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FRIENDS OF LONG ROCK MEXICO CROSSING

https://www.facebook.com/pages/friendsoflongrockmexicocrossing/388829381211332?fref=ts Minutes of Meeting Wed 04 09 2013 Present: Rob Nance, Dick Thatcher, Carolyn Trevivian, Helen Eynon, Nick Tregenza, Jane Bailey, Roy Mann (Cornwall Councillor) On holiday: Mike Bott 1. Councillor RM RM kindly accepted our invitation to attend this meeting. NT asked RM to clarify what power Cornwall Council (CC) Councillors have re decisions taken by CC officers [ie specifically the decision by Peter Marsh (PeM) to close the crossing]. RM said, We are completely powerless, & explained that delegated powers are via the Cabinet System, the relevant person being Bert Biscoe (BB), who is the only one who would have any say, as the Cabinet Member, but he doesnt have the power of veto. DT asked what about Paul Masters (PaM), RM said he doesnt know, but doesnt think so. JB asked why have a council, why have elected reps if they cant do anything. RMs opinion is that PeM made this decision because he doesnt want any comeback on him. CT asked what [does RM suggest] are the next steps? RM said this is the Secretary of State (SoS). FOLRMC members explained that this need not be so, there is another breakpoint. Following 13.09.13, CC can review the evidence provided & objections made & decide to revoke its decision & re-open the Crossing. There are precedents for this, eg Bucks County Council did this recently. CT explained why we feel that pushing it to the SoS is an inadequate response. NT said PeM is paid 110000/year to carry the buck, not pass it. DT commented, With the evidence we have, CC will get a roasting over this. NT said that if PeMs decision was supported at a public enquiry, then CC would be responsible for all costs (eg house prices devalued). 2. Statistics NT explained for RM re how this is wrong, risk is not 1 in 25000, but 1 in 11000000. HE stressed importance of getting an independent expert witness to verify this. Even though we know it to be true & it was put in our report, PeM & CC have ignored it. Presumably they are unable to grasp the statistics, are probably too embarrassed to confess to this, &/or too lazy to find someone who can check the figures for them. Independent expert (eg a uni prof of statistics) would carry more weight with them. Paul Glink advised us via email of statistics expert who often appears in media, NT suggested he could look at the 1 in 11000000 chance & how that compares to other stuff we do every day. 3. Illegal Temporary Closure We have consulted an independent legal expert, solicitor Sarah Davies, who confirms that we are correct, the temporary closure is not legal & CC has not followed the correct procedure. HE said we should do something with the solicitors letter, eg it could form the basis of an official complaint about PeMs conduct suggest that we keep such a complaint quite short & specific we can always make subsequent complaints regarding other aspects. RN will do this. 4. RM Action HE asked what action RM had taken since PeMs extinguishment decision. RM confirmed that he hadnt taken any action yet, but that he would send in a letter of objection. HE asked what other action he would take. RM said he hadnt planned any further action. HE said that he, RM, should be proactive, particularly considering that he used his support for saving the crossing as part of his campaign for his election, eg he could raise & discuss the matter with his fellow Conservative Party members, he could write an article/blog about the situation, he could arrange for a link & publicity on the Party website & Facebook pages, he could write/speak to the MP & other CC Councillors, he could sign the petition, tie a yellow ribbon & write a tag on the crossing site. NT suggested that RM might contact the local ombudsman & inform him that the CC is not behaving in a reasonable manner. RM agreed that he would look into this, but commented that the complaints system is designed

to fault you, not them. He also agreed to find out when PeMs & PaMs interim posts are up for reconsideration. 5. Petitions Over 1000 This has been the case for months now & it is our right to have the matter discussed in Council by a nominated speaker, but this hasnt happened. RM to look into this. 6. FOI Request NT made this some time ago. Response from CC was to question the volume of information requested. NT replied to CC prioritising what information we need most, Jeremy Edwardss report being most important. 7. Yellow Ribbons JB was thanked by everyone for this creative initiative which has been very successful & popular in Long Rock. DT said that holidaymakers had joined in too decorating the beach side of the Crossing with ribbons & tags in protest at the closure. JB gave feedback on the Wordpress site she has made which will link to the FOLRMC fb page & the Stop Network Rail website. 8. Felicity Owen, Director Of Public Health, CC CT has written to Felicity Owen as Carolyn Rule is no longer there & she did nothing. 9. Objection Letters RN told us that there have been at least 73 objection letters acknowledged so far. NT will ask Andrew George MP if he has sent a [further] objection letter yet. Plenty of time for more objections to be sent, they will be read on 13.09.13. We don't know how long CC has (or will take) to do this before referring it to the SoS. 10. Village Hall Drop-In Session Successful. A small but steady stream of people all day, interesting chats & tales, very tasty pastries & cakes courtesy of Pip Penney & Claire Wilson & plenty of letters printed. 11. Media Interviews & Facebook RN fed back on radio & press interviews & printed articles. Fb page has over 200 likes, possibly stimulated by useful recent flurry of discussion on CCs fb page. 12. In The Meantime We need to keep up pressure & momentum. JB suggested the key people to put pressure on are PMH, PMS & BB. It would be useful for CC senior management to know that there are serious concerns re PMH. Need to keep up interest, perhaps build on success of yellow ribbons, some ideas to be investigated.

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