Cornish Assembly Now!

Cornish Assembly Now!


Welcome to the blog. All the opinion on this blog is my own or as attributed. This blog is not an official outlet for either Mebyon Kernow - The Party for Cornwall, or for Illogan Parish Council. Thank you for reading - I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Illogan suffers - usual Lib Dem broken pledges

Illogan Parish Council is attempting to complete the transfer of Illogan Park into local control. Cornwall Council has been guilty over the last few years of neglect and poor maintenance and IPC and the people of Illogan want to take on the park and make it fit for purpose once more. All this has been agreed in principle between Cornwal Council and IPC.

However, Cornwall Council has been unable to produce certain vital information that has been requested by IPC and without which the transfer cannot take place. This has been the situation for many months now and the project is stalled because of this inability on the part of Cornwall Council to get the job done.

A month or so before the recent by-election in Illogan our newly elected Cornwall Councillor, David Ekinsmyth, met with his Lib Dem comrade and Cornwall Council portfolio holder for localism and devolution - Cllr Jeremy Rowe. We were told that this historic meeting would ensure that the log jam at County Hall would be freed up and that all would be well.

Cllr Ekinsmyth's election campaign portrayed him as the person that had solved the problems with the transfer of Illogan Park to IPC. Cllr Ekinsmyth was a man of action and the Lib Dems were the party who could get things done.

A month after the election and a second IPC devolution committee meeting has had to be cancelled because Cornwall Council are still unable to provide the information requested.

So much for intervention from portfolio holders and so much for the Lib Dems being the party of action in Illogan.

Just more broken Lib Dem pledges.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Support for Chacewater Parish Council

At the full council IPC meeting last week, councillors voted to offer support to Chacewater Parish Council who have recently raised concerns about the way that Cornwall Council operates.

The full text of the Chacewater Parish Council letter can be found here.

CPC is concerned that Cornwall Council is becoming less democratic and more authoritarian. It is worried about inappropriate development, Newquay Airport and a total lack of cost benefits that might have been expected to be derived from operating as a unitary authority.

It was interesting to see that the only councillor to vote against support for CPC was our newly elected Cornwall Councillor, David Ekkinsmyth. Although he did not speak in the debate he voted against a motion of support for CPC.

You have to wonder if this is the first sign of party politics from our new Liberal Democrat councillor - not wanting to be seen to be critical of his new bosses in Truro who are in turn responsible to their bosses in London.

So much for keeping party politics out of parish matters and so much for the Lib Dem 'principles' of devolution and extending powers to the most appropriate level!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Illogan Parish Fair

Despite the dire weather warnings Illogan was bathed in sunshine for its annual Parish Fair.

This year the fair was organised on a multi-site basis - drawing together the school, village hall, Wellbeing Centre and church. Stalls and events were held throughout the display areas and the locations merged into one thriving hub of happy and smiling villagers.

Illogan Parish Cuncil conducted a treasure hunt for children - encouraging them to visit each and every stall or display - while the adults were asked to give their views on how Illogan Park should be best utilised when it is finally signed over to IPC.

A great day out - many thanks and congratulations to the organising committee who have done yet another sterling job.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Illogan By-Election

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed the lack of content recently. Many apologies - I have been a little busy. In fact I have calculated that I have spent around 110 hours over the last few weeks working on the election campaign - whether out on the streets or in the office. Hopefully I may have a little more time for blogging again now.

First of all the results:

Lib Dem 277 (23.77%)
MK 217 (18.62%)
Con 215 (18.45%)
UKIP 156 (13.39%)
Lab 129 (11.07%)
Lib 121 (10.38%)
Green vote 50

First of all I hope that readers will join me in congratulating David Ekinsmyth, the succesful candidate. I know that he will continue to work hard for Illogan in his new role as our Cornwall Councillor. It seems to me that the Lib Dems are a party controlled by Westminster career politicians. A party which has sold out its principles in pursuit of power at Westminster. Though a large number of Lib Dem members seem to have sold out to this 'power at any cost' principle there are undoubtedly some members who do maintain principles of local work and community service and I believe David to be one of them. Congratulations to you David.

I can't help thinking though that the Lib Dem campaign and our own MK campaign were on run on very different lines.

I would like to say a heartfelt and massive thank you to every single MK member that has helped me run a very strong and positive campaign. I enjoyed the help and support of hard a hard working (often in adverse conditions and personal circumstances) team that came together and which bonded in a mutual cause. We didn't have access to the full well-oiled and slick campaign resources that were thrown at the Lib Dem campaign. Our Cornish blood sweat and tears were, unfortunately, not quite enough to match a Westminster party which had decided to throw the kitchen sink along with ex MPs half a dozen or more sitting Cornwall Councillors a Cornwall Council cabinet member and dozens of party activists shipped in from all over at their campaign.

As well as thanks I would like to say how proud I am to have been a member of a team which has accomplished so much with so little. We have formed many bonds and learned many lessons which will stand us in good stead for the undoubted battles ahead.

But what of the rest?

Well the sad and disappointing truth is that this election has very much featured cynical party politicking. Many candidates clearly had little interest in or commitment to Illogan and it was obvious that we people of Illogan were being used as an opportunity to increase party representation at Cornwall Council. The epitome of this was the behaviour of one candidate who spent most of the count laughing and joking about how poorly his vote was doing. It was obvious that he had not committed much to his campaign. For him it was just a throw of the party political dice and the turn of a card - easy come easy go - and no thought to the people that he had asked to vote for him.

On the other hand the refreshing and encouraging flip side of the coin was the total rejection of this blatant Westminster party politics by the people of Illogan. Both myself and David Ekinsmyth have worked hard on Illogan Parish Council for several years. While we came first and second, the people of Illogan rejected categorically the cynical party political candidates.

Amongst those most soundly rejected were the Green Party. It was sad to see them succumb to fielding a candidate with little or no tie to Illogan along with the other establishment parties. At one point the Green candidate was spotted driving around Illogan in a 4x4 delivering glossy leaflets - not really what I thought I was voting for when I voted Green in last months Euro elections.

Though I am not able to say that I have woken up this morning as a new MK Cornwall Councillor, every cloud has a silver lining. Looking at the bathroom scales this morning I find that I have lost over a stone in weight over the time of the campaign. A successful diet plan - but not one that I would necessarily reccommend!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Illogan Campaign Report - Lib Dems revert to their prime directive

The campaign in Illogan is certainly hotting up - even before the closing date for nominations!

We have already managed to deliver an introductory leaflet across the whole of Illogan and around 750 of a second leaflet.

Yesterday was busy. One team of activists hit the streets to begin the task of talking to the voters of Illogan. There was also another team working hard on leaflet distribution.

Today will be a similar effort with dual teams out talking to people and delivering leaflets. I am absolutely overwhelmed with the support that I have been getting from MK members from all across Cornwall and I really can't say thank you enough or as much as I feel.

As far as I know, at the moment, I am the only candidate who lives in the Electoral District of Illogan. I live in the very heart of Illogan in Churchtown. As you would expect  from an MK candidate, I am very much campaigning on real local issues. I believe that people should have a greater say in the decisions that affect their everyday lives. We need to protect our villages and hamlets from inappropriate development - new housing should be matched to local need and not to fuel profits for developers and encourage the spread of second homes and holiday lets. The roads in Illogan are neglected. This has to be addressed and someone should be holding Cornwall Council to account if they are failing in their statutory duty or their own stated policies in maintaining our roads. These are real issues for Illogan that people recognise on the doorstep.

But other candidates have been busy as well.

The Lib Dems have been putting in a bit of work. I have to say that I feel disappointed with David Ekinsmyth. David was the Lib Dem candidate in Illogan last year and he ran a very positive and honest campaign. This time round it seems that he has submitted to the Lib Dem party machinery and the prime directive of 'get elected at any cost' syndrome. I was particularly disappointed that David's leaflet appears to claim all the glory for the hard work that Illogan Parish Council has put in to negotiate the transfer of Illogan Park to Illogan parish Council. The transfer of the park to IPC has very much been a team effort and in consultation with the public. I don't think that claiming the credit for this will do David any favours. In fact I know it isn't. One person I spoke to told me that they hadn't yet decided who to vote for but that they had definitely decided not to vote for the Lib Dems after reading their leaflet and seeing how the Illogan Park issue had been reported. Karma.

Unfortunately the Westminster based Lib Dems also seem to want to mislead and misinform the local debate. In 2013 David Ekismyth finished in fourth place. He was soundly beaten by MK, Tory and UKIP candidates and barely managed to beat the absentee Labour candidate. Despite this we have the usual Lib Dem bar chart on the front of their leaflet showing how the Lib Dems and Tories are neck and neck with Labour a poor third. No mention of MK and no mention of UKIP. Of course the bar chart is based on data from the whole of the Camborne/Redruth/Hayle constituency from the general election as long ago as 2010. This manipulation of statistics is simply devious and dishonest and is a further reflection of the Lib Dem prime directive to get elected at any cost.

One of the MK teams of volunteers reported seeing a rather forlorn looking pair of Tory canvassers. The report described them as looking dispirited and very tired - but at least they're out there trying to talk to voters.

As yet, true to form, there is no sign sign of any UKIP activity. I guess that this is hardly surprising as their candidate, a member of Hayle Town Council, would have a long way to travel before he even began to knock on doors. UKIP candidates in local elections around here have a track record of treating voters with contempt. They hardly bother to even deliver leaflets let alone engage with local people. Instead they rely on the constant barrage of mainstream UK media reports to win them votes. Any decision that the UK may make to leave or stay within the UK will not be made at Cornwall Council.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Any Questions?

Today's social media has many different facets with different applications catering for different needs and demands.

For example Twitter is good for ongoing news and pithy comments and critiques. You only have 140 characters to 'tweet' so you have to keep things simple. It's good for asking questions but it can sometimes be difficult to answer them.

Earlier today someone asked me a very fair and reasonable question on Twitter - trouble was that the answer needed more than 140 characters to do the question justice and I decided to answer the question via this blog and link to the blog via Twitter.

This got me thinking - perhaps I could invite questions from anyone who is thinking about who to vote for in either the upcoming Illogan by-election or next year's general election.

So if you or anyone out there in social media land would like to ask questions through either Twitter or Facebook then please go ahead and I will try my best to answer them as best as I can without feeding trolls.

Why should anyone vote for me to become the new Cornwall Councillor for Illogan when I am standing as a candidate for Truro & Falmouth in the general election?

First of all I live in Illogan, I have a business in Illogan Highway and I devote many hours to working for Illogan through my voluntary work as a member of Illogan Parish Council. I am committed to working hard for Illogan and I have a personal stake in it because I live here. None of that has changed because I have been MK's PPC for Truro/Falmouth and my committment to Illogan would not somehow decrease if I became the Cornwall Councillor.

I don't see, either, that being a Parliamentary candidate for Truro/Falmouth would be any different to being a Parliamentary candidate for Camborne/Redruth/Hayle in terms of how it would affect my work as a Cornwall Councillor. The fact is that the two activities are entirely different and require different approaches and need to be 'filed' in different compartments. A PPC needs to have a wider strategical knowledge and experience whereas a Cornwall Councillor needs to specialise in his Division to be truly effective. Compared to other candidates I am the only CC candidate who has this local commitment to Illogan. Other candidates are being shipped in for party political purposes. Mebyon Kernow has hard working Cornwall Councillors. Both Andrew Long and Loveday Jenkin are Cornwall Councillors and PPCs. They were both returned with large enhanced majorities last year because people recognise the hard work that MK councillors put in once they are elected.

In fact being a PPC is likely to enhance my capability to do a good job as CC for Illogan as it is enabling me to make a wider range of contacts - some of whom might be invaluable in helping with particular challenges in Illogan - this opportunity is not available to my opponents as far as I am aware.

As well as being politically active I run my own business. Doing all of these things means that I have to be good at time management, prioritising and working towards goals. I believe that these are skills that I have have managed to develop fairly well over a thirty year business career. If I were elected as CC for Illogan then I would use my councillor's allowance to employ someone to manage my business during the time that I spent doing CC work for Illogan. This means that I would actually have more time available to work for Illogan and several of my staff who live in Illogan would see an economic benefit.

So does being the MK PPC for Tru/Fal mean that I would be likely to take my off the ball for Illogan - definitely not. I see the two roles as being complimentary and mutually enhancing - certainly not acting to exclude each other.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

New MK Forum

If you are a member of MK why not sign up for the 'Members' Section'?

Take part in online discussions through the forum.

You can sign up here.