Monday, 26 May 2008

A break from politics ...

It has been a quiet few days for me and my wife Ann. We have taken an early summer holiday and spent the last week on the west coast of Scotland. We were based just outside Oban for most of that time but spent the last night of the break on the Isle of Mull which allowed us to visit Iona (see above).

I really needed the break and even managed to work my way through four novels.

That said, it was great to be in Scotland under the control of the SNP’s minority administration and to see the ongoing public debate around the independence or greater powers for Scotland. Even the Conservatives were making positive noises about building on the last devolution settlement.

How different from Cornwall! It was certainly depressing to come home to hear about the latest undemocratic shambles surrounding the unitary authority experiment.

The latest news has it that the ‘Boundary Committee for England’ has decided that they need more evidence about how many councillors the new council should have. And because of this they state that it is unlikely there will be enough time to implement new electoral arrangements – meaning that the elections would have to take place on the present County Council wards leaving the whole of Cornwall with only 82 principal councillors.

And we also have central government suggesting that next year’s local elections should be pushed back to June to coincide with the European elections. If this did happen, it would mean that with the present principal councils being abolished on April 1, Cornwall would have no councillors for over two months. Almost unbelievable ...

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