Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Is it any wonder people do not trust the Council?

It was a bad day at Cornwall Council on Tuesday and not just for the wasted time and personal attacks coordinated by the LibDems.

It showed, and not for the first time, that media manipulation and political spin are more favoured than honest admittance of failure. And it indicates a rottenness at the core of the LibDem/Indy administration at County Hall.

In 2014, with much publicity, the Council became a 'Living Wage' employer. I expressed reservations about this; it was an exercise in tokenism as the Council did not propose to do it for indirect staff such as Cormac and carers.

Secondly, I was worried about its affordability when there would be a need to preserve other staff's differentials. These concerns were brushed aside.

However, apparently the Council quietly capped its obligations to pay the Living Wage at 3 per cent per year.

In October 2015 they were told the Living Wage would involve a 5.1 per cent increase.

Naturally, you would assume that the Council would pay 3 per cent (assuming you knew of the cap).  But no. The Council did not offer to pay anything at all. They took the view that the wording of the 'cap' was such that, if the increment exceeded 3 per cent, staff got nothing at all under this formula.

If there was a drafting error then the Council should not have sought to rely on it. It was a clear breach of good faith, cutting across the staff ballot, whereby better paid staff had given up some of their rights to allow lower paid staff the Living Wage.

The Council need to ask themselves some very serious questions about the manner in which they deal with staff and their union representatives in the future.

This represents a fundamental breach of trust.

The Council also sought to cover it up. They only finally told members what had occurred on the Saturday of a Bank Holiday weekend.

So yesterday, in a fit of embarrassment, the Council voted to pay the Living Wage (uncapped) for one year and think again next year.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Can Leadsom lead?

My many doubts about Andrea Leadsom:
1. Her lack of experience in Government, particularly at a time of great uncertainty and challenge. It is one thing to suddenly become the Leader of the Opposition; quite another to immediately become PM.
2. She has limited support from MPs. We need a candidate who can unite the party and the country, Leavers and Remainers.
3. She has spent 20+ years in the City of London but is happy to front a campaign which has ignored and belittled the advice of the independent Governor of the Bank of England. Astonishing.
4. She has spent 20+ years in the City of London but she does not appreciate the importance of confidence, market certainty, passporting rights and influence over financial regulation to the financial services industry, which is one of our most important exports.  Incredible.
5. She has so far failed to answer the questions raised by Pascal Lamy, the former head of the World Trade Organisation, about her strategy in negotiating new trade deals. This is a key part of the way forward.
6. She has led us down a path with no fair warning as to the great challenges we will face. As an MP her job is safe for now.  Others are not.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Residents' Parking Schemes : proposals go to Transport Committee this Friday

 This item goes to Transport Portfolio Advisory Committee on Friday 4th July 10am at County Hall (open to the public).
A few headlines from draft proposals for Committee to consider:
Schemes proposed for Trehaverne Terrace and Rosedale area and Hendra areas.
 Residents parking permits at between £50 and £80 per year. Additional permits may be more expensive.
 On street parking charges may be introduced in Truro. Likely to be city centre. 
Estimated (Cormac) costs of introducing all proposed schemes across Cornwall £3.6m including 20% contingency.
Schemes to allow carers to have permits.
Agenda available on line  CLICK
Please contact me with comments or if you want further information. 
Fiona Ferguson CC
Blog :
Twitter : @fionaferguson13
07731 548 139

Newbridge Field - fill in a survey on improvements for the field

There is still a week left to have your say on the Newbridge Lane proposals.  The consultation day last week was well attended but please make sure your views are known. The deadline is 18th July.

 More at  CLICK

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Poor, poor Cornwall

Around the world from Washington to California to New Zealand and including the Muslim Times Cornwall Council is being made to look ridiculous by the story that it is asking for reassurances about EU money AFTER Cornwall voted to leave the EU.  


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Referendum Results for Cornwall

Results by Parliamentary Division

The Falmouth Packet is reporting that a council spokesperson said the results only reflected those votes which had been cast on the day at polling stations.

They said: “The postal votes, which came from all areas of Cornwall, were distributed evenly across all six parliamentary constituencies. So this means that we can’t say how individual constituencies voted as such.”

This is my previous post on leaving the EU

Eurosceptic Yes: Brexit Delusion No

I don't like the waste, bureaucracy and remoteness of the European Union. I am also concerned about the effect of immigration on our country.

I have always been against the UK joining the Euro.

BUT I am voting In. Here is why:

1. Angela Merkel, who comes up for re - election next year, can't and won't offer us a better deal than Germany has. We will need all sorts of deals with the EU post Brexit. We will not get anything significant at all without a substantial budget contribution to the EU and our agreement to the continuation of freedom of movement.

2. We all hate regulation but many of the costly regulations are those that guarantee workers' rights. Are we really going to junk these? Do we really want to have two sets of regulations- for those who trade with the EU and those who do not. The reality is that we would probably argue for 10 years post Brexit and our new regulations would not look a lot different.

3. Leaving will destabilise the UK by encouraging another Scottish Referendum and making life incredibly difficult for Northern Ireland (the Republic of Ireland joined the EU when we did and it is not proposing to leave). A call for an all Ireland referendum could be the starting point for the dissolution of the UK , new borders would then have to be created and our status in the world would be diminished.

4. If we are In, our veto over new joiners gives us some leverage in the EU that we would not have if we had to accept freedom of movement post Brexit.

5. If we vote to leave we will act against the advice and without the support of 19 of the G20 countries. The only country that actively wants us to leave is Russia. This is a country which has just announced the creation of three divisions (30,000 men) to "defend" its western border with Estonia, Latvia and Finland and is run by a former member of the KGB. A country that could have stopped the Syrian refugee crisis years ago but chose to make it worse.

6. It is a myth that new trade deals would be easy to negotiate. Places like India and China want us to agree to allow them to do more outsourcing and to bring in guest workers to the UK to work in their businesses. How would that help our immigration statistics?

7. The City of London is a huge part of our economy. Why knock it for a very uncertain gain?

8. In an uncertain world the EU helps knit us together. Yes, it is fragile but that is no reason to be reckless as to whether Brexit will smash it up. The US is increasingly isolationist. NATO is very important but in the EU we should also help ourselves.

9. The EU remaining 27 members decide our exit terms. Any marriage or business partnership dissolved in that way would not end well. There is no certainty that we would even get our territorial fishing rights back if we wanted to continue to export fish tariff free to the EU. We would also have to agree quotas with the EU to conserve fish stocks and because of transitory fish movements.

10. Being in the EU has been brilliant for inward investment to the UK and has helped us to be the world's 5th biggest economy. A strong economy helps fund our public services.

Brexit is a dangerous delusion.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Newbridge Lane - Have Your Say

Newbridge Lane Playing Fields, Truro - Public Consultation       CLICK

Leaflet         CLICK