I left last nights Public Meeting in Penzance ( I should say before the end, I could take no more) in a state of despair, totally saddened by what I saw and heard. People, who I know in other aspects of life, as sensible, intelligent and forward looking, were sat in their trenches taking pop shots at each other.
The Penzance Harbour Management Board in a genuine attempt to engage with the people of Penzance came to the table with no preconceived ideas, no ready made set of plans, no options A B or C in fact they came with a genuine open mind, which is much more than a lot of the audience did.
After a brief introduction and a presentation as to where we are now, the chairman asked for questions from the floor, did we get questions? No, did we get sensible ideas? No, what we got was one after another, making statements as to why their scheme was the only scheme that would work, demands that could not be met and people with totally closed minds.
It was obvious that most had not listened to one word that had been said, and were just waiting to pronounce on their own entrenched position.
Just what is wrong with these people? What went on in the past is just there, in the past, forget it, its over, move on, this is a different situation.
What we have is a limited amount of money, if you call £8 million limited, but more importantly a limited amount of time, the money is only available from Europe in the time frame set out, and looking at what is happening in Europe, there will be no more for a very long time, I suspect, if the past was left there, this would be seen as an opportunity, a chance to enhance the harbour area, to deliver better facilities to those using the boat service to the IOS, secure the future of the harbour for all users, look forward, re-engage the town with the harbour. This should be seen as the start not the end, an opportunity.
My only hope is that now they have got it out of their systems, they can see this as the opportunity it is, that there is going to have to be some compromise and that they do have a genuine opportunity to have a positive input to the final scheme, because if not the future will be very bleak indeed.