Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A day at Cornwall Council: Remploy, regional pay and a haul road

At today’s Full Council meeting, members supported two motions. The first (cross-party) motion was to write to the Government, requesting that they do not close the “only remaining Remploy factory in the South West, situated just outside Penzance at Long  Rock which is vital for the local economy and which provides invaluable opportunities for training, qualifications and entry into sustainable employment for those who are most in need.” This was supported unanimously.

The second proposal put forward by the Liberal Democrats opposing regional pay. It called for fair pay for Cornwall and proposed writing to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor, Cornwall’s MPs and pay review bodies setting out the Council's "opposition to a regionalised pay structure and the severe effect this change will have on the economy of Cornwall therefore calling on the Government to abandon the proposal.”

I noted that the Liberal Democrats were discomforted by the fact that some of their own MPs, such as Danny Alexander, had spoken in support of regional pay. I spoke in favour of the motion and asked that opposition to the regionalisation of benefits be incorporated into the motion. This was agreed and it was also agreed that the Council also copy the representation to Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander.

The second motion was passed near-unanimously. There were three Tory abstentions.

At Members’ Questions, I asked the Leader of the Council if spending over £3 million on the option for a haul road (of one and a bit miles through clayworks) to the proposed incinerator at St Dennis was good value. I pointed out that for £3 million, the Highways Agency had purchased 7 miles of farmland for a dual carriageway and associated junctions, etc, for the dualling of the A30 between Indian Queens and Bodmin.

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