Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Monday, 27 January 2014
Sunday, 26 January 2014
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|
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.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014
The figures have been released by the erstwhile campaigners Coastguard SOS and picked up by the SNP: Westminster coastguard cuts out lives at risk. A few years ago when I first started blogging, I wrote a number of posts about the government's cavalier attitude to maritime safety and criticised their attempts to dress up cuts as 'reforms'. The reason I stopped blogging was that I thought that Falmouth MRCC was now safe from 24 hour closure and Westminster had realised that it was a vital center not just for Cornwall but the North Atlantic and a much wider area. How wrong I was, I should have kept a closer eye on developments.
Monday, 20 January 2014
It's hard sometimes with politics to assume too much about your audience and fail to make convincing arguments and conversely assume too little and be patronising. There has to be a healthy balance of not shouting slogans nor over explaining an idea. This cartoon I saw earlier on twitter made me chuckle for this reason:
Harsh...but fair. pic.twitter.com/2FaQE4dqtRThe rights and wrongs of Miliband's political positioning aside, it is a real problem for politicians. Many politicians don't realise that slogans and soundbites look great in print but sound inherently weird to the ear. I've read more than my fair share of politico tweets, explaining how on the doorstep all the voters were impressed with their ideas on press regulation, banking reform. I'm sure if I knocked on anyone's door explaining one idea or the other, some would be impressed by it. But in truth a small minority of people on the doorstep will mention regulation of any form as their number one issue with politics and politicians.
— Duncan Robinson (@duncanrobinson) January 20, 2014
So I think it's good for us as a party to be out talking to people and explaining our ideas, not just so we can tweet about how everyone is interested in a Cornish Assembly. But so we can provoke a debate, answer questions and engage the public not on the doorstep as they're trying to eat/ watch tv/ tidy/ get 5 minutes peace but as they choose in a public place. Hopefully we will gain a better understanding of what people think about a Cornish Assembly. Perhaps they have questions about it they haven't found answers for.
So returning to my original point, what should my speech be about it? why not email me email@example.com tweet me @cernyw or Google +Rob Simmons. Bonus points for anyone suggesting slogans/ banking reform/ press reform or strings of nonsensical soundbites. What do you want to know about devolution? How do you think it would effect you? What are your fears and hopes for Cornwall?
Thanks for reading :)
Thursday, 16 January 2014
The numbers are 1,400 for Penzance/ Newlyn and 1,100 for the rest of the area, a 2,500 total. With the caveat that these numbers will go out to consultation of course. The defeated Labour amendment was for an increase to 2,500 for Penzance and 1,350 for the area outside Penzance (see the white area in the map below.) To put this in perspective there are 20,623 households in the Network Area (1,273 empty in Penzance Newlyn alone), the population growth of this area in the last 20 years has been 5.7% (5% for PZ/N). If we take the average of 2.2 people per household as in the last census for the town, we are looking at a population increase of 5500 across the area, the defeated amendment would have equaled 8470.
A quick word about the vote the reason the motion proposed by the Penzance Central and Penzance East councilors failed, was it lacked support. I know it's an obvious point, I did feel sorry for the pair of them who looked very ganged up on as a quick succession of councilors got up and spoke against it. With the exception of Roy Mann who represents Ludgvan, councilors for Marazion, Penzance Central, Newlyn and Mousehole, Gulval and Heamoor and St Buryan all spoke giving valid reasons they didn't support the Labour plan. Such as no consultation for change with towns and parishes, let alone the general public, no consideration for the effect on infrastructure, no consideration for employment. And other criticisms of a narrow argument to grow the housing stock in Penwith by 15% for the sake of it. As a result on the webcast you can hear the Chair quickly count to 6 and stop all presumably from the Labour and Co-op group's 8.
Sunday, 12 January 2014
I managed to get on the agenda for tomorrow's General Purposes a motion about holding public surgeries. It's something I've heard lots of councilors talking about, but not any action on. One of the many things I've found with being a councilor is that the desire to change something and the opportunity to do so, don't always correspond.
I think it's important that councilors make efforts to engage with the public. To make people aware of what they do, and can do as a council, and for the public to express their ideas about council business. Crucially what people think should be happening. Unfortunately for local authorities the general malaise with politics stemming from scandals such as MPs expenses reflect on councilors too. Other events like the creation of unitary and the distant authority of Cornwall Council. Lead to a dissatisfaction, but Penzance Town Council shouldn't shy away from our community because of others faults. Public events before the election led to a good deal of interest in the council, which is encouraging.
So on tomorrow's agenda is a discussion about holding public consultation events. This is an early stage of the process, there will be a vote tomorrow, a suitable venue has to be found and other details have to be ironed out. Hopefully people will be interested in these events and bring forward their ideas for the town,
problems with current services and get to know their representatives better.