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Showing posts from November, 2014

What is the point of the Liberal Democrats?

Reading through the latest batch of Liberal Democrat press releases and perhaps the tired old rhetoric, those weary words but it soon sent me to sleep. I guess that's causality, one thing causes another. I awoke and y'know when you just get up and you feel a bit confused with reality? Well I was in that stage pondering what I'd read. Was it real? Had dreams impinged upon reality? Thankfully not! Alas it was real, even bleary eyed I can tell the and difference between reality and smoke and mirrors. And I thought what's the point of the Lib Dems? (Other than to send you to sleep of course!)Look at the subjects of their statements and they all tug at the heart strings, who in the right mind would want to close libraries? Bulldoze woodland for housing? Spend millions on a police commissioner and lay off front line officers, front desks and run a 101 service to rival pigeon post? Who would want to privatise the NHS and open it up to sale to all kind of speculators like Lock…

Tories block devolution to Cornwall to keep power in Westminster's hands

Whilst here in Cornwall we might fantasise about how things could change with devolution. How powers to make decisions in Cornwall would lead to solutions suited to us not to central government. How we might break the status quo of low wages, high house prices and being one of the least economically productive parts of the EU. At the same time David Cameron has pledged to keep the status quo and retighten the grip on the purse strings. Ruling out devolution of tax raising powers.  This is ridicously short sighted and ignores the fact most states in the world are happy for not every simple decision to be made in the capital. Local tax raising is a common sense solution. As anyone can see, without a vested interest in how much tax is raised and thus how well the economy is doing, what is the impetus for authorities to focus on growth? The system of the vast majority of taxes going to the center and it deciding what to distribute outwards is a nonsense and leads to an economy where th…

The road to May starts with the Mebyon Kernow conference and engaging more

This sunday is the Mebyon Kernow conference. Every party conference is an important one,  The focus this year is engagement, the conference is a great time to see more of a party and find it's members, spokespersons and leadership all in one place ready to speak to people. It's a time to inform policy, hold debates and engage with both the membership and the public. Below is a blog with some of my thoughts about the conference and a link to the agenda for sunday's event.

This conference is more important than most. For a number of reasons: firstly there's the general election looming large on the horizon, make no mistake this is the most unpredictable election in a long long time. Opinion polls reveal there is a record low of people that will vote for Labour and Tory next May. The polls also tell us only a fraction more voters will vote Lib Dem next year (across the UK) then will vote for the SNP (just in Scotland). The three big parties will try to make out that this e…

Another nail in the coffin of localism as Pickle's rejects supermarket levy out of hand

The Tory minister Eric Pickles has denied local councils the right to choose to levy a big business. I wrote about a large retailer levy a while back in perhaps an overly academic fashion looking at the pros and cons. I did have some conversations with senior councillors and officers at Cornwall Council and a few months later they did write to government asking for those powers. I have a lot of sympathy with the idea of a big retail tax, all of our town centers have empty shops, yet Cornish towns are increasingly encircled by supermarkets and out of town retail. The small independent local businesses are obviously losing out to the multinational chains and as a consequence money is leaving Cornwall faster than tourists in late August.


What's so thoroughly depressing and frustrating about it all is that man Eric Pickle's again acting like lord and master over local government and indeed local communities. In an amazing act of hyperbole even for Eric he sent out a personal press…

Penzance Town Council votes for a breakwater

Amongst other things this evening the town council voted to support a feasibility study into a breakwater for Mount's Bay. A study is crucial to prove the viability of such a sea defence. This would be essential for pulling in any funding from the government or through EU funds.The amount is a £10,000 from the town out of an estimated £100,000. It does seem like a large amount of money, but unfortunately the nature of consultancy and expertise is such that it is expensive. Without any such report a future breakwater to protect Penzance harbour and seafront would be impossible. This is a significant step forward and the large amount of support from the town council tonight and on the issue if sea defences more generally bodes well for the future. Of course we are still talking about the future. A report will not automatically mean a breakwater will be built nor the money found. But if the report finds a realistic option we will have a lot of ammunition to lobby for funding. Also…

A step closer to a Breakwater for Penzance?

It's certainly not new news that a breakwater in Mount's Bay is widely desired. Personally I think it's long overdue and I hope the winter will not again prove that the sea defences of the town are inadequate. Regular readers will remember my posts on the subject earlier this year. Thankfully this is one of those issues that looks to pass from the realms of press releases to reality (or nearer to it).At Monday's Penzance Town Council meeting it will be put to the councillors that a feasibility study is needed to investigate options. That with the backing of the town council and crucially a £10,000 contribution, the Department for Transport could find the rest of the £100,000 cost. Quite why Cornwall Council as owners of the harbour and promenade are not involved is puzzling to say the least. A breakwater would be a small step in the right direction. Perhaps the much fancied ideas about rejuvenating the harbour and prom might, with a breakwater come into fruition. After…