Friday, 24 March 2017

Truro City loses out to Council Incompetence

The news that the new ground for Truro City Football Club is not viable, sadly, comes as no surprise at all.

There has been a catalogue of incompetence on the part of the Council and greed tinted optimism by the developers promising two stadia funded by many houses and much retail development.

In 2015 I attended a meeting in Whitehall with all the stadia protagonists (including INOX, Truro City Football Club, Helical Bar, the Pirates, Truro College), the Minister for Culture Media and Sport, John Whittingdale and four of the Cornish MPs.  My aim was to get the Government to stump up money for the Stadium for Cornwall and to persuade the two clubs to share a ground to make the scheme more viable and the impact on Truro less severe.

But no. The developers assured the Minister that they just needed their respective planning permissions to be granted and then all would be fine. Their schemes were both viable - no problem. So, the Minister stood back and let them get on. Except that they couldn't and didn't.

Asda has walked away from the Willow Green Development opposite Threemilestone too. It is not clear whether the Council is now going to try and bale out one or more of these developments on A390 with taxpayers' money.  The Council's target for new housing looks unachievable and there will be knock on effects for all of Cornwall.

If the Council tries to 'help' then the Independent/Lib Dem administration must allow its proposals to be subject to proper scrutiny. The Council is currently itself undertaking a couple of residential developments at Tolvaddon and Bodmin. But being Bob the Builder involves more than just posing for photos with a spade or a digger.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Council Spends £143K on Trade Union Representatives

“No Money” Cornwall Council spends £143K [corrected figure £142,983] a year paying for its staff to perform trade union duties according to the Taxpayers Alliance.

Read the Taxpayers Alliance report HERE

Is this is a proper use of Cornwall's money?

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Friday, 3 March 2017

Councillor Numbers - Final Submission

Final Conservative Group submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England .... Here

Monday, 27 February 2017

Bristol ditch European Culture bid

In June 2016 the Mayor of Bristol (Labour controlled) said;

 "Bristol has a tremendous wealth of talent and creativity that deserves to be showcased to the world.

"I want culture – and sport – to be accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford it. I want culture to reach out and overcome Bristol's social and economic divides.

"With this in mind, I am proud to announce my ambition to lead a bid for Bristol to become the European Capital of Culture [2023]."


 On Friday 24th February 2017 :

Mayor Rees said: "We can't afford [Capital of Culture] now, because there's no guarantee we'd get it.

"They [EU officials] invited us to bid, but when you look at the cost of doing so compared to the fact that we're not really in [the EU] and there's no guarantee we'd win it, our judgement is – at a time when we're facing horrific budget decisions – it wouldn't be a wise way to spend the money."

He said: "The bid for Capital of Culture is impacted by Brexit and spending that much money for a bid, with a risk of achieving nothing, is not a good decision.

"We are instead concentrating our efforts on working with the city's cultural providers to enhance Bristol's cultural offer."


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Truro Safe

View the Truro Safe details here TRURO SAFE

Cornwall Council Budget 2017 - 2018

 I was really disappointed that the Council voted to reject all the amendments put forward by the Conservative Group to the Annual Budget particularly our well-reasoned argument not to waste £536,000 on an opening gamble for the European Capital of Culture 2023.  That opening commitment could then lead to spending another £25 million if successful.

The best evidence is that Cornwall can not win even if the competition continues.

The government has already issued a warning that it will not be held responsible for any money lost as a result of entering the competition. We don't even need to read between the lines to understand what they are saying!

Although I campaigned for Remain, I do not think we need the European Union to tell us we are are a Capital of Culture.  Further, it appears that the Council has not read the rules of the competition and we will almost certainly not be eligible post Brexit.

So, a waste of £536,000 of our money. We said put it into pedestrian crossings and other schemes which will show a real-world benefit.

Cllr Biscoe backed the EU bid and said there was always money for highways. This is extraordinary and it is not what was said at a public meeting on Kenwyn Hill recently.

I am pleased that money has been obtained from the Conservative government for big schemes like the A30 and also extra money for potholes, such as £2.9m received last October.  The Council reannounced the £2.9m last week.  Cllr Biscoe claimed it had been found from Reserves.  Not so!

The Conservative Group also put forward that this sum be increased by a further £9m. This had been allocated to economic development but not spent.   There was still £23m left in that 'pot' anyway.

It is time the Council subjected economic development schemes to a lot more scrutiny. Not all are bad but even the general infrastructure schemes must show genuine value for money.  And just how much should the Council plough into speculative geothermal schemes or the Aerohub at Newquay?

I find that people are sceptical as to whether  Councillors know what they are doing spending money on economic development.  Who could blame them?