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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Proud to be Mebyon Kernow

Yesterday was a day to be proud to be a member of Mebyon Kernow!

Although the council has opted to reccommend that we build over 42,000 houses in the next 20 years at least we 'sons of Cornwall' can hold our heads high in the knowledge that the party, led by Dick Cole, has acted professionally, consistently and with integrity. Acted in opposition to Cornish hyperdevelopment demanded by Westminster, initiated by unelected planning officers and rubber-stamped by councillors too scared of litigious scare stories to put Cornwall first.

Mebyon Kernow has acted professionally. Dick Cole, chairman of the Planning Policy Advisory Panel, has spent years gathering and assessing data, opinion and local knowledge and has demonstrated leadership by gaining cross-party consensus leading up to a reccommendation of 37,950 houses as a target for twenty years. This is leadership at its best, working to achieve broad support and to persuade rather than cajole (though, knowing Dick, there probably was a fair bit of cajoling).

We have acted consistently. Mebyon Kernow was the only political party (or 'group') that could be bothered to submit a reasoned and evidenced reposnse to the Core Strategy consultations. The figures that we submitted were broadly in line with those produced by the PPAP (very slightly lower) and we have been saying this for many years.

And, unlike the planning officers, we have acted with integrity. Over the past few years proposals (all eveidence based of course) have been made for housing figures of 68,000 -54,000 - 49,000 - 48,500 and then 45,400 have come from the planning officers. All of the proposals backed with irefutable evidence (though I can't understand how the same evidence leads to such wildly different conclusions) and all of them backed by Mark Kaczmarek, in fear of having to satnd up to our lords and masters in London. All of this time we have argured for what is best for Cornwall. For housing for local needs rather than developers' greed. And we have argued for affordable social rental homes with affordable being given its natural dictionary meaning rather than convoluted formulae provided by Wetsminster to disguise how unaffordable the rent really is.

We are the only party in Cornwall that has a bespoke planning and housing policy designed specifically to put Cornish people first.

For all of these reasons I am proud to be a member of Mebyon Kernow. I am also proud because I know that for us the fight won't end on May 2nd. For us the fight will go on through the final public consultation and then beyond. We will campaign tirelessly for homes for local need and for autonomy for Cornwall to be able to make its own decisions rather than have to submit to policies imposed on us from the Home Counties.

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