Thursday, 28 November 2013

Cabinet yesterday, highlights or lowlights.

At Cabinet yesterday there was the most surreal discussion ever.  Cllr Folkes and his Lib Dem colleagues attempted to persuade the rest of the Cabinet to back a plan to build a big office in Bodmin in part speculatively for BT. The Lib Dems could not even agree what they would do with it if BT didn't want space in it.  In particular, they do not want to move any significant number of staff from Liskeard or St Austell to Bodmin.

The Section 151 officer was brought in to advise them in the strongest terms that their plan would prevent the Council from saving over £750,000 a year.  But those who had waved through provisions charging vulnerable people for transport to day centres and raising adult social care fees by more than 200% in some cases, seemed not to care.  As they were six out of ten in favour (all the Lib Dems plus Julian German) that carried the day.

Andrew Wallis who voted against with good reason, because it prioritised offices (for BT) over front line services for the vulnerable, has said, however, that he will now get behind the project.  No risk of a resignation on principle there then.

Look out all those struggling to make a crust in small shops and small sheds - your council tax/ business rates will be spent on quality office accommodation for the Council (or even BT).  Is Cllr Folkes listening to his own propoganda that there is no money?

In addition.....

Rumours circulate that the Cabinet's extremely controversial decision about the closure of the Mexico Inn level crossing at Long Rock may be 'called in' for review.  Many members of the public were present for that debate.

Increased charging for transport for vulnerable people and adult social care were waved through.  Some residents may now pay up to nearly £800 a week (a rise of over 200%)

It was probably unavoidable but I was sad to see the break up of the Carn Brea Leisure Centre.  Even if the running track is remade at Redruth School (and I hope it is) I doubt it will ever be as satisfactory as it is attached to the public leisure centre.

£100,000 per year was agreed to support the Cornish language provided the government grant us £400,000.  Apparently the language has reached 'a turning point' on which the Council must capitalise.

The Council will be offered the choice of voting for 42,250 houses (approved by the last Council) or 47,500 ( the minimum that officers consider will be acceptable to the Planning Inspectorate).  A debate for 14th January.

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