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MP's credibility on the line with Option Pz

posted Feb 7, 2010, 5:15 PM by Richard Cliffe

Editorial (see Press News)

The 'spinning' of Option Pz, details of which are still to be announced, already stretches credulity. Having sat through the painful hand wringing of objectors trying to find a credible alternative to Option A on Monday 1 Feb (MP's meeting) and have a colleague do the same on 2 Feb it was disorientating to receive the MPs news statement dated 3 Feb 10 which appeared to come from a parallel universe (see attachment).


Most locals are not "looking for a solution that will save Penzance from a damaging and disastrous Option A".  Most Locals accept that Option A does the business and brings much needed investment to a harbour that is showing distinct signs of neglect.  The Locals know what a disaster looks like - a ferry service moved to Falmouth to satisfy a narrow interest group good at saying "no" (a Penzance specialty).  In general local people (we have spoken to several thousand) just want the politicians to get on with it and stop pandering to a well connected minority interest group. 


Our MP goes on to claim Option Pz is saving "the Isles of Scilly from the catastrophe of depending on a ferry link with distant Falmouth" - this is hyperbole of the first order - we are talking about the Isles of Scilly not St Helena.  Most islanders make their personal trips to the mainland by air and they do not much care where their freight comes from.  There is however a question over the day trip business brought by the ferry; this has been declining over the years and a longer journey time could hasten the decline of this trade.  The extent to which this represents a catastrophe or not is being investigated.


Then we have the claim that Option Pz "came from the people of Penzance and has not been foisted on the town from outside".  Option A came from the people of Penzance or at least YRM Architects who first briefed the Town Council on 8 Dec 05.  If it has been foisted on anybody it has been foisted on Cornwall Council who inherited it from Cornwall County Council, and them from Penwith District Council - a poisoned chalice if ever there was one.


It is impossible, without knowing what Option Pz entails, to comment on the other claims in the MP's news statement.  Our representative was told a further meeting of architects would take place on either 5th or 8th Feb.  He understood an out-of-town freight solution was still proposed which, if it is, will mean a still birth for Option Pz as Cornwall Council has ruled out an out of town centre because of its impact on freight costs over the entire life of the project.


What will be interesting to hear in Option Pz, is what is proposed to beef up sea defences around the Barbican in place of Option A.  Are we talking about a few thousand tons of rock armour on the beach rather than the new sea wall under Option A?  If so, what will be left of the 'treasured' Battery Rocks Beach?

Richard Cliffe,
Feb 7, 2010, 5:29 PM