Friday, 10 February 2012

Penzance Harbour Options Review

Yesterday afternoon I went along to the Penzance Harbour Options Review, and good fun it was, got to meet lots of old friends, had a good chat with a lot of people. The turn out for the Review had been very good, with over 350 having turned up by 2 pm so with 7 hours still to go,  I’m sure it went very well.
So what did I learn, I should point out that I spent over 20 years of my working life at sea, but I’m no expert, but it would seem that hidden within Penzance is the greatest gathering of marine engineering, sea transport, harbour design experts in the world, if, as I’m sure there is, an International Conference on Harbour Design, Penzance would be very empty. I spent some time speaking with an old friend, he did not claim to be an expert, but as he gets to drive the Scillonian, his views were good to hear.

All the usual suspects were there, spouting as to why their scheme was the only one that would work, accusing everyone else, ( Town Council, Andrew George, Friends of Penzance Harbour, True Friends of Penzance Harbour, Chamber of Commerce, et al ) of doing this or not doing that, so all in all proper consultation.

As an exercise in consultation and engagement the Harbour Review Board could not have worked harder, having been as open with what they have been doing, as anybody could be, they came to this process with a blank sheet of paper, (much decried by some, who went out of their way to misinterpret their intentions), a limited amount of money and a very tight timetable. They brought in Hydra as consultants ((true experts) to cries of what do you need a bunch of consultants for? Well if you don’t know the answer to that, you really don’t have any idea), who had not been involved with the previous scheme, but already had a lot of information from work carried out for Penwith DC in the past, cutting both costs and time.

The presentation boards were good, in that options were put next to each other so a comparison between the options could be made.

I’m told that after yesterday all the comments will be taken into account and final options prepared.

Now if only we could get those, from all sides, to just stop for a minute, engage their brains, look at what’s on offer, see this as the start and not the end of redeveloping the Penzance Harbour area, use their energy in a more positive way, we just may get somewhere. Hope springs eternal. 

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