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Showing posts from November, 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…