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Showing posts from November, 2013

A great milestone for my blog

Today my blog reached 100, 000 page views. Which I'm more than chuffed with. I've no doubt this figure is dwarfed by other blogs and news/ views outlets in Cornwall and beyond. But I'm pleased that so many people read my views. I've tried to use it to lobby for positive change and to defend things I think important. Since I've started this blog,  I've joined Mebyon Kernow and become very active in the party. In May I was elected to Penzance Town Council. I have tried to use my blog to provide insight into my party, the council I serve on and my views on these and other subjects. I passionately believe in encouraging engagement in politics and having frank debates with the public and I hope my blog is helping me achieve this and helping people better understand my party and my role as councilor. Anyway thanks to my readers and I'm sure with the increasing readers month on month I'll soon be at another milestone.

The Cornish Assembly Petition

This week the online variant of the assembly petition was launched. 2 days in and it's already over 550 signatures, which is fantastic news and a clear sign that many people want Cornwall to have a greater say in our own affairs.

I really hope people do get behind the petition and sign it. Personally I did have fears that Mebyon Kernow launching a petition would put off people from other political persuasions. Thankfully this hasn't been the case and although politicians from other parties are a bit thin on the ground, I have already noticed the Lib Dem Cornwall Councilor Jade Farrington share the petition online. Hopefully this will be the first of many and people will put aside their differences and recognise that a Cornish assembly will benefit One and All. I hope they resist the urge to snub the petition -despite their views- because it was started by a political party.

It's heartening to see the fabulous comedian Kernow King supporting it online:
https://t.co/AIf5Pwyo1…

Free Christmas parking for Penzance

Great news, Cornwall Council car parks will be free all day on December saturdays and thursday evenings for late night shopping. This is a real boost for the town centre in this important period and great news for shoppers and is paid for out of the Section 106 money from Sainsburys.

This is something I have lobbied for as vice chair of the town council's general purposes committee and lobbied councilors in the town to get behind. Along with others including Penzance Chamber of Commerce and other town councilors. Credit and thanks to the town clerk (Simon Glasson) for meeting with Cornwall Council officers and getting the 106 process sped up and getting this parking money used for the festive period. And finally credit to Sally Bodinar of the shop Anella's on Chapel Street, who has doggedly campaigned for there to be free parking for the festive period, thanks Sally.

Also the town council had already found money out of it's own budget to lay on free parking for the Decembe…

Cornish language nursery needs your help

I've just pledged to support Cornwall's -indeed the world's- only Cornish language nursery. A few years back I used to attend with my daughter Elsie, my wife Kristin and when Mazey was born she came too. Back then it was just saturday mornings and we adults would learn some Kernewek whilst the little ones learnt and of course played. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Now Skol Veythrin Karensa has grown, expanded and thanks to the hard work of volunteers and the support of Cornwall College is ready to step up a level and become full time.  To do this and to make the vital Cornish language resource have a secure future they need your help.  If you can please please pledge here through the Crowdfunder website. More details here on the Nursery World website

A comparison of how shoddy Cornwall's rail network is

The government has a flagship project High Speed 2, I can't criticise the thought, investment in the rail network is long overdue. Not sure that investing all that money in one place is the right thing. I'm glad Mebyon Kernow has called for money instead to be spent in Cornwall and on the rail link through South West England. I thought I'd like at a quick comparison at how our train line stacks up in terms of times and cost, using the journey planner on the National Rail website. It is quite shocking.Penzance-Paddington about 5 hours 30 minutes at the cost of £58. London-Paris about 2 hours 20 cost varies from just over £100 to £200.Penzance-Birmingham about 6 hours costs around £140.London-Birmingham about hour and a half cost between £40 and £70.Penzance-Edinburgh enough to lose the will to live in time 11 hours + and money £210+. London-Edinburgh between 4 and 5 hours cost around £150.Being realistic London and these other cities have more people than Cornwall and more …

Living wage week and the approach of Cornwall Council and Ed Miliband

As many of my long term readers are aware, I am a big supporter of the Living Wage, because I don't think pay is fair and the minimum wage isn't enough to get by on. However I'm not blind to the fact that there is a cost to raising wages, in any organisation the wage bill is always one of the biggest costs. So I'm interested to explore the options, the other week my suggestion that Penzance Town Council become a Living Wage employer was thankfully passed (blog here). In this case the cost didn't have a severe impact upon the budget of the council, but for bigger authorities and organisations how can it be done?

In the last week Ed Miliband has come out and announced the Living Wage as a key stone policy for the Labour party, congratulations to him I think one of the great mistakes of the Labour government was not keeping minimum wage in line with inflation. Throughout the period of the minimum wage, the gap between the lowest earners and the highest earners has dra…

UPDATED Cornwall Council might not be pulling out of Pengarth

Below is the post I wrote about Pengarth and the loss of grant funding from Cornwall Council.  I have since been contacted by Alex Folkes who informs me that this is not necessarily the case. To quote: "I'm afraid that the blog you have posted about Pengarth is not true. The amount that CC has provided to the centre has been cut (I don't have the precise figures, but have no reason to doubt those you have used). However, no decision has been taken to cut funding altogether."I'm still wary that funding might still be cut, I hope not as this is a vital service to the old people of Penzance and one that saves the wider health and care services money. Definitely one to watch.Below is my original post.
At this evenings Penzance Town Council meeting we were unexpectedly met with the news that Cornwall Council has pulled the grant funding from Pengarth. According to the figures they supplied Cornwall Council took over the grant funding from Penwith in 2009 and gave £15, …

Sainsbury's million pound 106 money, where is it?

I'm sure many of us remember back in May, that our new Cornwall Councillors, Tim Dwelly, Cornelius Olivier and Jim McKenna fought to change the 106 agreement with Sainsburys. Rather than spending the £1.2 million, gained to Cornwall Council from the supermarket, on a park and ride they felt the money would be better spent in the town centre.As Cllr Dwelly told the Cornishman:"I don't think a park-and-ride is the best way to spend the money," he said."We know that it's possible for Cornwall Council to spend it in a different way than what's in the agreement."What we're now exploring with them, and hopefully with Penzance Town Council and the Town Team, is a better way of spending the money."Penzance is in crisis and needs some urgent help, not just long-term improvement."With the supermarket opening it's petrol station tomorrow and the store on a week wednesday (13th of November). Where will the money be spent? The simple answer is …