Sunday, 20 November 2011

Can do Cornwall ????????

Speaking at this weekend’s MK Annual Conference, I drew everyone’s attention to the “Can do Cornwall” document that has just been published by Cornwall Council.

It is a bid to central government for Cornwall to become a pilot to pool public sector budgets across Cornwall.

And do not get me wrong, there may be some merit exploring greater co-operation between all parts of the public sector, but this document includes proposals that have not even been discussed by Cornwall Council, never mind agreed by the authority.

As the MK group leader, I was asked add my support to it, once it had been finished. I declined the opportunity.

It starts by asking: “What is special about Cornwall?” It provides the answer – “We have solid partnerships and political cohesion.”

It is jam-packed with hyperbole, including “Our natural environment is flowing with potential to underpin sustainable growth.”

It talks of “innovative governance arrangements” for the project, but in reality it is the same old suspects in the form of a Leader’s Forum and will include some “senior councillors.”

I have yet to receive a definition of senior councillor, although someone has suggested this is someone who doesn’t disagree with the Chief Executive.

You may remember that a few weeks ago, the administration decided to set a target of 48,000 new properties for Cornwall over the next 20 years.

And yet in this document, they have told central government that Cornwall will build 30,000 new properties in the next ten years.

I pointed out that the 30,000 figure was not Council policy before it was published, but they declined to correct it. (I may write further on this in the near future.)

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