All Quiet on the Blogging Front

Let me apologise for being quiet on the blogging front. This is due to the forthcoming election on the 2nd May, and I am out and about knocking on doors, talking to residents and delivering my leaflets. I am sure people do not want to just hear about how many doors I knocked, or leaflets I have delivered today. So that is the reason my blog has been quiet.

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I will say, the response I am getting on the doorstep is very positive. Only one person did not want a leaflet, but that was not because of me (phew), as they said they never vote. There is still lots to do until the Polling Stations are open in 10 days time. Though postal voters should have received their forms now.

Hopefully normal blogging will resume after the elections when with residents support I am re-elected.

Cornwall Council Candidates by political groups

With just over two weeks to go until Cornwall goes to the Polls to elect Councillors to Cornwall Council. Readers of this blog might be interested in the political split on those Candidates who have put their names forward to stand for election. The split is as follows:

Conservatives 103
Liberal Democrats 91
UKIP 76
Labour 68
Mebyon Kernow 26
Greens 23
Independent 90 (some standing against other Independents)
Liberal 1

It is interesting that no political party is fielding a full set of 123 Candidates for this election.

Cornwall’s Children Care Social Services out of intervention

Cornwall Council has been told by the Government Children’s Minister that the councils children care social services has been officially removed from Government intervention. The council was placed in intervention back in 2009 after inspectors found many failings in the service.

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Massive congratulations should go to all staff who have worked extremely hard in achieving both a positive OFSTED inspection and now being officially removed from intervention. It has been a long and sometimes painful journey, but I am glad this hard work has been rewarded.

Well done

Cornwall goes to the Polls

Well it has officially started, the Elections for town and parish and Cornwall Council are now well underway after the official list of nomination was released on Friday.

For all the town and parish nominations click HERE. Porthleven Town Council will not see a contested election, as only seven out of nine seats have candidates. That means all who put their names down will be elected once the Polls close. Helston on the other hand will see elections taking place.

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The nominations for people wishing to standing for Cornwall Council has been broken down into West and East. Unlike the town and parish councils, all the 123 Cornwall Council seats will be contested. I am seeking re-election for the Porthleven and Helston West (was South, but the Division has had a name change. The boundary is exactly the same).

Challenging for the Porthleven and Helston West Division are Lib Dem, Conservative and UKIP candidates. I am the only Independent candidate for this seat. I hope the residents in this Division will again have faith in me and re-elect me.

Soon, I will be out on the campaign trail visiting people and delivering my leaflet. If anyone would like to display one of my posters in their window, just let me know and I will have one sorted for you.

The Stadium for Cornwall gets planning approval

Yesterday, at Cornwall Council’s Strategic Planning Committee, the full planning application for the Stadium for Cornwall was discussed. Previously only outline planning permission had been given. The plans for the stadium have travelled down a long and sometimes bumpy road.

Now finally, after hearing both supports and objectors to the plans, the committee unanimously voted to approve the plans. Only one Councillor abstained from voting. These plans have changed from what was originally planned, but it is still a good plan.

There are still a few matter that need to be sorted, like how the stadium will be paid for. However, it should be a lot easier to find a financial backer(s) now planning permission has been given. I doubt it will be tax payers money from Cornwall Council, as the current council voted not to use tax payers money in the building costs. Though this could change, as there will be a new council post 2nd May.

The committee was told by the applicants, the stadium could be built within two years if the finance is secured. I believe Cornwall deserves a large capacity stadium, and will look forward to visiting it once it is open.

Here are the possible designs for the new stadium:

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Should the top Special Responsibility Allowances be changed?

We have had the debate and counter debate on Councillors allowances and a debate will be had on the Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) for the next full meeting of the council on the 16th April. This is being done because the model of governance at Cornwall Council is changing to a modified cabinet system.

The basic Councillor allowance (wage in reality) is set at £12,250. Just to dispel (again) the myths this allowance is taxed, and apart from mileage, there are no other day-to-day expenses.

Currently, the top SRA’s are for the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council, Chairman of the Council and Cabinet Members. The current rates per year and are paid on top of the basic allowance:

  • Leader of the Council – £22,532.53
  • Deputy Leader of the Council – £18,025.95
  • Chairman of the Council – £16,700.51
  • Cabinet Member – £16,700.51

Now the question is should these be reduced, or even raised? Yes, yes I know a few people would have choked on the word raised. But to be fair, you have to ask that question to give balance to the debate. Though it is unlikely a raise would be supported after the allowance debate.

My view is they should be reduced. Might as well clear that point up at the beginning. The Leader’s SRA losing £10,000 and the Deputy Leader, Chairman of the Council and Cabinet Member seeing a reduction to £10,000 per year. That is still a very liveable wage and is in line with the average wage in Cornwall once you combine the SRA and basic allowance.

But before the debate happens at full council, it would be good to hear your views. I have also worked out how to do Polls on the blog, so this question will be the first Poll I do.

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The Porthleven Duck Race

The (first) Porthleven Duck Race was held on Saturday 30th at 3pm on The Moors near the river. This event was organised by the Porthleven Community Group. I counted at least twenty homemade ducks in different styles and designs, which was just fantastic.

Before the start of the eagerly awaited race, the Mayor of Porthleven, Mark Berryman was invited to pick the best made (or looking) duck. An unenviable task as you can please only one child and upset the rest! It was a close vote, but the JCB duck was picked as a worthy winner.

Just before the race started, the Mayor was presented with his very own Mayoral Duck, dressed in full regalia. It was then time for the race. The ducks were loading on the launching tray, and then released. Cheers of encouragement were shouted along the course, and I am sure this encouragement came more from the adults who had ducks in the race.

Prizes were given for the first, second and third placed ducks. The winner was also given a free ticket to Flambards one to eleven, which had been kindly donated to the group by Flambards. The winner being the JCB duck! My own duck came a pleasing third.

A huge thanks should go to the community group for organising this. Special mention should go to Tim Pryke, who braved the cold waters to launch and retrieve the ducks. The group has more fun events planned, so if you want to help or take part in this, just come to the next meeting. They even provide cake for those who turn up!

Here are a selection of pictures from the event:

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The race entrants

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The Mayor and competitors

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And they are off

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The Mayor and the winners

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The Mayor and his duck