Andy was the one that spotted the Portas opportunity, and has been part of the team since the beginning. He was also one of the first businesses to donate hours of work to the town team regardless of whether we won or not. He helps run the annual Dobwall’s beer festival, and is a lovely person to go for a pint with!
I live in Dobwalls with my wife Nicky (aka “the Cow Lady”), Perry (18) currently waiting for A-level results and Georgie (15) who is about to do her final GCSE year. I have a real passion for sport (particularly cricket and rugby), music, real-ale and I took up long-boarding around 13 years ago. My time at the beach, sports grounds and pubs is limited because I run a small – but perfectly formed – town and country planning consultancy on the Parade in Liskeard town centre (Urban and Rural Planning Associate Ltd). We’ve been in Parade House for the past 4 years having started the business in the garage in my back-garden in 2004!
I originally came to Liskeard in 1995 to work for Caradon District Council in the planning department. I had grown up in a village in Bedfordshire. However as soon as I had to buy my own house, because of the costs of property in the rural parts of the south-east, I had to do so within the outskirts of Luton. I didn’t want to raise my family there so we looked around for somewhere in the south-west where my father and his side of the family originate.
When I came to Cornwall, I fell in love with Liskeard and the surrounding area immediately – the contrasts between where I had come from and south-east Cornwall were tremendous. Communities here are real. The townscape of Liskeard is fantastic and has been truly honed by the history of the place – and the sense of that should never be lost in my opinion. The countryside is beautiful and there is still a very real sense of the importance of agriculture which helps to preserve this rural area. And of course one of the big contrasts from my former home is the coast-line around Cornwall which is also crucial to the history and future of the area. Moving to Cornwall has been the best thing that Nicky and I could have done – and we did it literally a week after we were married!
From the very first Town Forum meeting where the project was discussed, I could sense that there were other people like me who were extremely enthusiastic about the potential of Liskeard – but who hadn’t really known how to get involved to help overcome some of the problems. Putting the bid together was great fun and I have made some friends who I think I will know for the rest of my life. Some good people, real characters who want to do their best for the town. If we hadn’t won the competition, I think the enthusiasm would have still resulted in positive changes in the town. Winning was a bonus.
I am confident that the project will be a success. It will give everyone the opportunity to get involved; to influence what goes on; to build a new way of working that doesn’t involve sitting back and waiting for others to do it; and to connect together so that the town punches above its weight!
(Please note, any reference to Town Team means the interim Town Team who completed and won the bid. The Executive Board of the Town Team will be decided in August.)