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2.1.08

A new years note from Mebyon Kernow

2007 will long be remembered as the year that we had to suffer the undemocratic disgrace of Liberal Democrat county councillors and MPs retreating from their commitment to a Cornish Assembly and forcing an unpopular unitary authority onto Cornwall.

At the same time, we have had to continue to suffer under-investment from central government, threats to our public services, the growth in inequality in Cornish Society as well as the ever-worsening housing crisis.

In this coming year, MK will be working hard to build a strong pro-Cornwall alternative to the Liberal Democrats and the other London-centred political parties.

You can keep up-to-date with MK activities throughout 2008 on our website and the MK blogsite of MK Party Leader Cllr Dick Cole, which can be found here. The blogsite contains Dick's New Year Message to the people of Cornwall and postings on a range of other issues.

Mebyon Kernow - Campaigning for a better deal for Cornwall in 2008.

UNITARY DECISION DEVALUES OUR LOCAL DEMOCRACY

MK angry at undemocratic decision.

Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has condemned the Government announcement via a ministerial statement that Cornwall County Council’s bid for unitary status will proceed and that the first set of elections will take place in 2009.

Cllr Dick Cole, a prominent Restormel councillor and MK’s prospective parliamentary candidate for St Austell and Newquay, has damned the news. He said: “Spin and misinformation has triumphed over democracy and the views of 80% of Cornwall’s population and now we will all have to live with consequences of this misguided New Labour project that has been so enthusiastically backed by local Liberal Democrats.“I, for one, am tired of hearing the ongoing Lib Dem claims that the setting up a single unitary authority will somehow lead to greater devolution to Cornwall. This is a nonsense. The reality is that this ‘unitary authority’ will be a ‘unitary authority’ and, to quote a senior civil servant from the DCLG (Department of Communities and Local Government), there will be ‘no extra goodies’ on offer. “This is a sad day for Cornwall and our local democracy.”

Cllr Loveday Jenkin, MK’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Camborne and Redruth, added: “Far from celebrating the government decision on the County Council’s unitary bid, the people of Cornwall are fed up with being told what is best for them. “The unitary bid process paid no heed to the wishes of the people and rather than devolving decision-making on services to local people, this flawed scheme has already reduced democratic control and put decision-making in the hands of a small and unelected 'Implementation Executive' until 2009. “Whilst this committee wastes time on 'visioning exercises,' there is no serious effort being put into a clear plan for maintaining (let alone enhancing) the existing delivery of vital daily services such as street cleaning, rubbish collection, looking after play areas and management of leisure services across Cornwall.”

Cllr Richard Clark, PPC for the St Ives Constituency, has meanwhile hit out at the very basis of Cornwall County Council’s proposal for a single council for Cornwall. He said: “Nothing could better indicate the County Council's unpreparedness for unitary status than the recent employment of Deloitte MCS Ltd to collect information about the people, processes, property and assets that currently support the delivery of local government services in Cornwall, as a preliminary to developing plans for future delivery. “It is clear that promises of improved, more cost-effective services had no basis in analysis and forward planning and this is a shameful betrayal.” Cllr Clark, who is the Deputy Mayor of Penzance, is also calling for the maximum devolution of decision-making power to town and parish councils. “As it is now certain that the district councils will be abolished, it is up to Cornwall's town and parish councils to seek the devolution of decision-making powers to preserve what we can of locally exercised democratic control."

1 comment:

Peter said...

Mebyon Kernow needs to change its name. Not enough people speak Cornish for it to connect with them.

And when they do find out what it means, then Sons of Cornwall would strike some as chauvinist.

Its name is alienating about 90% of its potential supporters.

It should stand for elections under the name of Cornwall Forever.