Cornwall Council has posted public notices for a number of St Austell’s sites, including public open spaces, so that they can be transferred to St Austell Town Council next month as part of its devolution programme. The devolving of the sites to the town council, which includes 39 different areas of public open space, follows 18 months of discussions between St Austell Town Council and Cornwall Council.
The Town Council will take on both the care and services relating to the transfer of this ‘total place’ package including, for example, the grounds maintenance of the sites. This means that most of the grass cutting in the town will now be done by St Austell Town Council. By transferring services and running them locally they can be delivered and managed in a more efficient, effective and flexible way.
As well as managing public open space including eleven play areas and two closed church yards, one property, Pondhu House, is being transferred to the Town Council.
This marks the start of a phased package where by a number of other services and assets will be transferred to the Town Council over an agreed period of time. The next phase will include local sports clubs, the library, Priory car park and other buildings.
Mayor of St Austell and Town Councillor Jackie Bull said, “It is very good to see that the Cornwall Council Localism team are now posting notice that some of the key sites in St Austell and the care of them are to be transferred to St Austell Town Council. I would like to thank both Cornwall Council and St Austell Town Council for the work that has been done to get to this point where we, locally, can care for our town. It has been forward thinking of both Councils to facilitate this devolution and we look forward to greater involvement of both Councillors and community in shaping our place. There has been good co-operation between Cornwall Council's Localism team and St Austell's Town Clerk which just demonstrates what can be achieved from working together.”
Jeremy Rowe, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Localism, added: “I am really pleased that those involved at both Cornwall Council and St Austell Town Council have worked hard to support the devolution programme. The Town Council’s devolution programme is bold and exciting. As a whole range of assets and services will be transferred over the next 12 months we have agreed a phased approach to do this. We look forward to continue working in partnership with St Austell Town Council over the next year so that the programme can be implemented successfully. I am grateful to the Town Council for their positive approach to taking over these assets and services, many of which are very important to local people.”
The Council’s devolution programme offers local councils and communities the opportunity to take on services often enabling a better level of local service provision.
In June this year St Austell Town Council was awarded a grant of £26,601 by the area’s Community Network Panel, using money allocated from Cornwall Council’s ‘Local Devolution Fund’ to support the town’s major devolution programme. Some of this funding was used towards the purchase of equipment to help support the Town Council’s new horticultural team maintain public open spaces in the town.
Posted 20 October 2016