Friday, 15 March 2013

Labour decrying investment in Penzance, no surprise there then

Labour's sole Cornwall councilor Jude Robinson has lambasted the decision to invest in St John's Hall in Penzance. It comes really as no surprise, we remember not long ago, Labour suggested to Cornwall's Lib Dems to centralise all of local government in Truro, enthusiastically supported by the Cornish branch of the Labour party. Which resulted in hundreds of jobs leaving Penzance and our decision making abilities in Penwith District Council being stripped from us. As a result there are not enough council staff left in town to warrant both the St Clare site and St John's Hall, so the former is being sold to pay for investment in the latter.

During the last Labour government the Inland Revenue office was centralised from Penzance added to the local courts leaving and even our job center being downgraded. Not to mention the stripping of West Cornwall hospital's accident and emergency department and other services at the hospital being centralised out of town. We saw here in Penzance time and again European funding Objective One and Convergence being spent elsewhere. The amount actually successfully invested in Penzance during Labour's time in power was pitiful compared to Cornwall's other major towns. Quite why Labour has such disdain for investment and jobs in Penzance is unclear, why we are less worthy than other areas is beyond me and defies the fact that we are just as in need of investment as elsewhere. The net result of the Labour years of centralisation was and is hundreds of jobs, hundreds of workers spending money in the town center gone. Is it really any wonder that our town has one of the emptiest town centers in Cornwall?

Looking through the archives this is what Labour had to say before the 2009 election:
 "The Labour government was right to make the unitary option available."
They went on to say:
 "But it can only be made effective by a different kind of local politics: one which – still within essential regional and national frameworks – can think and act consistently for Cornwall as a whole, not in a merely sectional or opportunist way. Labour alone among the parties seems capable of doing so."
'Sectional and opportunist', they certainly know what the people want to hear, but why is a Camborne councillor lobbying against funding in Penzance, if Labour is a party that wants to think and act for the whole of Cornwall. I don't blame Jude being the only Labour councillor on the council she simply has to stand up for her area and I share her concerns about the awful sale of facilities at Carn Brea leisure center, really glad to see Mebyon Kernow councilors at the protest against the decision by the council. As Jude well knows the sale of St Clare will pay for the St John's Hall improvements and is nothing at all to do with Carn Brea leisure center. But from my perspective why is it always Penzance Labour choose to take jobs from and divert investment from? With policies like this it's little wonder that Labour couldn't find anyone west of London to contest the St Ives constituency seat at the last general election.