Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A welcome u turn by Andrew George on planning echoing MK policy

Plagiarising MK's recent policy announcement Andrew George has spoken in parliament about how planning should be devolved to Cornwall. Which goes to show if MK can exert this pressure without an MP imagine what we could do with proper representation for Cornwall in parliament.

No doubt with a keen eye on this announcement by MK:

"All planning decisions should be taken in Cornwall: The leader of Mebyon Kernow has challenged central government to democratise the planning system and for all planning decisions to be taken in Cornwall." Link

Or these words from my Conference speech:

"Mebyon Kernow wants a planning system that Kow Tows not to developers and the interests of profit but Kow Tows to the people of Cornwall. So we can be masters of our own destiny, decide what planning policies we want and what housing numbers suit us.

The present centralised planning system favours developers and works hard for their needs and wants. Yet it ignores the needs and wants of our communities. The present planning policies do nothing to stop unsustainable development on green fields of houses unaffordable on the average Cornish wage." Link

The present St Ives constituency MP, Andrew George, had this to say:

"I hope you don't think I am damaging you with faint praise when I say that you are the best party leader by far, and therefore you will recognise that Cornwall will benefit a great deal from the proposed devolution enabling act.

"But would you agree that under these proposals that Cornwall and places like it could redesign their planning and housing system to put local need above speculators' greed and the growth of second homes?"

Anybody thinking the Lib Dems were serious about devolution to a Cornish Assembly should note Clegg's answer:

"If in Cornwall it is felt that a Cornish assembly borne out of the existing county council - not inventing yet another talking shop for politicians, it could cut the number of politicians if it wished to - if it wanted to have powers in the planning areas you suggest, that is something I hope we would empower the future Cornish assembly to do." Link

Quite how Cornwall Council could morph into an assembly, have more powers and less elected councillors is patently ridiculous. Especially when on an issue like planning where most decisions are taken by officers. This happens partly as there are not enough councillors, quite how this would be more democratic is ludicrous. It reminds me greatly of the last time the Lib Dems fiddled with local government, centralising everything in Truro and slashing the number of democratically elected representatives,  it is clear by devolution they only wish to continue on this trajectory.

The Lib Dems can't be allowed to damage Cornwall in this way again, if voters want more powers to Cornwall and devolution  within Cornwall,  then MK is the clear choice. Further if voters want a party committed to devolving issues like planning rest assured MK MPs would not sit on their hands for 5 years and start listening to the public on the eve of an election....

P.s. anyone else noted the way Tory, Lib Dem and Labour worry about more politicians in a Cornish assembly, yet do nothing about the very expensive and hugely bloated House of Lords?

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