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St Eval Community Centre – Grand Opening 7 January, 2012

Posted by Jeremy Rowe in Local Matters, News.
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Some time ago I wrote a post about the facilities the Americans left behind at Trevisker St Eval. I reflected at the time that it would be a tragedy if these buildings were left empty while the local community faced the closure of its Post Office, shop and community facilities.

Two years on, after an astonishing amount of hard work from members of the community, I was invited to attend the opening of new facilities – on the site of the former US buildings at Orion Drive.

No one should underestimate what an amazing achievement this has been for the local community. There have been numerous occasions when everything seemed to be lost and it appeared that St Eval might head the way of so many other rural settlements and fall into slow decline. The local residents had other ideas. Their determination has been outstanding. They have fought their corner with the Ministry of Defence, worked up business plans and put in the hard, unpaid labour to produce a social club, kitchen, meeting venue and a new Post Office. Most crucially of all, they have never given up.

There will still be many obstacles in the future, but the local community was proud to open the doors today. It is an amazing achievement with an incredible community spirit at its heart – local residents have every right to be proud.

(You can read more about the community at St Eval here.)



1. If I keep quiet will it go away.. - 17 January, 2012

Very interesting Im sure but of course the real story today is your Deputy and his trips to court,did you know about them,had he told you etc etc,any chance you might like to comment on the main story of the day/week./month?

Jeremy Rowe - 18 January, 2012

Thank you for your anonymous comment. I gave a number of interviews yesterday on the topic you raise but I am happy to repeat my position. My Deputy and I had a conversation about this on Monday night when he informed me that the BBC were going to run with the story. I am satisfied that he has resolved the matter and is now up to date.

It is my belief that no one is immune to difficult personal circumstances and, indeed, this was my position last year when I was asked to comment on a similar situation involving a member of another political group at County Hall. While I believe a Councillor’s finances are a personal matter, I fully understand that it cannot ultimately be a private matter when you are an elected representative. It will therefore be for him to convince his residents that they should still have confidence in him and I am certain he will do this. He is an excellent, hard working local member and one of the most capable Councillors at County Hall and I hope this will continue to be the case.

2. If I keep quiet will it go away.. - 23 January, 2012

Thanks for the reply,so to be clear-When did you know he had been taken to court two years running for non payment of council tax?

Jeremy Rowe - 25 January, 2012

The night before the story broke.

3. If I keep quiet will it go away.. - 1 February, 2012

Oh dear,last question censored,never mind lets try again,Now that its in the open-Did Mr Folkes tell you about his third liability order? We know it slipped his mind when he was being interviewed,did he forget to mention it to you…

Jeremy Rowe - 1 February, 2012

Which question was censored?

4. If I keep quiet will it go away.. - 1 February, 2012

You were asked yesterday by me,before Mr Smith broke the story ,if there was anything else to come out on Mr Folkes,,unless of course the question was lost in the ether,if it was then I apologise,,anyway, did Mr Folkes mention his third liability order to you when you had your chat? This looks dreadfull,this drip,drip,drip,surely he should know come clean,give full answers to any question,such as whether he had other income,housing benefit,council tax benefit,then he should resign,he clearly is a man who thinks ,paying your dues is just for the people that elected him,to receive 3 liabilty orders beggars belief,couldnt he see how awfull this was going to look,couldnt his close personal friend “Nick” have lent him a few quid?.

Jeremy Rowe - 1 February, 2012

For clarity, all of your comments have been published as I have received them. It is very rare for me to refuse to publish a comment and that only ever arises if it is libellous or uses offensive language.

Alex has made a statement about his initial response to the BBC and I accept that. There are always personal circumstances involved and I have no desire to be too judgemental about that – my position was exactly the same when a member of the Council’s ruling coalition found himself in similar circumstances last year. As I have said at length, it will be for Councillors who have found themselves in this position to make their case to their local residents – they, rightly, will have the final say.

5. If I keep quiet will it go away.. - 1 February, 2012

If you accept that you didnt get the question then obviously I believe you.
You havent answered my question,were you aware Mr Folkes actually had three liability orders against him?
His memory lapses,refusal to answer direct questions,are dong great damage to your party but more importantly to the public view of Councilors.
We as council tax payers have the right to know about his income,he clearly hasnt come clean,so your “personal circumstances” bears no weight,we dont know what his circumstances are,he has refused to say,perhaps further details about his income are to come out,he needs to come clean with the public,and you as a leader need to show some Leadership,no councillor has found himself in “similar circumstances” Folkes has 3 LIABILTY ORDERS,,has refused to answer questions,his guilt had to be found out,he was given many many chances to come clean,he took none of them,please dont pretend other Councilors are like that,Why not let him resign,then stand in the election,as you say then local residents will be able to have their say,lets just hope there is nothing more to come out,,there isnt is there?
He is a total disgrace,he has no credibility and is a laughing stock.

Its time for him to resign so he can spend time with his photography and All Blacks…

6. If I keep quiet will it go away.. - 1 February, 2012

Sorry, meant to say state not accept in first line..

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