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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Compare and Contrast - the positive vision of MK or Lib Dem decimation of democratically accountable local government.

Mebyon Kernow has today launched its policy document - 'Towards an Assembly of Cornwall'

In the document we spell out how a national government for Cornwall could bring governance of Cornwall home to Cornwall. Our vision of an Assemply is a strategic, national government with powers similar to the powers of the Scottish Parliament following the Scotland Act 1998. This would give us the tools and leverage to develop the Cornish economy, protect our health service and stop the concreting of Cornwall.

At the same time we would reform local government and do away with the highly centralised single unitary authority to be replaced by four smaller authorities This would be a strengthening of local government - making it more accountable to the people that elect our councillors - and making it more, well - 'local'.

Nick Clegg will be using the kudos of St Piran's day to indukge in a spree of electioneering.

The Lib Dems present themselves as a party that understands and promotes Cornwall and Nick Clegg has clearly chosen St Piran's Day for electoral purposes.

While he's announcing what the Lib Dems laughingly call devolution, will Nick accept responsibility for the cut in funding to the Cornish laguage? I doubt it.

Will Nick give an assurance that devolution for Cornwall will be a line in the sand in any future coalition deal? I doubt it.

Full of promises and committment now - but will the Lib Dems actually act on any of their promises in the future? I doubt it.

The Lib Dem plans amount to a tinkering with, indeed decimation of, local government. They say that they want to remove layers of bureaucracy whereas, in fact, their plans will reduce the democratic accountability of government in Cornwall even more than so called 'localism' policies already have. More bureaucracy - just transferred away from the people that we elect to appointed civil servants.

Are the Lib Dems seriously suggesting that extra powers and responsibilities can be given to a local government authority and put in the hands of what are often part-time councillors. What's more we're told that the number of councillors would be reduced. This will not save money it will increase costs as responsibilities are transferred to an ever increasing raft of highly paid council officers.

If you think that Cornwall council is not fit for purpose now then heaven help us if the Lib Dems get their way.

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