Been incredibly busy with work and council, but it’s good to have a second to reflect on some local changes I‘ve had more of a direct hand in.
The most recent is creating a new footpath! Crooklets Road had a car “shortcut” which was open to cars coming both ways, as well as cars parking down the road. However this road is a main walking route between two sides of the town, connecting many residents and a campsite to the main shopping area. It’s on a hill, and there’s no street lighting, so at night two cars could be passing inches from a pedestrian and they could barely be seen. There has also been battles in the town to stop a cycle path over the grass downs area, but people still want a cycle route. In closing the road to cars in one direction, removing the parking, and adding a path hopefully we’ll improve quality of life for all road users. Cars now don’t have to pass any parked cars, they know where pedestrians will be, and pedestrians have a clear safe route to walk down.
In Bush there were a lot of accidents involving cars going into the front gardens of residents, and even cars ending up upside down with the speeds they were doing. Through the village it was 40mph which was always a struggle considering the tightness of the bends and the narrow road. Now it’s 30mph – a step in the right direction. Residents couldn’t walk around their neighbours before as there was no paths, but with 30mph it gives them a bit more of an opportunity. I want to work to get the village to 20mph or to have proper paths laid though.
Outside Sainsburys in Bude there is a bus stop. Passengers had to disembark onto a steep grass verge. This was not accessible at all, and would be quite dangerous in wet weather. Bude Stratton Town Council were looking to try and purchase the bit of land to try and put a path on it, but I worked with Cornwall Council and Go Cornwall Bus company to get them to just extend the existing path and put in a drop curb. Now, anyone can get on or off the bus from a safe, stable surface and the top of town is much more accessible for bus users. It’s also now a handy crossing point even for those not using the bus.
Been keeping involved on the Town Team consultation to ensure that they are reaching all members of the community. Giving them new ways to engage, how to make sure the connect with people without the internet, young people, disabled users etc. That consultation is now complete, apparently very good results of engagement and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.
Little things sometimes too – like noticing a sinkhole developing in the beach car park! So reporting that and getting that fixed immediately before it ate someone’s car.
There’s a few other things that are on the way, just not built yet.
Another quick report and getting something actioned asap – when we had the very high tides the water was very close to coming over the river wall and onto the road, but that wasn’t as critical as the sea water taking a shortcut up the drains instead! Clearly this shouldn’t happen so I reported it directly to the right team who will be coming swiftly to work out a fix.
Very long term, I’ve been supporting Connect Bude a lot. Helping out at meetings, helping them with various issues, using my tech skills here and there. Their project of bringing the rail back to Bude is moving along suddenly very quickly! It’s all very exciting.
Another two groups I’m helping with are Bude Football Club and Bude Sea Pool. First, they are after grounds for their youth teams and ladies teams to play – so I’ve been connecting them with landowners and got a letter of support for them. I’ve been informing them of updates on BSTC land too. Bude Sea Pool have an issue with engagement of Cornwall Council, so I’m trying to work ways around the issue to get them the control over the land they need.
I’ve developed a few briefs recently for a new Bude sign and for audio baffling to aid hard of hearing users of the Parkhouse. Creating documents helping to guide the visuals and creative aspects of both jobs, as well as practical information, so to ensure that these culturally significant locations have maintenance updates to them that are sensitive to the location that they are in and accurately represent the culture of the town too.
I’m starting to help with emergency planning – preparing the town for what will come in the future. I’m reviewing where floods will happen, and any small changes we can ask Cornwall Council to make to make sure we keep access for emergency vehicles.
Other consultation I’ve run is on the early years playground, Katy’s Place. The equipment is due to be replaced due to it being mainly rust now in places. It’s had a great life, entertaining many thousands of children. I wanted to ensure that we kept and equal level of play, while also creating something that is a fit for the town, designing for an age range of just starting to walk to confident explorers, and a changing climate in mind. I worked with local nurseries and playgroups to score the current park, and work with a park designer to develop a new park. It’s a Bude Sand Train design, with the layout representing Bude when we had trains running right along the canal and the beach. Much of the equipment has cover built into the play – perfect for wet times and the burning sun, and designed with cooperative social play in mind.
Crossing to the park and around that area and the Triangle is difficult. After lobbying Cornwall Council they have worked up some functional designs of new crossings that will allow for pedestrians to get between the high street, bus stop, car park, canal and playground.
And once last small thing to look forward to – removal of a car parking space closest to Nanny Moores bridge and replacing it with cycle parking. Less of a car eye sore next to a key cultural spot of town, and more options for greener travel.
There’s many issues I’ve helped a bit with over the past couple of years, but I lose count at some point! Warm rooms, summer (and winter) activities (and food) program for kids in town, accessibility review of meetings, streaming etc. Been nice to help out the town with my skills and time, on top of my usual beach cleaning 🙂