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Showing posts from June, 2013

Another great Mazey Day

Great Mazey day and Golowan festival this year as always.  It's one of my favourite days of the year and whether you see it as a festival to St John the Baptist, mid summer or like me a good excuse to have a party, there's a lot to like. Credit to the organisers and particularly the police, volunteers, schools and local organisations who spend a great deal of time organising lots of things, to make it all fantastic. There are obvious economic benefits to the whole Golowan week, but for me it's the celebration.  The origins of Golowan or Gool Jowan (the feast of John) obviously predate Penzance's patron saint St John and are linked to the seasons, as with many Cornish festivals. That's my view of it, it's a celebration of summer, of Penzance of Cornwall. As such all of Penzance is represented our diverse traders, their foods and goods, music, art, boats, the harbour and of course drink ;-). I really enjoyed it and a great thank you to all those behind the scen…

A different model to the present Duke of Cornwall's benevolent fund?

A while back I started a petition, calling for the money from bona vacantia (money from people who die in Cornwall without a will inherited by the Duchy). To be better spent and managed, it came out of a frustration on where the money currently goes, more on that in this previous post explaining curiously missing money and the preference given to Charles Windsor's own charities. The majority of money leaves Cornwall and I think this is a great shame. We have a centralised political state and centralised business in the UK, no end of money is raised, earnt and spent in Cornwall that quickly flows over the Tamar. This constantly undermines the Cornish economy and although the bona vacantia that goes into the Duke of Cornwall's Benevolent Fund is tiny in comparison to taxes and profits it is something, and we need to fight for every penny these days.

Some criticism of my petition was what exactly was I proposing? My answer was understandably vague, it may come as a surprise but …

Should we reestablish the districts or bolster the parishes of Cornwall?

As many of you, -or at least of you that read Stephen Richardson's blog- know, Mebyon Kernow is currently running a consultation on a Cornish assembly (link here). Although the main thrust of the consultation document and assembly policy has to be what powers a Cornish assembly should have and how the body should be funded and other questions, I am interested in the layer of local government beneath it. There is a misconception that devolution as proposed by Mebyon Kernow and others would result in Cornwall Council having more powers, although this is possible I do not think, as does MK, that this is desirable. Devolution to Cornwall from Westminster and Whitehall must also mean devolution within Cornwall and fixing the mess of the overly centralised unitary authority.
Cornwall Council is a local government authority, a Cornish assembly would be a legislative authority or if you prefer a national government, there is a crucial difference. There should be a separation between thes…

Compare and contrast the Lib Dem budget and adult care

Here is the nub of the Liberal Democrat tax freezing budget. It was all things to all men a council tax freeze for Cornwall's ratepayers and no services lost. This made great headlines at the time and the accolades of the taxpayer alliance types. But as any half sensible person can work out, the massive cuts from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat government are bound to result in loss of services, without action such as raising council tax. Therefore its no surprise sadly to see the new Cornwall Council administration release a statement to the press, given the title: "Adult care services at Cornwall Council will be reduced under new regime." link

Penzance Town council and Cornwall Council's harbour scheme

Tonight was my first full town council meeting, well the first proper one, the first Mayor Making meeting was largely ceremonial. Amongst the approval of minutes and plans for the Penzance 400 celebrations (which look very good at this preliminary stage) and other largely procedural stuff. There was a glimmer of excitement, argument and for me head scratching over the harbour. Cllr Cliffe proposed that the council hold a public meeting over Cornwall Council's business case for harbour improvements recently forwarded to the Department of Transport (DFT). That document is here on the Penzance Town Council website. This caused some controversy among the members and a lively and passionate debate. On the one hand some thought that the previous position of the council be reiterated by writing again to the minister. Stating that the council wishes for improvements to the St Mary's harbour on Scilly be undertaken. Dredging of Penzance harbour is supported by PZTC. That proposed rock…