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Showing posts from October, 2013

The Scottish Independence debate and how campaigns beat political parties on social media

Just now I cam across a staggering statistic from Yes Scotland, they over 100,000 'likes' on their facebook page. Understandably they are quite happy about this, as this photo lifted from the page demonstrates. 


Congratulations to them this is a huge feat, as they themselves are keen to note "We have now reached 100,000 likes on Facebook. Thank you very much for engaging in discussion with us - whether you agree with Yes Scotland or not." So likes on facebook and followers on twitter is not a completely accurate barometer of support, you may 'like' but that might be to actually disagree, as they concede. Although I dare say the fact that the rival Better Together campaign's facebook following of 91,000 is a lower is encouraging for the pro independence movement. On twitter the split is 14,544 to Better Together and 24,380 to Yes Scotland. Again the Yes campaign has a greater following and reach, again cause for concern for unionists. It's a well talk…

Penzance Town Council votes to be a Living Wage employer

Great news, a while back I suggested to the town clerk that the town council that we become a Living Wage employer. This came to committee last week and was thankfully voted through, with only one opposing which is fantastic. Although it was my idea, I can't take too much credit as I don't sit on the Finance and Property Committee, so I wasn't there to speak on behalf of the recommendation nor to vote on it. Thanks are due therefore to the town clerk and the other office staff for drawing up the proposal and the committee members for voting it through.

The wording of the recommendation was as follows: "that the principle of the Penzance Town Council being a Living Wage Employer is supported and that we work with the Living Wage Foundation in achieving Accreditation." More on what the Living Wage is from the Foundations website here.

I think this is an important step in recognising that decent wage is the right thing to do. For the town council the implications ar…

2150 houses for Penzance in the next 20 years

Following on from my earlier post and ny confusion to the numbers Labour's Tim Dwelly and Cornelieus Olivier wanted. I've had some clarification from Tim.  Also, the total for the Community Network Area was voted on today at committee, so what they wanted and what we'll get is a step closer. The total for the West Penwith CNA will be 3850 houses over the next 20 years up from 2500 planned previously. The total for the Penzance are will be 2150 up from the 1400 previous figure. The 350 Tim Dwelly had written on his fb page is the difference between what they wanted (2500) for PZ and what they got (2150).So to work it out in housebuilds a year, as per the Labour fashion, we will get on average 107 houses built. So Tim's figure was how many on top of that an extra 350 would be. I recognise the need for housing but I do fear these figures are too high. The argument that affordable housing will come with mass house building. Is not one I think proves itself.  Look around Co…

What housing numbers do Labour want for Penzance??

There is a lot of talk at the moment about Penzance and the Cornwall Local Plan. It is being decided up in Truro how many houses Penzance and the wider West Penwith Community Network Area should have in the next 20 years.  So what exactly are our Labour duo Cornelius Olivier and Tim Dwelly scheming behind closed doors? I'm asking because I have no idea at all.

Cornelius Olivier is quoted in the Cornishman seeking to dramatically increase the number for the Penwith Community Network area by 54% from the original 2,500 to 3,850. You have to question the mathematical research of this housing number, when in the same article Cllr Olivier is quoted as saying:

"This (extra 1,350 new homes) would only result in around 50 extra new homes a year being built in the area over the course of the plan."

Unless I'm missing something, 1350 (number of new homes (on top of the 2500)) divided by 20 (years of the local plan) equals 67.5. The original number of 2500 would equal 125 a year…

Should Penzance create a Neighbourhood Development Plan?

Last week I attended a training session hosted jointly by Cornwall Council and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) about the subject of Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDP). Here I want to outline objectively what this process is and whether this part of the world ought to set to this task or indeed not.

The main thrust of NDPs is localism they were introduced as part of the localism bill, with the view to
handing local authorities and local communities more power and say in planning the future of their area. Something I greatly agree in, I think the future of Penzance should be more powers and services devolved to the local level and less reliance on distant decision makers. So at the outset the whole process is very attractive to me and my view of politics.

So what is a Neighbourhood Development Plan? It's a bit of a slippery eel when it comes to definition. It's ultimately up to those who work through it, consulted on it and ultimately who vote on i…