Sunday, 26 January 2014

The first Cornish Assembly roadshow was a stunning success but...


It certainly wasn't without it's challenges, inevitably as our first event in this series we have a lot of lessons to learn. Chief among them the wind, it plays havoc with a stall and after a couple of hours we had to take it down or face it blowing away! The vagaries of winter weather in Truro city center aside, I really enjoyed the day and learnt a great deal. As everyone in the party did. We engaged with a lot of people, signed up some new members, got recently signed up members involved and hopefully got some voters in the future. As well of course as talking about a Cornish Assembly and getting petitions signed! A Few things struck me yesterday, many people are aware of the unfairness of the current political system for Cornwall. That centralisation does us no favours and both in terms of public services and economy generally we suffer as a far flung outpost of a state centralised so far away. Or as one person I spoke to put it "Everything drops off after Bristol".

I learnt support for a Cornish Assembly is not confined to Mebyon Kernow voters. I had a long and engaging conversation with a former Kerrier District Councillor who had represented the Conservative party. He was greatly supportive of a Cornish Assembly and bemoaned the centralisation of local government in Cornwall. He welcomed the invigoration of local government that an assembly would bring. I had a long conversation with a couple from Helston who were greatly supportive of devolution but it must be said very sceptical of Mebyon Kernow and what we stand for. I was happy to have the opportunity to explain this and give them some reading material. They had even read about the roadshow on facebook and come to Truro specifically to come along and sign the petition. I had many conversations yesterday and I won't summarise all of them, some were against devolution -although a surprisingly welcome small number of them (2)- some were for devolution and some needed convincing.  I also learnt as an aside people travel from far and wide to shop in Truro...

Cllr Lance Dyer and myself talking about issues facing Truro
What was greatly encouraging was the number of Mebyon Kernow members that turned up to help out. Chief among them Stephen Richardson (the General Election candidate for Truro and Falmouth) and Rod Toms, who organised the event. Also Andy Long, Loveday Jenkin, Dave Garwood, Lance Dyer, Shaun Tofty, Tim Pointer, Pete Dudley, Chris Lawrence, Lawrence Molton, Rhisiart Tal-e-bot. As well as the number of MK members and supporters that came from far and wide to wish us well and have a chat.

Next up is Penzance, hope to see some of my readers there. If you can't wait you can always sign the petition here and read more about the Cornish Assembly campaign and some faqs and what devolution means here.