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Showing posts from January, 2013

Standing for council, allowances and Alec Robertson's populism

On saturday just gone I attended the councilor fair at Cornwall Council, a very successive event that aimed to give electoral hopefuls a better idea of the role of both the council and its members. I found it most informative and congratulations to the council's Democratic Services team who ran the event. It certainly was well attended and there were about the same numbers as at the Mebyon Kernow conference (the last time I was there), which was encouraging. There is certainly renewed interest in the work of the council and more of the public -as far as I can see- are growing to realise that the council is very important and it's decisions effect all of Kernow.

There obviously was a great deal about what the council does, the challenges facing the council and such like but I'll blog about this later as it touches on a number of other subjects. But for now, it was very interesting to learn more about the role and duties of being a councilor. I'm sure it comes as no surp…

Cornwall Council Tories in yet more disarray

Today leader of the Conservative group on Cornwall Council Fiona Ferguson resigned over Capita's methods in rooting out council tax fraud. The company has been contracted to investigate people claiming the single person discount for council tax incorrectly. In her resignation letter she explained that the use of lie detectors by Capita during phone calls was questionable and no longer trusted by central government. Which is all fine and well but why now?

Digging through the Cornwall Council news archive, I found this quote:

Fiona Ferguson, the Council’s portfolio holder for corporate resources, is supporting the review. Fiona says: “Apart from the need to protect the public purse from fraud, this is a simple matter of fairness. It is especially important when people in Cornwall who are paying the correct council tax are struggling as a result of the current economic climate.”

Story posted 16 November 2012

So are we really to believe that its taken 2 months for the portfolio ho…

Mebyon Kernow social evening in Penzance

This coming friday members of the St Ives constituency branch will be holding a social event in Penzance. Upstairs in the Admiral Benbow is the venue from 20:00 until late. It's open to all members of Mebyon Kernow, supporters and members of the public. It's a great opportunity to come together have some fun and a drink before the hard work of the campaigning for the May elections. Also a great opportunity to meet some MK councilors including Dick Cole, Loveday Jenkin, Tamsin Williams and Phil Rendle and chat to them about the Cornwall Council, town and parish council elections and Mebyon Kernow's manifesto in this crucial electoral year. So if you fancy it please come along.

25th January 20:00- 23:30
Admiral Benbow, upstairs room,
Chapel Street, Penzance.

Any questions or queries contact myself via email

Meanwhile in the parallel universe of the Lib Dems: Andrew George leads a rebellion (or not)

I was interested to notice the flummox Andrew George found himself in over the governments latest "reform" to the welfare state. This time around it's the question of benefits and whether they should rise with inflation. There are arguments for and against, public sector wages have been frozen as have most people's wages over the last few years so the government has backed itself into a corner. It would be wrong for wages to not increase and benefits to increase (as Labour wants) Obviously neither situation is tenable for the good of people and society as a whole, living costs, energy bills, fuel, VAT have all risen considerably in the last few years, it costs more to live now, wages have to keep up with this. And so do benefits for workers on a low income, for disabled people and for people out of work. We face a grim future all of us, if the cost of living continues to grow faster than household incomes. A healthy economy is one in which living costs and incomes m…

Meanwhile in the parallel universe of the Liberal Democrats part 1

The best scientists in the world are currently expending their best efforts to work out the Lib Dem enigma. All for nought unfortunately as bizzare press releases from an apparent parallel universe keep making it through to the real world. Quite why their rhetoric is so removed from reality remains a deep mystery.

Two recent examples reveal this disturbing delusion here in Cornwall. Heres the first:

According to Stephen Gilbert MP a vote for anyone but the Lib Dems is a vote for the Tories. By implication the latter party are undesirable, no one is quite sure how members of the public siding with the Conservatives is such a bad thing but when the Liberal Democrats do it its in everyones best interest.  If its everyones duty to keep the Tories out of power ss the main plank of their election campaigning suggests why aren't they bound by the same logic?

Continuing the theme, the MPs press release reveals the Lib Dem logic:

"If anyone thinks that Liberal Democrat MPs are not fig…

A Cornish Assembly in news and blogs 2012

This year has been an exciting time in politics in Cornwall, not always good but definitely changing and busy. Devonwall, pasty tax, cuts cuts and more cuts, regional pay and of course Cornwall Council's Shared Services (privatisation scheme). Its not all been dominated (thankfully) by the hare brained schemes of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. Mebyon Kernow has been able to present ideas too and push for change in Cornwall, most notably on the Cornish assembly which has been on the agenda and the news a lot this year. This is a review with links of developments in devolution this year.

The end of 2011 saw the tenth anniversary of the Cornish Assembly petition and this was marked by an EDM launched by Plaid Cymru MPs. By the end of 2011 devolution was already on the agenda and in the news, see here for a collection of links to news articles. By this time last year I was blogging about the subject under the title Thinking About Devolution, similarly Stephen Richardso…