A new group is being set up in Porthleven to advise on environmental matters - and one of its first tasks will be giving feedback on a proposed heating and electricity network for the port.
The Porthleven Environment Project will be asked to comment on the wider Porthleven Energy Project, a renewable energy scheme looking at bringing the port a community-owned, low-carbon energy network.
Porthleven Town Council is currently working with Cornwall Council to carry out a full appraisal of the town’s suitability for such scheme that, if successful, could be held up as an example to other communities around the UK battling fuel poverty.
In Porthleven ten per cent of the housing has no central heating and 16 per cent of households are classed as being fuel poor, with the port not on the gas network.
Town councillor Alan Jorgensen said: “This would be a pilot, carbon neutral project supported by Cornwall Council and the government. There is no other project on this scale in the country and if Porthleven did go ahead it’s possible the scheme would be replicated nationally - sharing our learning to help other communities alleviate fuel poverty.
"It’s crucial that the community supports the project and this group will assess the impacts of the scheme and deem its suitability for Porthleven.”
To encourage members to join the Porthleven Environment Project advisory group a public open evening is being held on Tuesday, March 14 at Kota Kai, from 7pm until 8.30pm.
The new group has been set up by Porthleven Town Council following the results of the Porthleven Neighbourhood Plan survey, in which 97.3 per cent of respondents said the natural environment around the town was important to them.
Anyone interested in being involved but who can’t attend the initial meeting can contact project co-ordinator Hannabeth Johnson on 07813 536146 or follow the group on Facebook for more updates.
Mr Jorgensen said: “Our research demonstrates there are a lot of people in Porthleven who really care about the environment in and around the town and this is an opportunity to have more of a say in its future and make a difference. Volunteers will be given opportunities and training to increase their skills.
"Anyone of any age can join and I’d urge anyone who thinks they might be interested to attend the initial meeting.”
Cllr Jorgensen made a successful bid to the Awards for All Big Lottery Fund for £5,500 to initiate the group. Part of this fund has been used to recruit a part-time project co-ordinator and communications officer from the local community to oversee the initial set up and running of the group.
The remainder will be available for training and setting up projects that will benefit the environment in and around Porthleven.