Dear Mr Prime Minister

Edward Hain Hospital

We are asking HM Government through you, our Prime Minister, to

  1. support the call by the Friends of Edward Hain Hospital for the government to gift the building to the local community for their use
  2. grant an additional £2m for local people to decide how it is spent to improve community facilities around the parish

This fund could be held by a new fund in the town (Sustainable St Ives) which aims to build community capacity and support the local voluntary sector or it could be held by Cornwall Community Foundation as a St Ives G7 legacy fund, while the decisions are made to spend it in the town.

Thank you.

A St Ives 19 year old says…

G7 Thoughts and Legacy

“There doesn’t seem like there’s any money coming into the town actually for the local community. All the roadworks and the painting that is being done around is not for us, that’s for the G7, and the government and the tourists – it’s not for the people who live here to enjoy. We’ve had difficulty getting to work because the roads are being done. It’ll be ready for them and I find it quite insulting really. There are a lot of people here with ideas of what could be done, but the government doesn’t necessarily understand what we actually need, so an injection of cash would be exactly the kind of thing that could be used to decide what best suits the needs of the town. The kids are giving up a week’s worth of schooling for the G7. My little brother loves politics and would love to meet a world leader as they are here in our town, that would be so amazing to him, but he is not getting that chance – just getting a week off school and studying at home again.”

Housing

“The family of one of my friends has lived in St Ives since the 1800s, but she is having to move out to afford somewhere to live. Every house that goes up for sale and is bought as a second home and that means the money doesn’t stay in the town.”

Economy

“I am on a zero-hours contract, so some weeks are 45 hours and some weeks none. When there’s no work offered, you think how am I going to pay the bills. Some people work 90 hours over the summer to cover the winter when there is no work. There are not many, if any, white-collar jobs here. That’s not good for getting higher-earning people to move here to live and people from here to come back with their qualifications.”

Public Drug Taking Culture

“I was shocked at how many people of my age when I was 14 were doing drugs and doing it quite publicly because there are no police in St Ives anymore. There are secluded spots in the public gardens and the beaches. You’ll be walking around the town and there are needles on the ground. I have friends who I am concerned about because their drug habit is getting out of hand and I have another friend who takes drugs with his dad – both live and work in town and they both will carry on. There was a stabbing related to drugs near where I live and that is quite scary. “

We Can Have A Sustainable Future

We can take action to sort some of the issues raised by our 19-year-old resident. Having a recognised community centre(s), where more informal events and groups and just a place to be can have a positive impact on the confidence of people who live here. This could be part of the G7 local legacy. Community activity enhances health and well-being. A small investment in this voluntary and community sector goes a very long way indeed.

We do have community groups in the town who do sterling work for all ages. We acknowledge government support for a new skatepark but that should only be the beginning. Elsewhere in the town, other factors are contributing to the decline of community facilities:

  • local youth group now pushed out by tourism
  • traditional youth group’s rent doubled, thus putting their future in jeopardy
  • former elderly day centre now holiday lets

Affordable homes are not charity, they give people more money in their pockets to spend. The St Ives Community Land Trust has raised funds, through the community and others, to buy a town centre building for 6 affordable flats to rent. This, in the overheated housing market, cost £420k paid to a regional housing association and £150k paid to Cornwall Council, with not one penny from Cornwall Council in support of the project. An application is with the town deal to complete this project.

St Ives Charter montage

The launch of the St Ives Community Charter states the social, environmental, and cultural assets which are important to the people of the town. St Ives is the first town in England to have such a Charter.