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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 noise abatement order to require the owners to fence off the woods.”
PCSO Thomas said Jason Drew was distributing noise “diaries” which local people were filling in. “With Jason Drew we are beginning a process of education the bikers to show them that the noise is unbearable and the woods are out of bounds.”
Councillors and members of the public thanked PCSO Thomas for the time and effort she had invested in trying to resolve an issue which many had thought intractable.
The Annual Meeting also received reports on parish church matters and Withiel Playing Field Association accounts. Simon Coy, as Chairman of the Playing Fields Association, said they’d had a successful year. Income had been £3,359, slightly less than the previous year; work was in hand to increase lettings.
As Parish Council Chairman, Sue Kirkby reported the Council had had a ‘bumpy ride’ – the year started with a financial difficulty which ended in the Clerk having to be made redundant. Simon Coy had taken over as Honorary Clerk and had made no financial claims on the parish; as a result the Parish Council now had £1989 in hand, with no bills outstanding.
“The Chairman resigned in January,” Councillor Kirkby said, “and I was promoted. It’s been a challenging and interesting time. We have reviewed our Standing Orders and had a financial assessment, and now with our house in order we are ready to attack the Neighbourhood Plan.”
She thanked Councillor Janet Shearer for her work in having the footbridge at Tregawne reinstated, and also thanked PCSO Thomas for her work on the bike noise. “Thanks to her and Jason Drew we are making progress and now have a robust system in place for handling complaints,” she said.
Members of the public were invited to address the AGM, and Tony Liddicoat expressed concern that the Parish Council had done nothing to alleviate the problem of silage effluent emanating from the concrete road to Great Brynn Barton. The Council agreed that the Honorary Clerk should write to the County Council’s Roads Superintendent explaining the problems and seeking a solution.
The date of the next AGM is May 6th 2015.
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