St John Parish Council covers the settlements of St John village and Freathy/Tregonhawke, as well as the farms and businesses within the overall parish.
The population of the parish is approximately 400 people, and the parish is the smallest parish council in Cornwall.
The boundaries of the parish are shown on the map presented on this website.
The Parish Council owns no land assets, and is responsible for the upkeep of the public footpaths shown on the parish map.
The local Cornwall County Councillor responsible for the parish is Kate Ewert..
St John PC works closely with the other four parishes on the Rame Peninsula (Millbrook, Sheviock, Antony and Maker with Rame) with several initiatives driven by the “Cluster” of parishes including the Rame Neighbourhood Development Plan.
The parish receives an annual Community Fund of £3000 each year from British Solar Renewables in respect of the Freathy Solar Farm,
This annual sum is managed by the St John Parish Council and will be used on behalf of the Community.
If you have any ideas for using this funding, then you are invited to add your suggestions on the Contact Us page of this website.
If you do this then we would request that you give as much detail as possible and also say whether you could assist the PC in implementing your idea.
All suggestions will be considered at the next meeting of the Community Fund Committee.
Neighbourhood Development Plan
The Rame Peninsula NDP was approved at the local Referendum.
The documentation is available on the ramepeninsulaneighbourhoodplan.com website
Chairman’s Annual Report for 2019/2021
We were unable to hold a parish meeting last May on account of the pandemic, this report therefore covers two years.
It has been a fairly quiet two years owing to pandemic restrictions. However, I am delighted to report that we did manage to progress our normal business, assisted most ably by our Clerk. We instigated some financial changes under the emergency by use of online banking, although this did rely on some retrospective authorisation of invoices. We resumed paper authorisations after the first lockdown was lifted. We advised CC that we did not require any emergency Covid funding, and furthermore we were able to release some emergency donations to two Covid help groups, (as authorised by CALC). We have been able to manage our finances prudently and have again agreed not to increase the Precept on the Council Tax for both years in question. Having reduced activity over the last eighteen months our finances remain healthy with an end of year balance of approximately £5000 (excluding the Solar Fund account).
The Parish Council has supported planning applications in St John for Gooseyford Cottage, St John Inn, The Mill, Home at Last, and Village Hall. All these were successfully approved although the VH was subject to a re-submission. We have also supported developments at Stone Farm and the DS Smith factory. Several chalet reconstructions were supported and no seriously controversial issues noted.
We have improved transparency with updates to our parish website, bulletins in the local newsletters and improved notice board coverage in Freathy. We believe that we have been able to reach out to the community better than before, although remain disappointed that more parishioners do not take advantage of the opportunity to come and talk to us at our meetings.
I am pleased to report that the flooding incident caused by a failed fishing lake dam was satisfactorily resolved. We have, during the lockdowns, continued to improve the condition of footpaths and repaired stiles. We have organised several work parties to clear blocked drains and repair unstable gravestones. We have looked into further anti-speeding measures in St John but have decided that mobile electronic speed devices would not be appropriate for our 20mph limit.
Cllr Hoskin has attended meetings relating to the Military Road clearway and liaised with CC on parking difficulties affecting access for emergency vehicles. We have paid CC to repaint the yellow no-parking lines in Freathy.
We discussed climate change in the light of public reaction (Extinction Rebellion) and concluded that it would not be appropriate to declare a Climate Emergency for our parish, although we did agree to make funds available should a community group be formed to try to make a difference to the global climate problem.
Our only property responsibility is the memorial garden in St John, and we have continued to maintain this through gardening and stone cleaning, and I would like to thank Cllr Everard for his special efforts in this regard. We erected a Christmas tree with appropriate lighting in the garden this year and this was very well received by the community as it helped to raise spirits during this pandemic emergency, so much so that this will hopefully become a regular seasonal experience. We also erected a Christmas tree with lighting in Freathy, which was very well received by residents.
We have continued to receive regular £3000 contributions from British Solar Renewables and are delighted that we have been able to fund local community projects. These have included contributions to St John VH (in helping fund significant improvements for the community), donations to Freathy Sports & Social Club, improvements to the coast access footpath at Tregonhawke, improvements to St John Church and funded a defibrillator in Freathy.
We have been disappointed and hurt to receive personalised criticism from one parish source. Refusal to come and discuss matters left us no alternative but to record the facts surrounding their criticism in the minutes of the December 2020 meeting. We consider this matter to be now closed; we will continue to treat any future matters relating to this source in a respectful and unbiased manner.
I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to all councillors and in particular to Bob (Trick), who has put many years’ service into our community, and to Chris (Trevitt) who has ably supported our council over the past four years. I would also like to thank Caroline for the excellent and efficient service she has given as Clerk particularly considering the difficulties over the last two years, and also to Roy for his help in looking after the interests of Freathy residents.
I am delighted to welcome two new younger councillors Ben (Crane) and John (Tanner) who will I hope bring fresh contributions to our PC.
Achievements over the past five years
Achievements in St John and Freathy that councillors have been responsible for over the past several years have included taking an active role in developing theRame Neighbourhood Development Plan, and the Rame Traffic Studies, involving liaison with Cornwall County, Antony, Sheviock, Maker with Rame and Millbrook PCs (Rame Cluster parishes).
They have pursued Cornwall County (and Cormac) on flooding and road cleaning, speeding, parking problems (along Military Road), dealt with planning applications (successfully supporting all those in St John Village and most of the chalet developments in Freathy), supporting two major solar farms whilst successfully objecting to two overpowering proposed wind turbine developments in our parish. They have liaised with CC Planning Enforcement regardingunauthorised development, including serious flooding failure of an unauthorised dam.
To aide transparency they have set up and maintained your new parish websiteand created new noticeboards in St John and Freathy. They have provided sound financial management enabling a freeze to the Precept on your Council Tax for several years and arranged donations on your behalf to many local charities.
Your Councillors have successfully negotiated a funding agreement with British Solar Renewables granting the community £3000 pa, and allocated this funding to a range of projects, from defibrillators to improvements to footpaths, improvements to Freathy and St John community halls, St John church etc.
The Councillors have enabled the upgrading of our local infrastructure including footpaths, steps, styles etc and annual vegetation clearing, new finger post, bus shelters, and new road signage covering speeding and Neighbourhood Watch in St John, Clearway signage on Military Road, yellow lines in Freathy and significant upgrading and maintenance of our War Memorial garden (PC’s only physical land asset) and improvements to St John Church graveyard and drainage. The Councillors are responsible for winter gritting, and this past winter have endeavoured to lift morale during this difficult period with two new Christmas tree displays, both in our St John Memorial Garden and in Freathy village.
In order to maintain our wonderful environment, the councillors liaise with The Wildlife Trust and The Woodlands Trust in respect of woodland management and have physically worked with them in clearing woodland.
Most of this work has been undertaken by Councillors themselves, including physical work in the parish environment, in many cases assisted by ad-hoc working groups where time has been willingly given by parishioners, effort for which is extremely appreciated.