A Conservative leaflet in West Cornwall reveals how the Tories do not want people to view them on their own Council's record. Normally political leaflets highlight the work of the party, how they have made an area better and ultimately why they should be voted back again. Unable to find justifications for the Tory led administration on Cornwall Council the St Ives Conservatives have instead disowned their own parties policies and neglected to mention failures. Now we are supposed to believe that they are for lower parking charges, that they want housing developments only where necessary, that infrastructure spending in West Cornwall has a proud record and that they are the champions of small business.
In a leaflet for the Police Commissioner elections, the local branch of the Conservatives have used some of the back to highlight some of their Councillors, no doubt in an attempt to raise their profiles. On the one hand they are for low parking and development, in sharp contradiction to Tory policy running the council, these Councillors are on the side of the public on both issues.
The Tories argue for lower parking charges, yet Tory policy on Cornwall Council has been to make money out of parking and this part of Cornwall disproportionally. I am unaware of Councillor Harding's campaigning and successes on the issue of parking, this really is news to me. Certainly if I was advising the Conservatives I would do anything but mention parking and do my utmost to distract people from the Tories poor record in this area.
They are also on the side of small businesses as well, no justification for this, thus none given on the leaflet. Despite the massive importance to the Cornish economy of small businesses Cornwall Council lacks any kind of small business policy or incentives or pretty much anything specific.
Apparently Cornwall Council has "created outstanding opportunities for major building and infrastructure developments" the examples given are Helston, (presumably Sainsbury's and the Tesco extension not a great deal to do with Cornwall Council) and Hayle, which is not part of this constituency. This is presumably highlighting the building works around the North Quay, which were part of the Wavehub project (which still lies woefully unused on the seabed thanks to the Tory led government's inaction). Quizzically this section ends "Many of these resulting in much needed long term employment" many here meaning jobs in 2 new supermarkets. They neglect to mention of course the failures of this council administration to find consensus to get harbour improvements in Penzance and see the scheme through before the Conservative led government pulled the funding. So infrastructure and major building in the St Ives constituency is simply allowing supermarkets to build in Helston, hardly an aspiring record of action by Cornwall Council. Which again highlights the administration's poor record in the St Ives constituency and how disinterested this centralised Tory led council is of the far west.
The last point about housing development is rather bizarre considering the vote last week (see Dick Cole's blog) where the Conservative led administration's cabinet voted for the high amount of development. The other claims made (see below) seem to contradict schemes supported by the council such as Truro East, Coyte Farm among others which are on green fields and are in no way in fill.
I really question the thoughts of the St Ives Conservative party, if they are going to disagree so fundamentally with the policies and actions of their own party in power, then they need to explain the electorate that they are not happy with their party. They also need to explain how supporting them will change things, we have these people in power already. There are already Conservative Councillors in this part of Cornwall and by voting them in the people have got a lack of infrastructure investment, record high car parking prices, a lack of support for small businesses and a free rein for developers to build where they like. Do they think the people of West Cornwall are stupid?