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Showing posts from December, 2012

At least fifty things in local govt Pickles is clueless about

Yesterday as a precursor to yet more cuts being made to local government funding, Eric Pickle's released his  "50 ways to save: Examples of sensible savings in local government" and its not too bad there are some good suggestions. A lot of it is straight from the para-Tory Taxpayer's Alliance, I'm not saying its all wrong. Things like cutting the top earners in local government, employing less consultants, great ideas and none of them are all together bad. But what is really striking is that of 50 suggestions nearly all of them are predominantly administrative 'sharing back off office functions', 'hot desking', 'less management training'. Which is all well and good but offers no advice on essential frontline services. Why the government who is after all in charge, has taken over 2 years to merely suggest these things is beyond me? I hate to tell Pickles etc their jobs, but there's a thing called parliament, if you introduce a bill, it…

Cornish national identity statistics in the 2011 census

Just had a quick look at the newly released census statistics from last year, as many people know Cornish as a national identity was an option although a write in one rather than a tick box.

Headline figures for Cornwall and those identifying as Cornish are:
52,793 people identified as Cornish only.
5,185 Cornish and British.
15,242 Cornish and another identity e.g. English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish (with or without British).
(total 73,220)
459,053 No Cornish identity.

The total for England, Wales and Cornwall was:
59,456 Cornish only.
6,261 Cornish and British.
17,782 Cornish and another identity.
(total 83,499)

It's hard to know what to make of these statistics, Cornish identity still lacks a tickbox and studies and research show that without a tickbox and having to write in (if respondents are aware they can). Results are always lower. Take Wales and the Welsh for example and the huge leap from the numbers identifying as Welsh in the 2001 census and the numbers now. 14% …

Needs of the people should be at the forefront of politics

I was struck reading Dick Cole's latest piece (link here) how refreshing it was to see putting the needs of people first, and it depressed me to how political discourse in the UK seldom seems to broach the subject of need or morality. From the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and even from the Labour leadership we hear time and again about 'balancing the books', 'reducing the deficit', 'streamlining' and the like. It is rare to hear politicians talking of need, what people need, what we can do to make people's lives better how we can make a better society for the people. It's lamentable that Westminster seems to be filled with accountants constantly arguing over numbers, balances, debts, deficit. Morality seems a far removed concept from the idealism and energy that built institutions like the NHS. It inspires me to be a member of a party like Mebyon Kernow whose leader draws inspiration not just from the Cornish radical tradition including p…

On the campaign trail with John Gillingham

On thursday, the voters of the Gwinear- Gwithian and St Erth division will go the polls for this last Cornwall Council by election before the elections next year. It will no doubt be an interesting contest with a grand total of 7 hopefuls on the ballot paper (Mebyon Kernow, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Labour and 3 Independents). This will be the 6th by election since the last elections in 2009.

It's an interesting contest for Mebyon Kernow, we did not stand in the division in the last elections and we have obviously have a lot of work to do to explain to voters who we are and what we stand for. To be brutally honest with this in mind and the fact that this is John's first time running in an election I really wasn't that hopeful that we would do that well. However after canvassing with John on the doorstep in places like Gwithian, Upton Towans, Carnhell Green, Connor Downs and Reawla I have been struck at how well we are regarded. Perhaps I have listened to our critics…

Cornwall Council privatisation plan just won't die

The widely discredited unpopular Joint Venture for Shared Services between British Telecom and Cornwall Council refuses to go away. Despite the wishes of Councillors, the thousands who signed the petition  and the fact the old council leader losing his job over supporting the scheme it is still being promoted by the authority.

Today the Cornwall Business Partnership wrote to the council publicly backing the BT scheme on This is Cornwall. This should of course come of no great surprise BT is one of the partners of the Cornwall Business Partnership and surprise surprise so is Serco in the guise of Peninsula Enterprise.
The question is yet again asked, will the views of the public and elected Councillors come first or will big business and those seeking lucrative outsourcing contracts and public money have the final say? If the Conservatives really want this scheme, they should stand on that platform next May in the election, thus canvassing the support of the Cornish taxpayer rather tha…