The week ending 25th October

I am going to try something a little different when blogging. I will be doing a round-up of the week of some of the things I have been doing that have not had an individual blog post. That way, you will get a better understanding of my role as Lead Member for Children and Young People, and as a local Councillor.

This week, the entire membership of Cornwall Council met. One of the biggest items on the agenda was on whether Cornwall Council’s Cabinet should work up a budget on a 6% Council Tax increase. It was an interesting debate, which had Members debate on whether to protect services, a bigger increase in Council Tax should be set. This issue is made more difficult, as the Government has set a cap of a maximum 2% rise in Council Tax before you have to hold a referendum.

After the debate, as is normal practice, a vote is called for. The result of that vote was 79 against, 33 for and 3 abstentions for a 6% Council Tax Budget. I do understand the merits of the original motion of a 6% rise, but even with a 6% rise, the council would still have to make £17m worth of additional cuts instead of a £23m with a 2%. Plus, the cost of a referendum £1m would have to be met. So if the referendum was lost, services would be required to find the costs from existing budgets.

Wednesday evening I attended the celebration even for 18 Cornish student who had been part of the Nuffield Trust programme run by Cornwall Learning. I had the honour of being asked to present certificates. I came away very excited to see so much talent being produced in our school system. I spoke to many of the students who had been part of the programme and talked about their projects. As for the projects which students had undertaken was on diabetes in pregnancy, a Cosmic Ray (yes really!) Displacement and many other clever and inspiring projects.

I got to visit Curnow Special School along with the Head of Service for Learning and Achievement. This is a fantastic facility, with dedicated staff who give a positive learning experience to children with complex needs. I got to meet many of the staff and students at this school and came away extremely happy with the facilities and methods at this school.

One comment

  • Christopher Smith

    “3 abstentions in the budget vote”. I thought elected Councillors were managers, people who therefore have a duty to make decisions even though by definition they will nearly always be difficult to balance out, not to duck the issue in case they offend anyone in case it loses them votes.

    Believe you made the right decision Andrew, particularly as Pickles has played a blinder by requiring a referendum vote to carry through above inflation tax rises. How on earth would you sell a 6% tax rise to the electorate? The case was lost when the last budget set a zero precept, part precipitating the situation we are in today.

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