Friday, 5 June 2015

Using Cornwall's capital with a Government (which has a majority of 12) wisely

Instead of a lot of half baked projects with potential for high costs/risks, would it not be better for Cornwall Council to concentrate on making progress on the public's main priorities?

Let us use our negotiating position with central Government wisely. The Council should consult on what are the public's priorities (in contrast to the public consultation on the Case for Cornwall that merely asks for a pledge of support to the Council's wish list).

My guess would be:

1. Better cooperation between health and social care to improve health and end 'bedblocking'
2. More housing for local needs (especially rented homes)
3. A30/38 upgrades
4. A better deal on business rates especially for town centres
5. A Stadium for Cornwall

And should the Duchy of Cornwall continue to be exempt from compulsory purchase where land is acquired by Cornwall Council in the public interest? The Duchy's exemption meant that the Truro Eastern Park and Ride at Tregurra Valley was particularly objectionable to many people (because it included a supermarket)and it has held up infrastructure in Newquay. Basically, the Duchy are able to dictate the terms on which they dispose of their land.

Where the Council already has a government pilot running, such as for a better bus service (current pilot in Falmouth), why not complete the pilot before taking on the franchising (and risk) for all the bus services in Cornwall?

And make sure our public sector partners are on board before we run up costs on projects they may not support?

Finally, surely we want fair funding for Cornwall, not bits and pieces of other taxes (such as VAT and stamp duty), as the Council proposes, which may or may not be enough, topped off with uncapped rises in council tax?

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