Greetings

Greetings

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Work Suspended on Rail Masts!

The TRAM group have been pressing for a private meeting with Network Rail with a view to discussing how best to minimise the effect of the rail communication masts in the Tamar Valley. Until yesterday there was little or no response, but Brian Lamb has received an email from Richard Frindell, Communications Manager, Railway Communications System, Network Rail:
'I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you but …I needed to discuss arrangements with various team members who are visiting the Looe Valley this week.  Unfortunately, it looks very unlikely that we can tie in a visit to the Tamar Valley simultaneously.  However, I will call you if this changes over the next day or so.
In the interim, we have been reviewing the issues you have been telling us about on the Tamar Valley line regarding the installation of GSM-R masts.  Network Rail recognises the impact this system has on its line-side neighbours and seeks in all cases to limit, as far as is reasonably practicable, the impact, both visual and otherwise, that the introduction of GSM-R will bring. Consequently, the Project Director has instructed the immediate cessation of all construction activities at Bere Ferrers (the mast will be completed as it is almost finished), Bere Alston and Calstock whilst we consider exhaustively all practicable alternatives that would still enable the GSM-R system to be implemented. Such consideration will include exploring options for a greater number of smaller masts along the branch line or the possibility of utilising existing masts in the area owned by other public mobile operators.'
This is not the end of the battle, but it does mean that Network Rail are, at last, listening to objections. TRAM will continue to fight for the best solution to this problem.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Eyesore Rail Mast in Place

The rail mast at Bere Ferrers is finally in place! It is first seen when driving down the road into the village, poking up well above the tree tops. However, negotiations with Network Rail to minimise the impact of the mast and cabin on the environment are continuing, though with little reaction from Network Rail at the moment.
The Tamar Valley AONB has, belatedly, communicated their concerns about the masts to Network Rail, which has admitted that they are under pressure from various bodies.
TRAM (Tamar Residents Against Masts) has asked Network Rail for a private meeting to discuss installing smaller masts, as used on other lines, and camouflaging the masts and cabins.

 

Disappointing Attendance at the Annual Parish Meeting

It was very disappointing that, at the Annual Parish Meeting in the Church Hall last night, only one village resident, Cllr Christine Grills, attended, despite the meeting being advertised with posters around the village, in Bere Link and on this blog.
There was a time when we could guarantee a decent turn-out from villagers for Parish Council meetings in the village, but not, apparently, any more. More people from Bere Alston attended this time, but there were only three of them, plus a lady from Weir Quay.
It is very discouraging for Councillors, at this time of Council Elections particularly, that the village appears to have no interest in Parish Council matters that affect everyone and to listen and question a guest speaker.
Reports were given from all the committees about activities in them over the past year, followed by a report from our Neighbourhood Beat Manager, PC Graham Callender. He said that crime in the parish is very low. Policing in the area will remain as it is now for the moment, but the likelihood is that it will change in a couple of years.
The main speaker for the evening was Helen Dobby, from West Devon Borough Council, who gave a brief report on recycling in the Borough, then answered questions about issues in the parish.
She said that overall the new recycling system has been a huge success, helping to increase recycling in Devon from 43% to over 60%, one of the largest percentages in the country. Landfill has been reduced by 40%.
Recyclables are sold on by Focsa, the collection contractor, locally within the Borough wherever possible to reduce the carbon footprint. However, some items, like plastic bottles, do have to go up country to specialist processing plants. These bottles are recycled into things like garden furniture and even recycling boxes!
Questions were asked.
Why are yoghurt pots and tubs not accepted? These are a different plastic from bottles and, at the moment, cannot be recycled in the same way.
Where can we buy compost made from garden waste? Sites that sell compost to the public have to have a ‘Pass 100’ certification and the nearest one is at Heathfield near Newton Abbot. At present, all compost locally is spread on local farms.
What is the situation with separating cans, bottles, etc. in the recycling boxes? Initially, we were told that separation was not needed, but it has become apparent that this does help the collection, so parishioners are being asked to revert to the previous system of separating the different items into plastic bags.
Helen said that she appreciated that the parish had had difficulties with the new system, particularly in the bad weather, and WDBC and Focsa will be reviewing the various collection rounds and the collection vehicles (some of the bigger lorries have difficulty along some narrow streets). Parishioners should report any problems with collections, such as plastic bags not being secured inside recycling boxes after collection or refuse being left on the streets. Focsa are penalised financially for any errors such as these.
With new charges for tipping certain items at Crowndale coming in at the beginning of April, is WDBC aware of the probability of an increase in fly tipping and their responsibility for clearing it? This is something imposed by Devon County; WDBC are aware of the likelihood of fly tipping, but until they see the scale of any problem they are unable to take any action. Should tipping increase significantly, they will liaise with Devon County.
Why can’t polystyrene be taken away? Helen did not have an answer to this but promised to investigate and report back to the Parish Clerk.
It was reported that there are still problems with collections in this village and Cllr Lamb asked if the management structure was up to dealing with these. The meeting was told that problems had been recognised, including communications during holiday periods, and these were being addressed.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Hot Wax in the Church Hall

The Art Group were shown how to do Encaustic Art this morning in the Church Hall. The guest speaker was Dee, who showed the group the wonderful creations she had made with, basically, a hot travel iron and coloured wax on glossy paper. The wax is melted on the upturned iron and quickly turned over and the iron is moved on the paper to make a pattern. Using different implements and techniques, more effects can be added to the picture.
Dee waxes the iron.
 

An example of a creation by one of the group.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

British Summer Time

BST has arrived, but you wouldn't have thought so at 6am this morning - thick fog!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Bere Ferrers Spring Flower Show

On a beautiful Spring afternoon, the Spring Flower Show in and around the Church Hall opened in a blaze of colour. There were the usual displays of many different types of daffodils, including a display by Dr Frances Howard of historical varieties from which many of today's daffs are descended.
Judging took place this morning and many familiar names were seen among the winners, but Caroline Clark was particularly delighted to have won a First and several Seconds in her first year of exhibiting.
video
There was a wide variety of exhibits: children's categories, cake making, photography, vegetables and, of course, flowers.
The cakes!

The vegetables.




White daffs.
The history of daffodils.


Thursday, 24 March 2011

Sunshine in the Village

We've had a good week, weatherwise, so far. The sun has been out, though the wind has been a bit chilly. Some of us hardy types are in shorts already!
Hensbury Lane.
Celandine is appearing in the hedgerows and on the verges to keep the daffs company - and talking about daffs, it's the Bere Ferrers Spring Show on Saturday where you will usually be able to see over 60 different types of daffs. It starts at 1.30.


The river, viewed over the tennis court.


Annual Parish Meeting

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held at the Church Hall next Tuesday, 29th March. The APM comes at the end of the Council year and includes a report on the year's activities from the Chairman of Council, Cllr Eaon Wager and the other Chairmen of Committees.
In addition, there is a guest speaker who talks about local issues or interests; this time the speaker will be Helen Dobby from West Devon Borough Council, whose subject will be Recycling. If you have any questions about the recycling in the village, come along to the meeting!
Dr Cullen from Abbey Surgery was invited to attend the meeting to answer questions about the future of the surgery in Bere Alston, but he declined. However, the Parish Clerk has sent a list of pertinent questions to him, as requested, and it is hoped that the answers to these will be given on Tuesday.
Full Council starts at 7pm, followed by the APM at 8pm. All parishioners are welcome!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Fab Four 2 Fab Singing Session

Approximately 30+ villagers and folk from further afield gathered in the Church Hall this afternoon for a Singing Workshop with foursome Fab Four 2. The idea was to get everyone to sing in harmony together, to four Beatles songs. Initially there was some hesitation, mainly because, I suspect, many were not used to singing harmony - I know I wasn't! But after conquering the first song, 'Help!', in a satisfactory and pleasing manner, confidence grew and at the end everyone was singing at the top of their voices.
Three other Beatles songs were sung: 'You're Going To Lose That Girl', 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' and 'My Sweet Lord'.
Many thanks go to Ann Turner, who organised the event and we all look forward to the next one!

Red Nose at the Shop

On a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, the Ferret and Mrs Ferret sat outside the Church Hall and raised money for Red Nose Day. They had two sheets with thirty celebrities on each and punters paid £2 a go to choose one. When each sheet was full and £60 collected, a rub-off section showed the winning celebrity. Whoever picked that celebrity won £30, with the remaining £30 going to Red Nose (Comic Relief).
Gordon won the first sheet and Betty Reed the second. Including donations, the total raised for Comic Relief was £65.73! Well done and thank you to everyone who took part.
Photo by Christine Poole.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Comic Relief at the Shop Tomorrow

Comic Relief will be at the Shop and Cafe tomorrow, when shoppers could win some money! For only £2 they will be able to choose a celebrity on a large sheet. When the sheet is full, the rub-off panels beneath each celebrity are rubbed off; one of them will be the winner and half the proceeds go to Comic Relief and the other half to whoever chose that celebrity - is that clear?!!
 

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Watersports Hub Donations Appeal

“Ahoy there! How about a donation to help people get out onto the water, especially youngsters?”  That’s the message to the community and club members from two homeless watersports clubs at Weir Quay.

“We are desperately trying to raise the money to buy a piece of field which we can use to create a new base for the Tamar and Tavy Gig Club and Weir Quay Sailing Club,” said Peter Key, Chair of their joint Weir Quay Community Watersports project. “Donations of any size and from all members of the community will be very welcome. Both clubs do a great job getting young people out onto the water and expertly training them in sailing and gig rowing.  We lost our old clubhouse two years ago when the lease could not be renewed.  Since then the clubs have worked in difficult, inadequate and insecure circumstances. The new facility is especially important for this youth training, and it will secure the future of both clubs.”

The Commodore of the sailing club and the Chair of the gig club have now written to all club members appealing for donations. “If everybody could give £130 we’d be there,” said Peter Key. “However, we can’t expect the youngsters to have much to donate and plenty of other people are having a difficult time because of the general economy.  So we are appealing to everybody in the community who loves the waterside to give something. This is for the community as a whole.  It is not just healthy exercise, important though that is, but activity on the water is a special aspect of our vibrant local community. We don’t want to lose it.”

Planning permission will be applied for very soon. "We need to be in a position to buy the land as soon as planning permission is granted,” said Peter Key.

Donations can be made with 28% Gift Aid uplift (if the donor is a tax payer) at either

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Fab Four Singing Session

Ann Turner reminds everyone about the Fab Four session this Saturday 19th March in the Church Hall at 13.45.  There are still places, so no need to book - just turn up if you want to join in. The cost is £10 per person.
It will be fun!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Villagers' Group meeting

Bere Ferrers Villagers’ Group
Meeting 9th March 2011
Bere Ferrers Social Club

Present: C. Grills, B Slaughter, D. McDonald, R White, J Gallagher
Apologies: D. Mitchell
Villagers: J. Slaughter, J. Simpson, S. Williams, K. Scotford, D. Mills, L. Smith, D. Chapman, B. Lamb.

Minutes of the Last Meeting were read and accepted; there were no Matters Arising that don’t appear in the Recreation Field report later.

Royal Wedding Celebrations: 29th April
Sarah Williams said that people have been asking her whether the pub were doing any celebrations for the wedding. She and Ted have discussed having a day based on a wedding reception. Assuming most people will watch the wedding at home, the pub will put on a ‘reception’ after the wedding finishes on television.
The celebrations will be divided into two: a) a champagne reception and a two-course meal in the afternoon and b) an evening band and disco with a hog roast.
Villagers would be able to decide which they wanted to go to – or both.
Where to hold it? A marquee on the Quay was suggested but it was thought a little small, particularly if two marquees were needed. Sarah thought that maybe someone should contact the new owners of Bere Barton and ask them if we could hold it on their lawn.
How much? Sarah said that they were thinking of about £20pp for an all-day ticket and £5pp for the evening only. KS asked about having a family ticket to encourage families to attend; Sarah and Ted will discuss this as it was thought to be a good idea.
SW needs to apply for a licence soon, so she will investigate marquees and prices.

Recreation Field Report
This was read in Diana’s absence.
The full-size goal post needs to be checked as Diana thinks it is rusting through. JG said he would check it.
BS reported that the Parish Council have the new baby seat for the swings but are waiting for the chains, which are due any time.
A working party need to be set up to tackle the brambles in the marsh and to trim the hide.

Queen’s Jubilee 2012
This was mentioned to start people thinking about what we could do as a village to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Silver Jubilee celebrations were recalled, but as there are not so many children in the village now a sports-type day was not thought suitable. BL suggested a Music in the Park event, as there is a miscellany of musical groups in the area.
Ongoing for suggestions.

Duck Race
DMcD hasn’t got the tide tables, so we couldn’t decide on a date. It was agreed that other attractions should be on hand again: cream teas, raffle, etc. More suggestions were needed.

Post Office
Trevor has given three months’ notice to the Post Office that he is leaving. This will probably mean that our post office will close. CG reported that this will be discussed at West Devon’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 22nd March. Trevor says that it is no longer a viable concern as the Post Office have cut his income.
BS and LS have both contacted Margaret Willmott about taking over the newspapers, but at this stage she appears not to be interested.
BL said that he has approached the Spar shop in Bere Alston to think of ways that Bere Ferrers villagers can still get their papers.
How about setting up a newspaper collection in the Hazel Room or the Club for pre-ordered papers? It would need to be run by volunteers, particularly to receive the delivery at 6.15am. BL will talk to Trevor about the logistics. Other suggestions would be welcome.

Rail Masts
BL gave an update on what has happened so far, including the protest yesterday that was filmed for The Politics Show next Sunday.

Incinerator
BS gave an update on the Dockyard incinerator.

Treasurer’s Report
RW gave a report on the finances of the Group. Including the current account, investments and petty cash we have £2,189.59.
The cheque for £25 sent to Callington Lions for the hire of ducks at the last Duck Race has not been presented yet.

AOB
CG said that she will not be standing as a Borough Councillor at the forthcoming elections. She was thanked by everyone with a round of applause for all her work for the Peninsula.

No date was fixed for the next meeting.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

MP's Actions at Westminster

Quote from Geoffrey Cox Q.C., M.P:
“It is wholly unacceptable in this day and age that public companies such as Network Rail should construct  communications masts over 90 feet high in an area of outstanding natural beauty and close to the homes of residents without any consultation with the local community. I have raised the matter urgently with the Chief Executive of Network Rail and the Secretary of State for Transport.”

He has put forward two parliamentary questions on this issue to the Secretary of State.  Text below:-
Parliamentary Written Question 1Whether he will review the ability of Network Rail to construct one hundred foot high communication masts under permitted development rights along the Tamar Valley Line in an area of outstanding natural beauty and without consultation of the local residents.
Parliamentary Written Question 2Whether the construction of 100 foot high communication masts along the Tamar Valley Line, including at Bere Ferrers and Bere Alston in West Devon, is to be carried out under a legal obligation imposed by any European Union Directive.


Geoffrey has received an acknowledgement to his letter to the Secretary of State at the Department of Transport, Philip Hammond, MP and an acknowledgement from the PA to the Chief Executive of Network Rail saying that a formal response will follow shortly. He has also put forward written parliamentary questions to the Secretary of State on this issue and given an interview to the BBC Politics Show.

Villagers Protest at Mast Site

BBC Spotlight's Emma Ruminsky visited the Peninsula today to do a report on the rail masts to be erected at Bere Alston and Bere Ferrers. Firstly, she went to Bere Alston station to see the site there and interview the Ferret.
Later in the day she met a group of Bere Ferrers protesters at the site on the Weir Quay road where construction of the concrete base for the cabin and the mast is already under way.
Brian Lamb did an extended interview, explaining how developments were happening daily. Borough Councillor Robin
Musgrave also spoke to Emma about problems with the masts in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The report is due to be transmitted on The Politics Show on BBC this Sunday 13th March. The TRAM group thanks everybody who turned up to protest.
More pictures later when something called Google Cloud goes away!!!

LA Sunshine in the Village

A former resident of the village paid a fleeting visit yesterday from Los Angeles where she now lives with her husband.
Megan, daughter of Ann Jeffries, and Brad were married in the village back in 2003, a day we won't forget for a long time (which is good, because we're still waiting to see the wedding video!!).
A bunch of friends joined Megan and Brad for a happy reunion in The Olde Plough last night.

BBC Filming Today

The BBC crew filming for The Politics Show (Sunday) will be at Bere Alston station at 11.45am today for a short while before moving down to Bere Ferrers for the villagers' protest at 2pm. If you want to say something about the mast at Bere Alston station, please feel free to come along.

Masts: A Legal Viewpoint

A legal expert, after examining all the appropriate documents, has come up with the following points:
1) The mast is not a requirement on the Tamar Valley Line, as it is recognised as an exception by EU directive.
2) Therefore, Part 17 of the General Permitted Development Order does not apply - it only applies if it is REQUIRED.
3) There are other arguments, in our case, in that the GDO makes an exception to Permitted Development rights on railway land if the structure provided is not wholly within a railway station (certainly the Bere Ferrers mast is well outside the station).
4) If Part 17 of the GDO does not apply, then Planning Permission has to be sought, which brings into play all the other considerations for an AONB and World Heritage Site.

Monday, 7 March 2011

The Time Has Come, the Walrus Said....

The BBC news crew will be coming to do a story for Sunday's 'The Politics Show' this coming Wednesday and will be filming at Bere Alston and Bere Ferrers. Anyone who wants to protest about these rail masts is invited to go, with suitable placards, to the site of the mast at Bere Ferrers at 2pm on Wednesday. Head towards the station but cross the bridge and the site is where the hedge has been pulled out on the right.
Please pass this to any one else in the village who wants to make their voice heard.

Network Rail Contractors Vandalise Protected Hedge

It was with some dismay this morning that, while on a tour of the Peninsula with the new Chief Executive of West Devon Borough Council Richard Sheard, Borough Councillors Christine Grills, Robin Musgrave and Parish Councillors Brian Lamb and the Ferret came across contractors for Network Rail demolishing a section of hedge opposite Brian's house. They had already dug a hole, presumably for the foundations of the big grey 'cabinet' that will be at the bottom of the mast.
When the Ferret challenged the men later and told them they had pulled up a protected hedge, they replied 'Don't worry, we will replace it'.
How?

Action Alert!

From Brian Lamb
Our MP, Geoffrey Cox, will encourage BBC TV to be involved in our protest about the rail masts and we have decided that the best site will be the Bere Ferrers one, as you can only get to the one at Bere Alston if you go on railway land and that is out of the question.
We don't know when the BBC will be coming.
Therefore, can you be prepared to come along to this peaceful demonstration - with placards please - to show the world that Bere Ferres and Bere Alston residents are very angry and care about our beautiful valley and Peninsula?
Can you spread amongst your friends that this is likely to occur at short notice and ask them whether they would come if they had a call and in this way we can network the demonstration to all at short notice?
I expect it to be this week.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Agenda for Villagers' Group Meeting

Here is the Agenda for next Wednesday's meeting in the Club at 8pm:

Royal Wedding celebration? (Sarah Williams)
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012
Recreation Field report
Duck Race
The future of our post office (Trevor has given three month's notice to the Post Office), newspapers, etc.
PLUS
updates on
Rail masts
Incinerator

All villagers are welcome - please spread the word!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Meeting with Geoffrey Cox, Q.C., M.P.

Four members of TRAM, Brian Lamb, Neal Harmsworth, Mike Palmer and Bev Slaughter, had a meeting today with Geoffrey Cox about the rail masts.
The group thanked Geoffrey for his speedy response to everyone's emails and already contacting the Chief Executives of West Devon Borough Council and Network Rail with his concerns about the way this project has been handled. He has contacted the Secretary of State for Transport and asked him to request that work stops on the masts until a proper public consultation has been done and certain questions answered.
Work on mast erection has been stopped on the Looe Valley Line and Geoffrey asked why, if they can stop it in Cornwall, why not in Devon?
He is expecting a reply from Network Rail on Monday, but if it is not forthcoming he will table a written question in Parliament, which has to have an answer.
Geoffrey has also been asked by the BBC for his assessment as to whether the story is newsworthy. After our discussion he agreed that it was and will tell this to the BBC. This will mean that a tv crew will be coming to the Peninsula for a story. It was agreed that the Bere Alston site was more controversial, as two houses are very close to the proposed mast (one only 20 metres away) and there was also the problem of low-flying aircraft.
When the tv crew arrives, we need to have a group of angry residents on hand as protesters. Neal and Mike agreed to try and round up some support from nearby residents. Similar protesters will be sourced in Bere Ferrers. They will have to be available almost at a moment's notice as the crew may turn up unannounced.
The group presented a list of important questions that they would like Geoffrey to ask the Chief Executive of WDBC. He agreed to do this and pointed out that County Councillor Phil Sanders and Borough Councillors Christine Grills and Robin Musgrave must be involved.
Geoffrey said that he will keep the Group posted as to developments as and when they happen.

Parish Plan Photocall

Next Saturday there will be a consultation session at the Community Shop and Cafe about the Parish Plan. The Plan is community-led and suggestions are invited from villagers. As a precursor to this, the Tavistock Times will feature an article in next week's edition and today their photographer James Bird came to the village to take a suitable picture.
My picture shows the main 'committee'of the Plan group, together with interested villagers.

MP Replies

Geoffry Cox Q.C., M.P. has replied to the recent emails sent to him re the rail masts. In his letter to TRAM (Tamar Residents Against Masts) he says  'I have taken up your concerns ...with the Chief Executive of West Devon Borough Council, the Chief Executive of Network Rail and the Rt Hon Philip Hammond M.P. Secretary of State for Transport. I have requested that work ceases until a full and thorough public consultation has been held....'
Mr Cox asked for answers to several important questions: a) the necessity to comply with the EU Directive on this line due to the caveat, b) the necessity for an Environmental Impact Assessment and c) why Neywork Rail has, apparently, chosen a non-standard version of ERTMS when the Joint UFF/Cullen Report recommended a version that does not require masts.
Members of TRAM will be meeting Mr Cox this afternoon for an update on the situation.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

MP on the Case

Geoffrey Cox, our MP, has not been idle since being told of villagers' concerns about the rail masts. He has had talks with the Chief Executive Officer of West Devon Borough Council and has sent an urgent letter to Philip Hammond, the Minister of Transport, and to Network Rail, informing them of his concern about the masts.
He has also agreed to meet some members of TRAM at the weekend to get more information.

Negative Reply from Network Rail to Meeting Request

Network Rail were invited by TRAM (Tamar Residents Against Masts) to meet residents to discuss the masts planned for Bere Ferrers and Bere Alston. Unfortunately, Network Rail have been dismissive of legitimate concerns and have replied thus:

Thank you for your invitation for a meeting.
 Aside from the questions we have already answered, could you please outline what other concerns residents may have.  If these are regarding the proximity to residential properties, unfortunately, as we have said previously, there are no other options along the Tamar Valley where we have the appropriate space along the track to build.   I therefore feel I must manage the resident’s expectations and decline your invitation as there is little to gain from such a meeting.  I am more than happy to reiterate our plans and the reasons behind our decisions to any interested parties, so please feel free to pass on my contact details.

Yours sincerely
 Richard Flindell

Communications Manager
Railway Communications System
Network Rail

Our MP, Geoffrey Cox, has been given details of TRAM's concerns and he has been asked to meet the group within the next few days.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Incinerator Meeting

Following on from the TRAM meeting (see below), Bev Slaughter read his report of the stakeholder meeting he attended last week (see earlier post for the full report). While everyone present was aware of the need for an alternative method of waste disposal because of the ban on landfill sites, two main concerns were voiced:
1  How can we be sure that the level of emissions given by the contractor are what they say? Is there any independent evidence available?
2  Why are waste materials being brought in by road, adding to the already congested St Budeaux by-pass and the carbon footprint? Why not use the railway?

These concerns were emailed to Mark Turner, Project Director, SWWDP. His reply is awaited.

TRAM Action Group Formed


A lively meeting of very concerned and angry people from Bere Ferrers and Bere Alston met at the Social Club last night to discuss what action should be taken to try and prevent the erection of Network Rail rail masts on the Tamar Valley Line.
A similar problem is being fought on the Looe Valley Line in Cornwall, where despite protests from residents, Network Rail are apparently moving the goalposts to suit their purposes. The residents of Sandplace on the Looe Valley Line, led by Gill Bridges, have already contacted Sir Roy McNulty, who conducted an inquiry into the responsibilities of Network Rail, and Philip Hammond, the Minister for Transport.

The meeting mandated an action group, subsequently called Tamar Residents Against Masts (TRAM), consisting of Brian Lamb, Bev Slaughter (Parish Councillors), Robin Musgrave (Borough Councillor), Neal Harmsworth, Mike Palmer (both live very close to the Bere Alston mast) and Chris Grove (Tamar Belle). 
It was agreed that the Group need to urgently encourage Network Rail to change their mind by the weight and sense of our argument, briefly:
1.       Compliance with law: Implementation is not essential to comply with the EU directive (ref caveat) – proven.
2.       Safety: Implementation is not necessary in order to address any meaningful risk on this line.
3.       Cost: The investment is not mitigated by the risk it addresses and therefore the cost benefit cannot be justified.
 The Group also need to ask: Has an Environmental Assessment been carried out, as required by law, and, if so, where can we see it?
 Local resident Clive Charlton said 'The visual effect of the masts is bad enough, but a key concern to many people is that they seem unnecessary on a line like ours: it has only one train operating on it and is protected from the main line by adequate controls at St Budeaux. With Sir Roy shortly to raise questions about the allegedly relatively high cost of ‘regional railways’, this seems to be an unfortunate time to be spending vast amounts of money on a technology without obvious benefits for the operation of ‘one train on the line’.'
TRAM have a document which appears to show that, like other similar lines in Devon and Cornwall, the TVL is exempt from the sort of work that Network Rail are bulldozing through.
TRAM have asked MP Geoffrey Cox QC for his urgent assistance in this matter with Network Rail and the Minister of Transport. Other avenues are urgently being investigated.