HELSTON’S Grylls Monument project was officially completed last week in time for Remembrance Services.
Like many readers, I have questioned how the town has benefited from such a costly project that appears to have failed to transform the area as originally proposed.
Prior to the decision being made on how to invest funds allocated for the town, Martin Searle the Town Centre Regeneration Officer was quoted as saying: “This marks the start of the design process for physical improvements in the town centre.”
A design team was brought in to develop concepts for a range of projects meant to improve the economy and environment of the town centre, as well as making it a better place to socialise. In regards to the Grylls Monument project, I cannot see how that criteria has been fulfilled in any shape or form and strongly believe it was a huge mistake to invest such a large sum of money in this seldom-used area.
Two years ago Helston had a monument in front of a bowling green with granite, railings, a toilet and seating. Today it has almost exactly the same, but is now out of pocket by more several hundred thousand pounds.
This utter waste of cash closely followed a heavily criticised council decision to award £53,000 from the sale of the Penrose Road Community Centre to the Epworth Hall, despite 16 community organisations placing bids.
Why does the council not have the imagination or creativity to invest in projects that will regenerate the economy or bring more tourists to the area? Other towns seem to be successful at implementing ideas that benefit the whole community rather than for the few, so why not here? Could it be argued that decision makers are focusing on their own areas of interest?
To protect the future of our town, I believe it is necessary for a new council to be voted in at the elections next May in an attempt to fix the current mess and general lack of inspiration.
However, I can’t help but to be reminded of the infamous note left by Labour’s Liam Byrne as he left the Treasury following the 2010 general election which read: ‘Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck!”