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Showing posts from 2010

Will the Cornish LEP learn from the mistakes of the RDA?

The government plans to scrap the South West Regional Development Agency and create a Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Economic Partnership presents a great opportunity to rethink economic policy in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and to take charge of our own destinies. The RDA was geographically distant and democratically not accountable to the people of Cornwall, this resulted in the body being out of touch with public opinion. Economic solutions were delivered from above with little or no meaningful public consultation and regard for the communities involved. This approach must be resisted in creeping into the new LEP. Which hopefully will have a more bottom up approach to policy and planning and seek to foster stronger relations with the public and business communities.

There are many criticisms to be made of the RDA, bad investment decisions such as the Border Books distribution center in St Columb, which had attracted a 3.5 million investment to open. The folding of the South…

Who voted to Keep Cornwall Whole? and who didn't?

I have been chewing the fat of the amendment that would have protected Cornwall's political integrity and I find some of it quite difficult to chew through, and some of it hard to swallow. There are some surprises senior Tories (D, Cameron and L, Fox) and Senior Labour MPs (Miliband (both) G, Brown) that didn't vote and a shortfall in Labour votes. Looking at the figures of who voted which way there are two things that occour, firstly the amendment could have mathematically been voted through and secondly that there are some surprises over who did vote who and didn't vote. To quickly illustrate the first point the amendment was defeated by 315 to 257, a government majority of 58 in simple terms this means that 80 Members of Parliaments did not bother to vote. Mathematically at least these 80 MPs could have forced through the bill that protected not only Cornwall's integrity but Anglesey, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and the Isle of Wight too. I know it is simp…

Saving money? the Lords and constitutional reform

As the Cornish border prepares to take on no more political significance to London than the Amazon, news about the creation of more peers in the Lords has me truly perplexed. The argument for the reduction in numbers of MPs is justified as saving money, part of the Governments obsession with cutting public spending. It is argued that 50 less MPs will save money and at the same time constituencies can be made roughly the same size in population. Which results in at least one cross Tamar constituency and communities everywhere in the UK being ignored for the sake of cold hard mathematics.

This reduction in MPs will save the public purse an estimated £12 million pounds a year. That's all well and good but in the same stroke the government is creating 300 new peers to the House of Lords, a cost that one peer estimates at £60 million pounds a year.  So it would seem that Cornwall stands to lose its border and democratic representation will be reduced throughout the UK, yet the unelect…

Keep Cornwall Whole amendment defeated

Not long ago the amendment proposed by Andrew George and carrying the name of all of the Cornish MPs was defeated by a government majority of 58. Now it is not clear who voted which way at this stage, but it seems very much like those that voted for the Keep Cornwall Whole amendment were from the opposition benches, bar say a dozen Conservative and Liberal Democrats.

Really thats by the by as we have moved one step closer to losing our historic territorial integrity.


I don't really know what to say at this stage but I would suggest something like this would be nice:

"...to give local people far more control over how their local area is run..."

So we could have Cornwall being:

"... heard at the heart of the Shadow Cabinet and the heart of the Conservative party..."

To try to avoid a situation where Cornwall is:

"... almost completely ignored by the government..."

These words of course come from the now Prime Minister, spoken upon the announcement of a…

Scrapping Coastguard Tugs, is the Government oblivious to maritime safety?

Amidst the large amount of cuts announced during the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat spending review yesterday,there was one great cut that will effect the high seas aound Cornwall, unnoticed by many, save the eagle eyed reporters at BBC Cornwall.(and the MP for Shetland.) Despite the claim in the article that it is a Falmouth tug, the Anglian Princess has become something of a landmark in Mount's Bay it's usual station.

The vessel is classed as an Emergency Tow Vessel, designed for the towing of stricken vessels in the Western Approaches and Channel but it also has a firefighting capability, (in conjunction with Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.) The Anglian Princess is one of four HM Coastguard ETVs that stand ready to assist vessels in distress. The Cornish based vessel has an important job, the seas around Cornwall are very busy with shipping coming to and from the UK and Ireland as well the continental ports of the Channel. The reason that the ETV system was introduced was…

Duchy of Cornwall, time to pay it's own way?

As we all know every ones belts are being tightened in this age of austerity. Cornwall Council has already identified the largest chunk of saving but now wants public input and indeed ideas for the rest of the £10 million short fall in funding from Westminster. These cuts will be severe, lets not make fools of ourselves and imagines that they will not effect front line services.

This situation prompted me to look into the financial transactions between the Duchy of Cornwall and Cornwall Council. The Duchy of Cornwall is a massive landowner in Cornwall, owning among other things in Cornwall the: "Tamar, Looe, Helford and Camel estuaries and coastal foreshore around Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly." (taken from the official Duchy of Cornwall website: http://www.duchyofcornwall.org/aroundthe) So this prompted me to try to investigate the financial dealings between HRH the Duke of Cornwall and Cornwall Council. Now the Duchy is very hard to investigate, it is immune from Freedo…
Undemocratic, disengaging, insulting, stupid and unsympathetic,
five reasons why Devonwall is a bad idea
There are many reasons why a Devonwall constituency is a bad idea. It’s tempting to list 1074 for this is the number of years since the Cornish border was established (in 936AD) , this would certainly be possible. However for the sake of your sanity and mine the number of objections to Devonwall can be summed up in five reasons. I know there are many more and I haven’t included for example the historical and cultural significance of the Tamar, Cornwall’s constitutional position and the fact that the Cornish like the Welsh, Scottish and English deserve equal political respect under law. I feel these subjects have been ably covered by other writers on their blogs. Anyway my five are perhaps a little procedural and dry but here they are.
1. Firstly and most importantly, the decision to create a Parliamentary Cross- Tamar constituency is wholly undemocratic. The move is opposed by Corn…

Sita confident of an incinerator in St Dennis?

The waste managment firm Sita -who are contracted to deal with Cornwall's waste and recycling- are currently in the middle of a planning appeal with Cornwall Council. The French firm sought planning permission for an energy from waste incinerator in St Dennis. This was opposed by a local campaign group St Dennis Anti Incinerator Group. Cornwall Council rejected the planning application over health concerns and the size of the project, Sita appealed this decision. At the moment this appeal is winding up and as the West Briton reported on September the eighth
"Closing statements by all parties will be heard at the planning inquiry from October 5 to 7 in the One Stop Shop Council Offices in Penwinnick Road. The final decision is not expected to be made until Autumn 2011." This same impression can be gleaned from the local councillor Dick Cole's blog and from the Cornwall Council website page about the appeal. However this does not seem to coincide with Sita's actio…

NHS funding boost, meagre crumbs for Kernow

Today's BBC news broadcasts on the radio,television and on the internet, triumphantly announced that Cornwall was to receive an extra NHS funding boost from central government. Now, before we break out the champagne lets put this in some context and not simply rely upon a press release to tell us whats good and whats not. At the outset I must say I do think it is a good thing that the Cornwall and Scilly PCT has been  received this money in a form of a grant, however its not as great as the news first seems. We are still a long way from getting our fair share of funding from central government and despite Mebyon Kernow's effort as Dick Cole's blog explains, there has so far been no discernable action by the Conservative led council.

According to Department of Health figures, Cornwall is joint bottom in terms of underfunding. The table below is taken from the DoH website (PDF file), I have reordered the columns from alphabetical to descending in terms of Distance from Targ…