I have today read through the full judgement of the Appeal Court. It is very complex and references such things as “proportionality,” “legitimate expectations,” the “issue of the allocation of responsibility” and more.
Trying to keep it short, in October Judge Collins adjudicated that the Secretary of State had acted unfairly in relation to the European Habitats Directive and regulations made under it, and ruled that an “appropriate assessment” was necessary to assess the impact of the incinerator on nearby Special Areas of Conservation. He concluded:
“… the Habitats Directive and the Regulations are the law and must be obeyed … it is not suggested before me that the case put forward by the objectors can be disregarded as having no weight. There is an arguable issue. That being so, it would be a breach of the Habitats Regulations to fail properly to consider whether an appropriate assessment was needed.”
Sadly, the three judges of the Appeal Court took a different view and concocted a legal argument to reinstate the consent for the application. To be honest, I am struggling to understand how they came to the conclusion that they did. It does however seem almost a political decision.
I am also less than impressed that the Judges referred to the report of the Inspector at the original Planning Inquiry as “very lengthy and detailed” and a “comprehensive treatment of a wide range of issues.” I disagree. I consider the report to be biased and selective in what was used in it to inform the Inspector’s dubious conclusions.
Local campaigners are meeting to consider whether a further challenge is possible.
Saturday, 31 March 2012
I have today read through the full judgement of the Appeal Court. It is very complex and references such things as “proportionality,” “legitimate expectations,” the “issue of the allocation of responsibility” and more.
Posted by Dick Cole at 00:02
On Friday evening, I was the guest on Radio Cornwall’s weekly politics slot. I discussed Mebyon Kernow and its values, the judgement from the Appeal Court on the proposed incinerator and, of course, the “Pasty Tax” and the fuel crisis.
I understand that my interview can still be accessed for a few days on the Iplayer. For information, my contribution is timed at between 5.50 and 6.00.
Posted by Dick Cole at 00:00
Thursday, 29 March 2012
I have not yet seen the actual ruling from the Appeal Court, but have just received a press statement from Cornwall Council. It reads as follows:
"Cornwall Council welcomes the decision by the Court of Appeal to grant the Secretary of State and SITA’s application in relation to planning permission for the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre.
"While we recognise that those who have campaigned against the Secretary of State’s decision to grant planning permission for the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre will be unhappy at this judgement, it will enable the Council to take action to tackle the waste crisis facing Cornwall.
"As a result of this judgement, which reinstates the planning permission originally granted by the Secretary of State, the Council will now be working with SITA to finalise the Revised Project Plan.
"A report setting out the next stages of the process will be submitted to the Council’s Cabinet."
I would question how Cornwall Council could welcome a decision to grant consent for an incinerator at St Dennis, which it spent a small fortune opposing at a Planning Inquiry? I could say more, but I guess I should be circumspect today.
Posted by Dick Cole at 11:08
Bad news for St Dennis and bad news for Cornwall.
Radio Cornwall has just reported that Eric Pickles and the Conservative & Liberal Democrat Coalition Government have won the Appeal Court hearing regarding the proposed incinerator at St Dennis.
I will blog again when I have heard more about the ruling and the full implications.
Posted by Dick Cole at 10:06
Mebyon Kernow Deputy Leader Andrew Long has challenged Conservative and Liberal Democrat members in Cornwall to disassociate themselves from the actions of the Coalition Government – in particular, the plan to impose 20% VAT on the sale of hot Cornish pasties, as well as a host of other damaging policies such as the imposition of regional pay.
Cllr Andrew Long said: “The introduction of the ‘Pasty Tax’ shows just how out-of-touch the Coalition Government is. This tax would be devastating to the Cornish economy, and it is a disgrace that the Government doesn’t care. It did not even consider the implications of the tax before the budget announcement.”
Cllr Long has described himself as heartened that the “Pasty Tax” had become a key talking point across the whole of the United Kingdom, but added he was angry at the disrespectful attitude of the Prime Minister and his Chancellor.
“We also consider it a disgrace that millionaire politicians Cameron and Osborne are so disrespectful towards Cornwall and its national dish, casually refusing to reverse plans for this detrimental and damaging tax. And very worryingly, public statements by the Prime Minister have clearly demonstrated that he is ill-informed and does not know where VAT is applied and where it is not applied.”
Cllr Long was also critical of the actions of Cornish MPs. He said: “Local Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs are having a lot to say on this issue, but they seem to have forgotten that it is a Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government which will be imposing this tax.
“It was only last year that Cornwall’s six MPs appeared to be campaigning against the creation of a Cornwall and Devon cross-Tamar parliamentary constituency. But in the House of Commons they then meekly voted in favour of the legislation to undermine Cornwall’s territoriality.
“I fear that Cornish MPs will do the same on the Pasty Tax – to seek publicity by campaigning against the tax in Cornwall while supporting their Parties’ plans when in Westminster.”
“Conservative and Liberal Democrat members in Cornwall really need to disassociate themselves from the actions of the Coalition Government. But most of all, Cornwall needs politicians that will stand up and fight for Cornwall. The only choice is Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall.”
Posted by Dick Cole at 09:47
Mebyon Kernow’s new website is now up and available for viewing. I would like to thank MK members Peter Dudley and especially Niall Curry for all their hard work on the site.
I think it looks marvellous. Why don’t you have a look and see what you think.
Posted by Dick Cole at 09:08
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Tomorrow will be the latest “decision day” for the proposed incinerator for St Dennis. The Appeal Court has announced its decision will be made public at 9.50 on Thursday.
The original consent given by Eric Pickles was quashed in the High Court in October, and the latest legal action was taken by the Secretary of State in an attempt to overturn that decision.
The notice was as follows:
Take notice that on THURSDAY, 29 MARCH, 2012 in COURT 63, at 09.50am, Judgment will be given in the following.
From The Queen's Bench Division
(Administrative Court and Divisional Court)
C1/2011/2958 Cornwall Waste Forum St Dennis Branch -v- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Ors.
C1/2011/2972 Cornwall Waste Forum St Dennis Branch -v- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Ors. Appeal of 1st Defendant from the order of Mr Justice Collins, dated 13th October 2011, filed 17th November 2011.
Posted by Dick Cole at 13:58
Friday, 23 March 2012
Well done to everyone who is challenging central government not to impose a tax on the Cornish Pasty.
There are now over 4,000 members of the "Say No to the Pasty Tax" group on Facebook. This even includes Liberal Democrat councillors who must be feeling increasingly embarrassed to be Lib Dems and supporters of the Coalition - what with them selling off the NHS, the dodgy budget AND the Pasty Tax.
The above images from Facebook say it all really. With thanks to the artists!
Posted by Dick Cole at 21:53
Thursday, 22 March 2012
This week, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition forced through the Health and Social Care Bill, further privatising the NHS in the face of massive opposition. The newspaper front page (right) says it all really.
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition also produced a budget that takes from the less-well-off and places cash in the hands of millionaires.
And the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition even introduced a pasty tax.
What a terrible week! Where will it end? What can we do to fight back?
Well, the first thing you can do is join Mebyon Kernow – we are a real alternative to the destructive policies of the London parties and the Coalition.
Posted by Dick Cole at 23:24
So what is happening in Westminster with consideration of the pasty tax.
Well, in todays debate on the budget Andrew Miller, the Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, was the first to raise the issue referring to blogs about the “new pasty tax” He added: “the Lib Dems should watch out; that is not the only thing that they are under attack for. They will be the real losers on the issue of regional pay.”
St Ives MP Andrew George responded thus: “On the sublimely fundamental and seriously important issue of pasty taxes in Cornwall, let me reassure the hon. Gentleman that we will be fighting them on the beaches.”
St Austell and Newquay MP Stephen Gilbert requested clarity from Government Ministers present. He stated: “Finally, I turn to an issue that is exercising my countrymen in Cornwall. There is some ambiguity about whether the increase to 20% in VAT on hot food will include pasties that are served from bakeries. The Minister will no doubt be aware that the pasty is not only a staple, hearty meal but, in effect, employs thousands of people and brings millions of pounds into the Cornish economy. Will he give some clarity on whether we can avoid a pasty tax?”
Somewhat predictably his question was not answered.
Posted by Dick Cole at 23:02
Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has condemned the Coalition budget as “bad news for Cornwall and its people.” We are angry at their tax breaks for the rich and plans for regional pay, not to mention the “pasty tax.”
Speaking on behalf of MK, Deputy Leader and Economy spokesman Cllr Andrew Long said:
“All budgets inevitably contain measures that are worthy of support as well as others that need to be opposed. It would be churlish not to welcome, for example, the increase in personal tax allowance from April 2013.
“But George Osborne’s budget is unbalanced and will adversely affect local workers, pensioners and businesses.”
Actions and proposals condemned by MK include:
The cut in the top 50p tax rate, which will benefit the super-rich earning over £150,000.
The changes to state pensions which will take money from the over-65s.
The refusal of the Chancellor to cancel the planned 3p a litre increase in fuel duty planned for later this year.
The introduction of a pasty tax, with 20% VAT added to the costs of hot takeaway food.
The statement that the Coalition Government is planning to bring forward plans for regional pay.
Commenting on the future introduction of a pasty tax, Cllr Long added:
“The introduction of VAT onto hot food such as pasties, shows how the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition simply do not understand the needs of Cornwall.
“This tax could have a devastating impact on the pasty producers and retailers in Cornwall, and it would also hit the wallets of ordinary people throughout the Duchy.”
I have meanwhile condemned the moves towards regional pay, which I have described as a “total disaster which would entrench low wages in areas such as Cornwall.”
“The reality is that there is already great inequality between the nations and regions of the United Kingdom. Central government should be working to reduce this inequality but if Mr Osborne gets his way it will get even worse.
“Cornwall suffers from the lowest average wages in the UK. And yet the cost of living is especially high, thousands are struggling to access housing at a price they can afford, while government cuts are having a devastating impact on public services and the local economy.
“Osborne’s plan to reduce public sector pay will damage families and further undermine local economies like ours that are in need of investment, while yet more money is siphoned off to be spent in London and the South East.”
Posted by Dick Cole at 12:44
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Yesterday, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition rammed the Health and Social Care Bill past its last parliamentary obstacle, defeating a Labour motion to delay by 328 votes to 246.
The Bill, which will further privatise the NHS opening up a free-for-all for private companies, will be a disaster. Put bluntly, this could be the end of the NHS as we know it.
Opposition was unprecedented. It came from nurses, midwives, GPs, doctors and millions of ordinary people, the length and breadth of Britain. But the Tories and Lib Dems refused to listen. Shame on them.
I understand that five of Cornwall’s six MPs voted for the Bill, but Andrew George, who has spoken out strongly against the legislation, abstained.
Posted by Dick Cole at 10:17
Saturday, 17 March 2012
According to the newspaper headlines, the Chancellor George Osborne is expected to remove the 50p tax rate for high-earners on over £150,000.
And I am appalled to read that he also intends to scrap “national” pay rates for workers in the public sector such as nurses and teachers.
I am in full agreement with Brendan Barber, the General Secretary of the TUC, that “this budget is shaping up to be a giveaway for the super-rich and a takeaway for Britain's hardest hit regions.”
This week, Cornwall found out it is likely to qualify for the next round of EU structural funds because of its low, and falling, economic performance, and because Cornwall’s GDP is only 72% of the EU average.
And now we have the madness of central government planning to drive down regional pay, irrespective of the fact that the cost of living and the cost of housing are extremely high in areas such as Cornwall.
Do they have no idea what damage their over-centralising policies are going to do to Cornwall?
The Government should actually be working to reduce regional disparities in pay and opportunity. If they do not rethink this proposal, they should be truly ashamed.
Posted by Dick Cole at 13:00
A Russian television crew recently visited Cornwall to produce a feature on the Cornish movement and our distinct culture and heritage.
They were in Truro on St Piran’s Day and recorded the traditional march. They also spoke to a number of individuals including myself, Nigel Hicks from the Cornish Stannary Parliament and the Mayor of Truro.
Their report can now be viewed online at http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=736789
Posted by Dick Cole at 12:10
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Leanne is a powerful politician of principle, her leadership campaign was truly inspiring and I am excited about how she will lead Plaid in the coming months and years.
I am confident that Plaid will deliver significant gains in the forthcoming local elections under her stewardship, and Plaid will then go from strength to strength.
Speaking for myself, I am proud that I have been a member of Plaid Cymru for over twenty years, although it seems such a long time since I was a student in Lampeter and serving as the secretary of the university branch.
Plaid have been great friends to Mebyon Kernow and many leading members have spoken at MK events in recent years including Cllr Gareth Butler, Cynog Dafis MP, Janet Davies AM, Jonathan Edwards MP, Dafydd Iwan, Steffan Lewis, Cllr John Taylor, Simon Thomas MP, Dafydd Williams and the late Dr Phil Williams AM.
Such support is much appreciated and I am sure this will continue with Leanne as leader.
Posted by Dick Cole at 23:54
It has been confirmed that Cornwall’s GDP continues to be below 75% of the EU average and we could still qualify for further structural funds over the next seven years.
In 1999, Cornwall’s GDP was 66% figure of the EU average. By 2006, this has risen to 78%, but has slipped back to 72% for 2009 (latest available figures).
Local newspapers have already pointed out that Cornwall has a lower economic performance than Slovakia and Slovenia, as well as some regions in Romania, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
It remains a disgrace that there are such disparities in the GDP of the various nations and regions of the over-centralised United Kingdom, with Cornwall and West Wales at the bottom of the pile.
Radical reform of the political and economic structures of the UK is long overdue.
Posted by Dick Cole at 23:36
Monday, 12 March 2012
The closing date for Cornwall Council’s consultation on its Core Strategy was just over a week ago. Mebyon Kernow responded in considerable detail and branded the document unsustainable.
To give you a sense of what MK said, shown below is a short extract.
Cornwall Council claims that the Core Strategy would put “cultural distinctiveness at the heart of place shaping.” The document is also littered with claims, for example, about taking a “lead on the green agenda,” “tackling issues such as climate change,” and delivering “affordable homes, jobs and infrastructure while safeguarding the environment.”
But the claims to be “green” or “sustainable” are false and undermined by Cornwall Council’s commitment to unsustainable levels of housing growth and the development of, at least, 48,000 new properties over the next twenty years.
Mebyon Kernow seeks a breathing space from the large-scale development of open market properties and calls for the prioritisation of affordable local-needs housing.
MK’s detailed response to the consultation is available on request from email@example.com.
Posted by Dick Cole at 09:05
Sunday, 11 March 2012
All responses submitted to the consultation on the recommendations for new constituency boundaries, including a Bideford and Bude seat, are now available online. The "Boundary Commission for England" has allowed people to comment further on the responses until midday on 3rd April 2012.
If you want to see what people have said and make comment, go to http://consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/
I have looked at a number of the responses and I am particularly disappointed at the three main London-based political parties. They are fully aware of the strength of feeling in Cornwall, but have failed to even go through the motions of spilling a few more crocodile tears on this issue.
The official Conservative document contains fine words about respecting “county” boundaries and council boundaries, where possible, but goes on to support the “proposal to combine the counties of Cornwall and Devon” for the purposes of allocating parliamentary seats. They also state: “We support the Commission’s decision to cross the Cornwall-Devon border in the north of both counties.”
The Liberal Democrats also back an electoral Cornwall and Devon sub-region and have little to say on the cross-Tamar constituency, other than that they “accept the BCE’s proposal.”
The Labour Party meanwhile states: “We support the overall pattern proposed by the Commission, and many of the specific proposals, including … the creation of the new Bideford and Bude CC.”
The ongoing refusal of Coalition MPs and their parties to protect the territorial integrity of Cornwall suggests that the situation is bleak. But it is clear that there is growing anxiety amongst MPs, including some Cabinet members, about the final outcome of the boundary review.
MPs will have a vote in 2013 as to whether the changes are acceptable and it has been revealed that many, who face losing their seats and livelihoods, could oppose the changes. Tory Minister Ian Duncan Smith has even appealed to the Prime Minister to ditch the whole process.
So we may yet prevent a Devonwall seat becoming a reality, but we do need to keep pressure on MPs and their political parties.
Posted by Dick Cole at 19:30
Over the last few days, Liberal Democrat councillor Alex Folkes has blogged ten times about: “What the Lib Dems have achieved in government – parts 1-10. He has also reproduced what he terms info-graphics produced by Mark Pack.
I haven’t had time to assess the veracity of all the claims, but I found myself drawn to “part 9” which focussed on housing (see below graphic).
Cllr Folkes wrote: “Across the UK housing waiting lists have been growing. Here in Cornwall, despite the claims by the council to have plans to have built new houses, the housing waiting list grew by 2000 names in just two months and now stands at more than 23,000 families.
“Since the general election, the Government has prioritised new affordable homes to rent and to buy. With the Liberal Democrats in government we have seen more than 150,000 affordable homes built across the UK. At the same time as Cornwall Council's commitment to affordable housing seems to be slipping, the government is turning up the heat.”
But the graphic clearly states that: “150,000 new affordable homes are being built over the next four years, the first increase in social housing supply for over thirty years.”
It seems that Cllr Folkes’ spin is in overdrive … have the houses been built or are they to be built?
Could I remind Cllr Folkes that it is the Conservative / Liberal Democrat Coalition Government that, amongst other things, has:
(i) massively slashed investment in affordable housing.
(ii) replaced the social rent model with a new “affordable rent” model that sets rents at 80% of the inflated cost of private sector rents, increasing the cost of housing to the less-well-off.
(iii) reinvigorated the ‘right-to-buy’ of council houses with increased discounts to tenants.
(iv) made regressive changes to housing benefit arrangements for single people.
Posted by Dick Cole at 19:21
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
The first meeting of the Council's new Governance Review Panel took place today. The situation is that the Localism Act allows Councils to review how they are run and sets out three broad options, as follows:
1. An Executive model of governance (eg. a ten strong Cabinet).
2. A committee model of governance.
3. Some form of hybrid of the top two systems.
The Panel will carry out this review over the next six months, so that the Full Council can take a decision on how the next Council is structured.
I sit on the 15-strong Panel as the one MK member and was elected Vice-Chairman today.
Posted by Dick Cole at 15:45
For me, the best part of my role as a councillor is submitting grant applications and working to make local projects happen.
I am therefore very pleased to be able to report that over £100,000 has been raised to build a new community building at Indian Queens Pit and work is due to commence in the very near future.
The new building will include a kitchen, display area/meeting room, modern toilets and storage facilities. It will replace an extremely run-down modular building, a storage building (constructed in asbestos sheeting) and a small, outdated toilet unit.
The Clay Country Local Action Group has awarded a grant of £52,000 to the project and the Cornwall SITA Trust has allocated £30,000, while the trustees had previously secured £4,630 from the former Restormel Borough Council.
St Enoder Parish Council has supported the initiative with £10,000 and the members of the Pit Association have themselves raised over £8,000 from local fundraising
It is our hope that the new building will be a hub around which we will be able to encourage more individuals and groups to visit the monument. It will also help us to increase the number of community, music and cultural events taking place at the venue.
We have also received a grant from the FEAST programme to commission a play which will be performed by the community in 2013, and fundraising continues to improve interpretation and educational materials on the site.
The above photograph comprises many, but not all, of the members of our Committee.
Posted by Dick Cole at 10:11
Monday, 5 March 2012
The Cornish Movement was highlighted in The Times today with a three page spread to mark St Piran’s Day. It was another positive piece and featured Independent Cllr Bert Biscoe and MK Cllrs Andrew Long and Loveday Jenkin.
To give you a taste of the article, here are a few quotes:
The Cornish are indignant that a petition signed by more than 10 per cent of the population calling for a referendum on self-government has been ignored despite government promises for more than a decade. St Piran … would be turning in his grave at such intransigence if his remains had not been dug up and distributed as relics to churches across the South West.
“Cornwall is a British nation being treated like an English county. My nationality is Cornish, I don’t feel English at all, and I would feel a lot more British if the UK Government recognised us as the fifth constituent nation,” says Sam, a student from Truro.
Ian Saltern, a Cornish activist sums it up when he says: “Cornish is my ethnic and national identity. I can feel no more English than someone who is Scottish, Welsh or Irish."
In recent years, Cornish separatists have been emboldened by the coalition Government. Cornwall used to be the heartland of Britain’s Liberal Democrats. Nothing, apart perhaps from a tax on pasties, could have done more to boost Mebyon Kernow, the Cornish nationalist party, than the Lib Dem’s alliance with the hated Tories. The party recently won a fifth seat on Cornwall Council. It has four more than Labour …
Andrew Long gave up his job as a shopfitter to devote himself to his work as a councillor. He says: “We are trying to drive home to central government that just because it is big doesn’t mean it is better. We are fed up with decades of people not giving a monkey’s about Cornwall. We are not talking about border controls on the Tamar, but we see ourselves as part of a federated British Isles."
Dr Jenkin agrees: “Just because we are small does not mean that we can’t look after ourselves. There are masses of examples of small regions being able to run their own affairs.”
Posted by Dick Cole at 19:37
It was great to escape from County Hall for a couple of hours today, in order to attend the St Piran’s Day celebrations in Truro.
The march was really impressive, involving hundreds of people and numerous local schools. Congratulations to all involved. I hope that other marches and events around Cornwall have also been as well supported.
Posted by Dick Cole at 18:24
In my St Piran’s Day Message, I have challenged political parties active in Cornwall to do more to achieve the “meaningful devolution of political powers to Cornwall.” My statement states:
“Last year, the people of Wales voted overwhelmingly to increase the powers of the Welsh Assembly, and the SNP won a clear majority in the Scottish Parliament. There will therefore be a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014.
“There is clearly a desperate need for a mature, respectful and wide-ranging debate about the future of the whole of the United Kingdom, and how it is governed.
“And surely now is the time to address the unequal constitutional relationships between the various nations and regions of the UK, and to tackle the centralising influence of London and the South East of England.
“It is to be welcomed that some MPs in the North of England are again seeking directly elected regional government for the north.
“But here in Cornwall, even our political integrity and territoriality is under threat, with central government planning to impose a cross-Tamar constituency.”
I have written to the local representatives of the three main London-centred parties, challenging them to follow the lead of Mebyon Kernow in campaigning for greater powers for Cornwall.
The letters note that: “We need to put Cornwall at the heart of the debate about the future governance of the United Kingdom and to achieve the devolution of meaningful devolution of political powers to Cornwall.”
Posted by Dick Cole at 00:20
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Alongside many hundreds of people, today I enjoyed the St Piran Play and procession across the dunes near Perranporth. It was great to see so many friends and to celebrate Cornwall's wonderful heritage and culture.
I have uploaded a couple of images to see what a great event it was.
Posted by Dick Cole at 18:15
Thursday, 1 March 2012
MK's Paul Ellis has achieved a very credible third place in today’s by-election in St Mary's Ward. The result was as follows:
Liberal Democrats - 442 (44.4%)
Independent - 213 (21.5%)
Paul Ellis (MK) - 194 (19.6%)
Conservatives - 141 (14.2%)
I am confident that Paul will be a town councillor within 15 months (via the full elections in May 2013).
Well done to Paul on a great result in his first election.
Posted by Dick Cole at 23:57
In recent days, there has been considerable coverage of the eleven proposed “eco-standard communities,” which were included within the Core Strategy to discover “whether there would be local support.”
One of the proposals is for a stand-alone settlement of over 3,000 new properties in the vicinity of Ruthvoes and Quoit Farms (RTP 9) – positioned between Indian Queens and St Columb.
The land lies mostly in St Columb Parish, but is partly within my home parish of St Enoder and earlier this week, St Enoder Parish Council unanimously objected and pledged to vigorously fight the proposal.
As the Chairman of the Planning Policy Panel, I would like to repeat here what I said at the Parish meeting. It is important that this is in the public domain.
(i) The “eco-standard communities” proposals were not presented to the Planning Policy Advisory Panel for consideration.
(ii) When drafts of the various discussion papers (which form part of the present Core Strategy consultation) were distributed to all councillors for comment, they did not include the proposed “eco-standard” areas.
(iii) The proposed “eco-standard” areas were added into the documentation after the councillors had commented and they were not informed of this fact. They were allowed no option to object to their inclusion within the consultation.
Put bluntly, officers at Cornwall Council bypassed the democratic process. What I said, when I received the consultation documents and discovered the additions, is not printable.
The consultation document states that: “The site areas identified were submitted by a third party and are not necessarily supported by Cornwall Council. However, the Council is keen to understand whether there would be local support, in principle, to develop these sites as new eco-communities.”
It is not true that the land in question has been put forward by a third party. Ruthvoes Farm and Quoit Farm are both County Farms, owned by Cornwall Council. It is also the case that the tenants of these County Farms were not informed that their holdings had been included within the consultation document until Monday 27th February – some seven weeks after the start of the consultation.
I am extremely angry about this situation, I am making serious representations on this matter, and I was pleased to be able to produce a strong objection on behalf of St Enoder Parish Council.
The “eco-standard communities” proposals are unacceptable, for a host of reasons, which I may outline in more detail in the future.
It is my view that these proposals should all be withdrawn as a consequence of the machinations of Cornwall Council and the fact that the proposals make no sense whatsoever.
Posted by Dick Cole at 12:32