Councillor.


Simon Coy, Honorary Parish Clerk


The main topic of discussion at Withiel Parish Council’s April meeting was motorcycle noise at Ruthernbridge. PCSO Linda Thomas and County Council Environmental Protection Officer Jason Drew, who have been working on the issue, attended the meeting.

The Chairman, Cllr Sue Kirkby, reported that she and the Honorary Clerk, Cllr Simon Coy, had attended a meeting at Bodmin Police Station with PCSO Thomas, Jason Drew, the neighbourhood beat manager PC Laurie O’Toole, Sgt Jared Connor, and David Tapwell, the Planning Officer. The initial focus was on Cork Woods, the ownership of which was unknown. Efforts were being made to identify the owners. PCSO Thomas and Cllr Kirkby are undertaking a survey to establish the extent of the nuisance. Another meeting of this group is to be hosted by Withiel Parish Council.

Jason Drew told the Parish Council that Cornwall Council had had a number of complaints over the years about motorcycle scrambling in the area. A significant issue is the ownership of Cork Woods, which Mr Drew is working to establish. He said he hoped to have good news “in the next few weeks”.

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Draft Minutes of the meeting of Withiel Parish Council held in the Village Hall on Wednesday April 2

Present: Cllr Kirkby (Chair) Cllr Coy (Hon Clerk) Cllr Shearer, Cllr Harper, Cllr Malone, Cllr Nott-Bower

Plus PCSO Linda Thomas, Cornwall Council Environment Protection Officer Jason Drew, and eight members of the public.


224/14 Attendance

225/14 Declarations of interest: None

226/14 Invitation to members of the public to address the meeting. None

227/14 Approval of the minutes of the Withiel Parish Council meeting of March 12, 2014.  Proposed Cllr Malone, seconded Cllr Shearer.

228/14 Matters arising from the March 12 minutes: None

236/14 Motorcycle noise.

(Discussed out of sequence because of the presence of the County Council Environmental Protection Officer.)

Cllr Kirkby reported on a meeting at Bodmin Police Station attended by herself, Cllr Coy, PCSO Linda Thomas, environment officer Jason Drew, neighbourhood beat manager PC Laurie O’Toole, Sgt Jared Connor, and Planning Officer David Tapwell.

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