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Showing posts from October, 2012

Hardly a surprise I know but George Eustice doesn't get it

Today the MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle George Eustice has a piece in the Packet, calling for reform of Cornwall Council. Despite the fact the ex-leader Conservative Alec Robertson lost a vote of no confidence for acting in a unilateral way withholding all decision making to the 10 strong cabinet. George Eustice thinks that the decision making at Cornwall Council should be made by even less people. Calling for a mayor to replace the current cabinet system, leaving the 'day to day' running to the council. So despite the Leader and cabinet acting all by themselves with the Joint Venture, against the wishes of the full chamber and the public doesn't seem to get why this was bad for democracy! Suggesting that the cabinet system and leader system should be replaced with one person a mayor for Cornwall to make all of the decisions to hell with what everyone else thinks.


The real lesson for the Joint Venture for Shared Services was that a minority can not make all the decisi…

Second home voters time for action, what about the 22,000

Further than my last post about the astronomical number of second home owners in Cornwall Second homes time for action, it occurs to me that not only are there 23,000 people taking up Cornish homes for the odd weekend and summer holidays but all of these people are entitled to vote and they might well do so. Safe to say any of them that read my last post won't be voting Mebyon Kernow!

After a sustained campaign by members of MK, Lib Dems and Independents notably Angus Lamond, for democracy to be restored and the principle of one person one vote to apply in Cornwall, the council did act. Early last year they struck off 947 second home owners from the electoral register who hitherto had the option to vote where they lived and in Cornwall. But the question now arises after the release of the official figures from the 2011 census when will the other 22,000 people be struck off? The possible impact of this many votes is huge, in all levels of election in Cornwall. It is obvious that MP…

Second homes time for action!

Today the ONS released details from last years census of the number of people who own a second home in Cornwall but reside elsewhere. I was truly astonished at the scale of non residential holiday homes here in Kernow, nearly 23,000 people have one here, more than any local authority in England and Wales.  As a comparison that's more people than live in Bodmin (14,700), Hayle (9,500), Helston (11,500), Newquay (20,600), Penzance, (including Heamoor, Newlyn, Gulval, Long Rock and Ludgvan)  (21,500) and slightly less than the combined population  of Truro and Threemilestone (23,600) source. So the entire population of Penzance -and the surrounding area- could leave their houses and find new accommodation and the majority of those second home owners wouldn't be any the wiser until next summer.

This is staggering and at a time when nearly 20,000 people are on Cornwall Council's waiting list (plus more not on the list). Cornwall Council keeps insisting to fill these demands to …

Cornwall Council: The old privatisation King is Dead Long Live the new privatisation King

Yesterday saw a turbulent meeting at Cornwall Council, which saw an increasingly hot tempered debate and ultimately the sacking of Alec Robertson as Council leader (63 votes to 49) and the widespread proclamation that the Joint Venture for Shared Services was dead in the water. And that the election of the Conservative Jim Currie spelt the end for this privatisation scheme. But is it the end of it?

The left was triumphant yesterday after the dethronement of Alec, people including myself hailed the end of this great gamble. Encouraged by Jim Curries words in his bid for the leadership, seeing off the contender Neil Burden with a speech decrying the privatisation scheme, whereas Burden now the deputy leader spoke for a slimmed down version of the scheme. The morning after the night before I have some doubts about the level of victory, no doubt the Guardian article by Patrick Butler had it right (if details a bit sketchy, Cornwall County Council apparently and no mention of the NHS and h…

Some thoughts on the Society Cornwall survey...

Tomorrow the 16th of October the leader of Cornwall Council faces his vote of no confidence. Brought about from his unwavering support for a Joint Venture on Shared Services (see my thoughts on that here and here) despite the vote of councillors against the scheme and the hugely popular petition against the scheme. Before tomorrows protest on the issue outside Lys Kernow starting at 9:30 and this fateful day the leadership can take little comfort in a survey conducted by Society Cornwall on attitudes toward local government in Cornwall. Here's a picture of their results:

Now there are caveats to the survey, it was only a sample of 129 Cornish residents over 5 days. But despite the small number of respondents there are clear conclusions. The cabinet system is widely condemned 47%  against it as the best form of governance with only 10% agreeing  and thus 43% presumably I don't know. Or in other words 61 don't like the present cabinet system, 13 do like it and 55 I don't…

Cornwall Council's possible u turn on Shared Services, don't be fooled.

Today it has been announced that Alec Robertson has signalled a possible u turn on Shared Services. Possible because Alec has changed his posture from one of, my mind won't be changed to it might be changed, now placing it in the hands of councillors to decide. Which appears to suggest that the motion to kick out the Joint Venture on Shared Services will be ignored and the issue will yet again be debated in full council. A clear indication that the embattled regime are still seeking to push ahead with the scheme and are willing to ignore the clear vote of councillors. Great work by everyone who signed the petition and got us to this stage but the fight must go on.
Last friday there was a meeting of the Conservative group on Cornwall Council and no doubt this was high on the agenda, especially considering the threat it poses to the beleaguered leader's position in the upcoming no confidence vote. I would imagine that the crux of that meeting was to ensure that Tory councillors …

Bona Vacantia, the Duchy of Cornwall, the case of the missing money

The Telegraph ran with a story about the income of the Duke of Cornwall from bona vacantia yesterday. This is when people die in Cornwall without a will or a next of kin then their possessions are deemed to be ownerless goods (the meaning of bona vacantia in Latin) and are appropriated by the Duchy of Cornwall. In England these 'goods' land, property, belongings, money and so on are appropriated by the Crown and passed over to the Treasury (i.e. the government) but in Cornwall now and since 1337 these unclaimed possessions pass to the Duchy. For centuries these assets merely became part of the heir to the English thrones fortune, but since the 1970s they have been passed to the Duchy of Cornwall's Benevolent Fund or at least that's the story. So upon reading the story I thought I'd have a quick look on the internet and see where this money went and the story of the money is very curious...

Firstly the Telegraph reports that the income to the Duchy from Cornwall'…