A poke in the eye

I am somewhat disappointed and saddened to have to write this Blog. It concerns our Service men and women who are fighting, and with regret, dying abroad.

The Chairman of Cornwall Council decided that those units that were serving in Afgan and based in Cornwall should have a little reception on their return over at County Hall. This is not to glorify war or tag on the coat tails of our brave forces, but to say “Thank You for what you did/are doing”. It isn’t going to make up for the hardships they had to endure, but at least they know people do care.

The sad part to this Blog is that this thoughtful gesture offered by the Chairman has been knocked on the head by the MOD for the simple reason that “it is too close to an election for this event to happen, but we don’t mind you doing this AFTER the election“.

Well sorry, but by the time that’s done some of these forces will be starting to return to Theatre or are trying to get on with their lives as best as they can.  There is no point in holding a reception 3 months after you have returned. It should be done (within reason) as close to the time you have returned.

I have served in our forces, over 14 years in fact, so I can speak from experience on this subject. We go about our business serving in whatever far flung place we are sent to. We get on with the job we are trained to do. I know if a Council wanted to hold a small reception for me to say “thank you” upon my return, I know I would have greatly appreciated the gesture.

It is insulting that the MOD has taken this action. The MOD can comment on this Blog if it chooses to do so, or come up with Political speak as to why this event had to be cancelled, but I feel the real reason is that they don’t want any war-type stuff in the news. I have also not been primed to write this. I spend enough time over at Council Hall to know the talk of the halls.  I could comment that I heard that the Chairman was upset over the cancellation, but I cannot confirm that.

The way the MOD has gone about this has left a bitter taste in my mouth. But then again, most of the MOD has never served in Uniform.

New Top Jobs

The top jobs (Portfolios) for Elected Councillors at Cornwall Council have been jiggled around. This is not done by consensus, but the Leader can choose who sits in the Cabinet and generally what role they can do. As long as those roles are in line with what is laid down by Government Depts. the Leader has Carte Blanche.

Now for those of you who care, here is a list of who is doing what. At the end of the day these people are where the buck stops. So, if you’re not happy with a service, then these people are the ones ultimately responsible. There are 10 Portfolios and I will tell you who has them and their responsibilities

The Leader – Alec Robertson – Con

Strategy and Policy (Council Business Plan)

Improvement and Performance
Cornwall Strategic Partnership
Health policy and relationships with NHS community
Member Development
Communications and Reputation
Human Resources and Organisational Development
Equality and Diversity
Information Technology

Corporate Resources – Jim Currie – Con
Commissioning and Procurement
Legal and Democratic Services

Housing and Planning – Mark Kaczmarek – Independent

Economy and Regeneration – Carolyn Rule – Con
Economic Development (including Convergence funding and Cornwall Development Company)
Newquay Airport
County Farms

Transportation and Highways – G Hicks – Independent
Integrated Operational Transformation Programme
Environment (including countryside services, beaches, sea fisheries and maritime services)
Tamar Bridge and Ferry

Waste Management, Climate Change and Historic Environment – Julian Germans – Independent
Waste Management
Green Cornwall
Historic Heritage (including World Heritage Site)
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Travel Plan
Mount Edgcumbe Joint Committee

Community Safety and Neighbourhoods – Lance Kennedy – Con
Fire and Rescue Service
Public Health and Protection (Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Animal Welfare, Coroners & Licensing)
Crime and Disorder
Community Networks

Children’s Services – Neil Burden – Independent
Education and Schools
Safeguarding Children
Family Services
Integrated Youth Services,
Individual Needs and Disability Services
Carers Board
Leach Pottery (for time being)
Credit Unions (for time being)

Adult Care and Support – Armand Toms – Con
Adult Learning Disabilities
Older People
Adults with physical disabilities
Adults and Older People Mental Health

Customer First – Joan Symons – Con
Customer Access
Shared Services Strategy
Revs and Bens
Adult Education
Registration Service
Culture and Museums

So there you have it, the new line up with what roles they will be covering for the coming months. At least you now know who to blame if you have a problem, or are unhappy with something that has not been dealt with.

The race is on!

Well its finally going to happen. We will decide who will Govern us for the next 4 or so years in a months time. Who will win is a guessing game I will leave to the “experts”. All I know is that my role as your Cornwall Councillor will not change.

Being an Independent I am not caught up with all the excitement that my colleagues in Political Parties seems to be. I will just go about what I have been doing these last 9 months and come Polling day will make my mark where I think it will be best served.

I think everyone should take the 5-10 minutes to vote. If you aren’t registered to vote then you have until 20th April to register. Make your vote count. If not, you might regret it.

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