After many years of frustration, I attended a public meeting to share ideas on the rejuvenation of Helston and am delighted to report that I left feeling highly optimistic.
In the past I have sat through so many meetings which end up down a negative path, with familiar moans about parking and the council, and always felt despondent.
However, the positive meeting organised Helston Community Interest Company on Thursday involved a group of like-minded and passionate people who demonstrated a desire to unite the community while embracing changes for the good of the people.
Overall aims of the meeting included:
1. Improving the cultural qualities of Helston – marketing/visibility/news/events.
2. Improving the economic qualities of Helston – parking strategy/footfall/shops.
3. Improving the environmental qualities of Helston – plastic free/green Helston/health and wellbeing of the community.
4. To address traffic and signage issues in the town.
4. To facilitate Helston as a hub for the surrounding area. i.e. re-use of buildings as a leisure hub/develop a craft centre.
It was uplifting to listen to those in attendance ready to cast aside preconceptions and discuss issues and aims in depth.
One example was when the possible pedestrianisation of the town centre was discussed and although most attendees accepted that such a scheme would involve prohibitive financial costs, extensive consultations and countless hurdles, people identified ways of modifying the idea to be more manageable.
It was suggested was that Meneage Street could potentially be closed for one day per week during the summer and local cafes and eateries could offer outdoor seating. Businesses located in other streets could be offered a market stall, timed to coincide with events held by local institutions such as the museum.
The meetings may not have yet solved the many problems affecting Helston, but every journey starts with one small step.
I applaud the organisers for their positive approach and wish them every success for the future.