Meeting of minds

21 April 2015. The pub. 

Thanks to everyone who braved the wet weather to join us for a public meeting, not least Kelly and Nicola from the Council.

We had spare chairs this time, probably due to the short time between when our submission was ready to share and the deadline for us to make it.

In terms of attendees we had quality rather than quantity. Those who were there gave us heartening feedback about our submission (they like it!) and also some great ideas on what we should focus on.

Kelly from CCC, in particular, gave us helpful hints and we are very grateful that she and Nicola joined us. As representatives of the Council, it was a big ask to join us out of work hours and face difficult questions. Thank you ladies :)

A special thank you also goes to Jane Robertson who presented the history of the jetty. She showed us why the jetty is so intricate to our local identity. It's not just a bit of wood that sticks out a long way. The pictures from the 1800s and Jane's research wove a compelling fabric of context around why we are trying to save the jetty.

During Jane's presentation, my lovely friend Helen, who was visiting from the deep south, was jamming with a talented local guitarist on the porch. She happened to be singing Bohemian Rhapsody. One of my favourite songs, but in the middle of a history of the jetty... nah! I suggested to Helen that "Kumbaya" might be a better choice and harmony was restored. 

Back to the topic in hand, the general consensus was that the submission was good. We are doing a final bit of airbrushing and will get it in by the deadline. It is supported by a submission of over 700 signatures, support documents from Cholmondeley and the school. There are also 25 individual submissions that we will hand in at the same time as ours. The authors of five of these submissions feel so strongly about the jetty that they have requested a hearing before the Council, as we have (the Trust). With any luck, we'll be able to group together to voice our support at a hearing.

One issue raised by a gentleman at the public meeting was that after the first public meeting, there hasn't been much in the paper. It's true! Mostly because our focus has been on the submission but also because we realise that we need to get all our ducks in a row before we start soliciting publicity. [As a former lifestyle block and duck owner, I can tell you that getting ducks in order takes time, but it's not as hard as getting cats, chickens or pigs in an order].

We have several people on the Trust board who say at the meetings "we need to find out what the community wants" every time we meet. So I hope you feel reassured that while outgoing messages might lull depending on what we're working on, we always - always - want to hear from you about the jetty.