25 June 2004


Thought For The Week

Cha n'oddym cheet er

[I cannot explain it]

House Of Cards?

To meltdown or not to meltdown? That is the question.

Market research company Experian are predicting that the housing market is going to crash and have identified Penwith as the second most likely place in the country for it to happen. Experian have identified 'danger zones' where the gap between house prices and income has widened most and, with house prices in Penwith having increased at nearly twice the national average, we've been fingered.

Interest rates are on the rise and there have been dark mutterings from various corners around the country about a general collapse in the housing market. But will it happen? The doomsayers say 'yea, verily' and the estate agents say 'pah!'. Local estate agents are fairly bullish that the demand for property in Penwith may slacken but won't ever collapse due to the popularity of the location amongst the moneyed classes. That said, you do wonder generally how long the massive inflation of property prices in Cornwall can continue, even with those blessed with telephone number salaries fuelling it.

One thing that both sides of the debate seem to agree on is that whatever happens the fate of the housing market down here will be determined on the Eastern Front. With so much of the recent property boom in these here parts having been generated by second homes, property development and speculation they say that the housing market in Cornwall will stand or fall on what happens to the property market in the South-East. 

Things That Go Bump In The Night!

Trouble at t'Castle.

Not of my making, I hasten to add. Last Friday (o joyous day!) there was our umpteenth wedding of the week. A particularly large one. Somehow we managed to get all the grub out (and feed the resis at the same time) and so limped off into the night after a long and gruelling day at about 10pm-ish.

Looking forward to some peace and quiet, as was most of the rest of town, my attention was drawn to the delicate noise of World War 3 appearing to break out at 10.30.

Now, t'Castle only allows people to let off fireworks between 9 and 10pm but the wedding party had promised that they had acquired 'stealth fireworks' and were allowed to let them off later than usual. Such was the stealthiness of the fireworks that they could be heard at the far end of Cardboard Bay!

To commemorate the unspecial day for St. Ives residents the perpetrator of the deed, the bride's god-father, bowed to t'Castle's request to put a public apology in this week's T&E. (Well, it was alright for him, he was just going to bugger off back to London. We've got to live and work here!).

Rooney Tunes

Well, it was bound to happen, wasn't it? There's always some sad act who needs to mask their inferiority complex by basking in the reflected glory of someone else.

So, quelle surprise, Wayne Rooney is of Cornish descent. Not only that but he is a descendant of 19th century boxing legend, Helston's Bob Fitzsimmons.

"It's through his great-great grandfather who was a blood relation," claimed Rooney's uncle. "So I reckon the warrior spirit must be in Wayne's blood."

Yes. I'm sure. Obviously this is the source of Rooney's aggressive  and pugnacious style of play. Nothing to do with growing up on a council estate in Croxteth, then!

Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, TUC No Evil?

Well, here we go again. I'll just batten down my hatches in preparation for another assault from the Surrey stockbroker belt .....

If you've read this week's e-mails from Janet Bentley and Winwaloe, here is a synopsis of what has been reported about the TUC Report; Fair Play For Cornwall - It's Time To End The Low Wage Economy:-

Cornwall is still the poorest county in Britain with the average wage being £95 a week below the national average.

Penwith has the lowest average weekly wage in Cornwall.

The national average is £483 per week. The average wage in Penwith is £315.

More than a quarter of Cornwall's workers earn less than £250 gross per week.

There are 34,300 working families in Cornwall who receive child and/or working tax credits.

Quoth the report:-

"Cornwall is being presented as the trendy place to come but beneath the glamorous image and beautiful countryside remains a working population struggling to make ends meet on a mixture of meagre pay and tax credits."

The solution? The TUC Report calls for money from O1 and the like to be invested in creating high skill/high pay jobs instead of the low-paid jobs that have been created in shops, hotels, catering and caring.

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