Saturday, 31 January 2015

The day localism died as the Tory/ Lib Dem government seizes control of Cornwall's funding

Recently is has been announced that the coalition has done a u-turn on Cornwall's European funding. The thin veneer of localism has been worn through to expose the control freak heart of the coalition government. They may announce they want devolution to Cornwall in some unspecified and at some point in the future manner, but the reality is both Tory and Lib Dems are control freaks. Quite what our MPs are doing about it is unclear, I don't expect any coalition leaflets soon will state the benefits of having MPs 'at the heart of government.'

It shows the massive disparity between the centre and the periphery and Westminster and local government, when decisions like this are made without any form of consultation with officials in Cornwall, let alone the Cornish public. It had not even been explained to anyone, why this decision has been made. What possible benefits could there be placing these decisions hundreds of miles away from here and made by people that don't live here and aren't accountable to us.

It's high time that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats stopped all the hollow talk about devolving power to Cornwall and admit that they have no desire at all to let Cornwall have any decision making . Finally reveal that their politicking on more power for Cornwall, is an attempt to take votes off Mebyon Kernow and that their true attention post the general election is the same as it has been for the last four and a half years, take powers and funding from Cornwall! What we need is politicians that actually say things they believe in and will work towards when elected. Rather than the present lot that make the same promises at every election in the hope that failure will continue to be rewarded....

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

superfast broadband comes to Penzance town centre, well soon anyway and a bit about the prom

I was very pleased to get confirmation at monday's town council meeting that the works on superfast in Penzance will be completed by the end of March. I'd hoped it would be sooner, but nevertheless it is finally coming, I hope that BT will stick to installing proper superfast aka fibre to the premises rather than a slower substitute like FTTC.

For whatever reason Jim McKenna choose to congratulate me in his Cornwall Councillor report to the town council. At the risk of being ungrateful and in all fairness, it was not just me, I was approached by businesses in the town centre concerned at the delay and many of them helped me out by putting pressure on the Superfast Cornwall Project. Some filled out the survey I did of town centre businesses and the need for superfast to help our shops and offices. I also secured the support of the town council. More of a team effort really, good to have some progress!

It was also encouraging from Jim to hear that funding has been secure to repair the railings along the prom. With the old Holman stanchions being repaired and the railings replaced, hopefully by easter. Some will be taken away for this to happen. In terms of surface there was only funding found to patch parts of the prom, probably tarmac. So apparently thinking caps will be donned at Cornwall Council and they will look for funding for a decent surface for the promenade. This will take time and it is hoped will be completed by easter 2016 at the same time as Jubilee Pool should be finished . Between the lines here keen readers will note that the government's various promises for money to repair storm damage never materialised. Like all broken promises not something you'll be seeing on Tory and Lib Dem leaflets through your door....

Monday, 19 January 2015

It's us or the Tories the Lib Dems might shout but they agree more than they'd like you to know

The starting gun for the election has well and truly started. Leaflets and press releases are hitting door mats and inboxes everywhere. Many of us wondered how the Lib Dems would fight this election, nearly 5 years in propping up the Tories, what would be left for them to crow about? This riddle is solved, with no hint of irony or is it self awareness? they squawk: it's us or them, no one can stop the Tories but us. The attacks on Mebyon Kernow have already started. But what's the truth of the matter? is there a choice between Liberal Democrat and Conservative? let's have a look at their voting records...

Firstly I have to draw attention to an attack by Dan Rogerson on the MK candidate in North Cornwall Orlando Kimber. Before the news of his candidacy had even hit the papers the usually shy and quiet Dan was on the warpath. The title of his missive doesn't mess about: Mebyon Kernow votes risk losing local champion. It continues: “Voting for Mebyon Kernow will only help the Conservatives to win here and will damage the campaign for a fair deal for Cornwall.” After these long years of government we might ask what the 'campaign' for a fair deal is. Is it the hundreds of millions cut in Cornwall's funding, or the Devonwall constituency, or pasty tax or even the unnecessary delay the government caused in Cornwall's European funding. Perhaps the fact Cornwall's economy has declined under the rule of the Lib Dems? Dear reader what do you consider fair and unfair? Or what constitutes a campaign?

The Lib Dems empty rhetoric aside, let's actually look at the records. Lets consider how Cornwall's MPs vote and what differences there are between LD and Tory. The handy site Public Whip has a section on rebellions and loyalty. From the election literature and press releases We may expect a great disparity between government policy and how our MPs vote, that there's a vast gulf of difference between Lib Dem and Tory but the reality is a lot different. This is how many times our MPs vote with the government, I've added in Nick Clegg and David Cameron for reference, somehow the Lib Dem leader and deputy prime minister agrees more with government policy than the prime minister! Readers when reading the below statistics might like to ponder why the Lib Dems have not ruled out another coalition with the Tories...

As a reference the North Cornwall MK candidate put on his blog today on how may times our MPs rebel, despite Dan's rhetoric he has only rebelled once in the last 2 years. It's worth telling people fooled by the con trick of it's Tory versus Lib Dem that actually the reality is there isn't a lot of difference. People should bear in mind that elections are about choice the actual gap between Lib Dem and Tory is very sleight to say the least. If people really want to vote for an alternative to the Tories than vote for Mebyon Kernow