Wednesday, 31 October 2007


Some of the newly elected Councillors are struggling with the idea of public service. One particular Toryboy is coming in for a bit of attention. Already shown a red card for accusing, at a public meeting, another Councillor of failing to declare an interest, he's still not got the hang of decent behaviour. We get passes to the City car park, for use on Council business only. Toryboy took to parking his car there all day, whilst he went to work, saving himself some £40 a week. Fair enough he did campaign on lowering car park charges, he just forgot to say he would be the only beneficiary! And now he's been letting himself into the post room to read the morning paper. Saves a couple of quid, I suppose. We don't have an explanation for his actions, and there could be one, because he keeps cancelling appointments at the last minute, leaving officers sitting around fuming. Careful with his own cash,but he doesn't seem to mind waisting the Councils time and money.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Europe again

Last night Michael Palin visited the old East Germany, on his tour of Eastern Europe. For no particular reason he visited a toilet factory, that had been relocated from West Germany to Meissen, presumably to cash in on the prestige of that old porcelain producing town. In the course of her chat the lady from head office said that increasingly German men preferred to sit down, whilst having a pee. Why would they do that? have 'two world wars and one world cup' taken a terrible toll on German manhood? is it a 'Europeen' thing? where do Clegg and Huhne stand on this issue? what's going on?

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

To Boldly Go

It says in The Guardian Diary, that Chris Huhne yesterday compared himself to the fictional President Bartlet, of the West Wing. Don't know if its true, seems a pretty presumptuous thing to say. Clegg would never say anything so pompous. But if he did compare himself to a fictional character, then Captain James T Kirk of the Starship Enterprise seems the obvious candidate. Beloved by women across the Galaxy, rushing about saving civilisations in trouble, going boldly where no man has been before. Phasers to stun, Mr Spock!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Why Clegg?

Having come out for Clegg early, I've been accused of going for style over substance, and told that I should wait until both candidates have declared their policies. That's a fair point, and here's why I'm voting Clegg. I met Chris earlier in the year, when he came down here to do a bit of canvassing and give an after dinner speech. A very capable and professional performance, but I have no idea what he said, in fact I had forgotten it 10 minutes after he gave the speech. At the spring conference I found myself with half an hour to spare between training sessions, so I wandered into the main Hall where Nick was Chairing a panel. I missed the training, and was engrossed for the next hour or so. Nick told us about new community justice panels being set up in in Taunton, jousted with the journalist from the Telegraph and treated questions from the audience with respect and humour. He seemed to know every ones name.

There are rough edges and Nick will take us out of our comfort zone, and maybe into places that a safer pair of hands might avoid. But we've done the safe pair of hands, we need someone that can deal with the press, someone that will embrace new ideas, and most importantly a leader that people will listen to and remember what he says. That's Nick Clegg

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Royal Cornwall Hospital

Moving with a speed previously unknown up at the Hospital, they have deleted the video I linked to in the previous post. A shame, but impressive. Perhaps the new Management are more efficient than the last lot. Implies that someone is reading my blog, though. Finishes off a bit of a poor week really. My motion that the City Council hold monthly surgeries out on the Farmers Market, you know, meet actual people, was defeated by the old dead party (Independents), and my piece on Radio Cornwall finally got broadcast at 7 o'clock Saturday morning. As if anyone is listening at that time.

Still there's the Rugby to look forward to. Mebyon Kernow's PPC sent me a Facebook invitation to join a group 'South African for the Day'. I don't know whats wrong with those boys, any proper Celt would enjoy the prospect of wallowing in glorious defeat. Nicking a grim one point win would be fine too. Go Phil!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Royal Cornwall Hospital

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust has been named as the worst performing Hospital Trust in the country. The line coming out of the Hospital today is that the new management, that came in at the beginning of the year, are making improvements. But Nurses tell me that although the new management started out with a 'sleeves rolled up out in the wards' sort of approach, that's gone and management are locked away in their ivory tower, same as the last lot. Normally, at this stage, I would show you an amusing video from the Hospital staff, but they've locked it up so I can't share it. But you could look at it yourself if you went to Youtube and searched for 'Breach(Royal Cornwall)'. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Takeover Day

As Carrick's Children and Young people's Champion I have been busy working on Takeover Day, an initiative from The Children's Commissioner whereby he hopes that on the 23rd November Children and Young People will takeover important jobs and roles , throughout the country. The point of this is that there are 11 million Children and Young People, some 20% of the population, and we seldom hear their voice.

I've arranged for the Mayor's of Truro, Falmouth and Penryn to hand over their chains for the day. So the next step is to find some likely children. Sounds a bit like the old recipe ' first catch your child'. Should be a fun and interesting day, and you never know with kids, we might very well learn something.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Just as I begin to shake of my parochial ways and embrace up country as not a bad place, along they come meddling in our affairs. I was interviewed by Radio Cornwall yesterday, on an important local item, that was to run on the breakfast program. But Ming's ill timed resignation speech has meant that my item has been bumped off the program! Well that's it for me and up country.

Except for one comment on the leadership election. At Brighton Andrew Neil came at me with two mugs. One full of Clegg badges and one full of Huhne badges, which he was calling a straw poll. I picked Clegg and am sticking with that, he let me keep the badge, but that's not the only reason. This blog is officially coming out for Clegg. As if anyone cares. Perhaps Radio Cornwall would be interested?

Monday, 15 October 2007


They do have electricity up there, but the very expensive hotel wanted £10 a day for internet access. Anyway we were to busy to blog, being dragged around Newcastle from 9 in the morning until 10 at night by the inspirational leader of Newcastle Council, John Shipley, and his team of talented Councillors, especially Nick Cott, Gareth Kane, Gregg and young Harry and thanks also to the Officers. I'm occasionally accused of being a little parochial, and I admit, you'll never hear any criticism of Truro here, but what those guys are achieving up there is fantastic, and I'm more than a little jealous. But I've come back full of new ideas to try out down here, and I'll be sure to say that they're not all my own ideas, oh yes.

Late Friday night I went out with Cllr Anna Pascoe of Camborne, to check out the evening economy. Newcastle is the 8th most popular party destination in the world. And somewhere that fake tan counts as clothing. I thought I might be a little old, but there where ladies older than me wearing miniskirts. Everyone was really friendly and happy and the atmosphere was brilliant. What a place.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Young and Talented

Off to Newcastle today, to take part in the in the Leadership Centre's programme for Young and Talented Councillors. Those of you who have read my profile will, perhaps, query my qualifications, but on my Council I'm just a boy.

I'll endeavour to blog on arrival. I expect they have electricity up there.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


Last night I attended my first Christmas planning meeting. Here in Truro we have just set up a Bids Board, that's where 1% of the business rate is diverted to a company,the Bids Board, to be used to improve the District. And the first thing we are spending money on are Christmas lights. Because Truro has so many of the big chain stores, who often don't contribute to community things, like lights, the burden of fund raising was falling on a smaller and smaller group of independent retailers, until we reached a point a couple of years ago when we had no Christmas lights at all! So Working for Truro was formed to set up a Bids scheme. And we are getting going just in time to set up the lights. Of course we won't please everyone, but it will get better and better, as we develop.

And we have real live Reindeer, pulling Santa in his sleigh through Boscawen Street. Roll on Christmas!

Takeover Day

To celebrate the United Nations charter on the rights of the child, the 23rd November is to be Takeover Day, when some of the 11 million children and young people in this country will get the chance to be in charge. As Carrick's Children and Young Peoples Champion I have approached the Mayor of Truro, and she has agreed to let a young person take over, and I'm waiting on replies from the Mayors of Falmouth and Penryn. It should be great fun, and an opportunity to highlight the position of young people in our society.

When people complain about young people hanging about on street corners or in the park, I say 'imagine if there were no pubs', and these conversations usually take place in pubs, 'what would we do after work?' Well we'd hang about on street corners making a nuisance of ourselves. And it wouldn't be long before some bright spark bought a couple of tins from the Off Licence and then we'd have the Police around. Young People just need somewhere safe to go. Takeover Day should be a fun way of highlighting their concerns.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Too Political

I recently asked the powers that be, at our local Council, if they could put a link to my blog in the 'getting in touch with your local Councillor' section. No, its too political, they said. Two points come to mind. Firstly, er yeah, well spotted, I'm a member of a political party, I stood in an election with a political agenda and am part of a political group on the Council. Your point is? Secondly, can my ramblings about Railway Club's, Football Club's, jogging, etc be considered too political?. As long as I keep off the Conservatives it's just community stuff. And the Tories are big boys, they don't mind.

I'm inclined to push this one a bit further.

Thursday, 4 October 2007


When I started on on my political career, all of 18 months ago, I knew as little about Seagulls as anyone else. But a month of knocking on doors in Boscawen made it plain to me that people and Gulls were not living together in harmony. Do something about the Gulls and we'll vote for you, they said. So I learnt about Gulls. They weigh a kilo, live 35 years, have no predators, they have 3 chicks a year, fly at up to 60mph and the population is growing at between 15% and 25% per year. They are moving into the cities in a big way. Out on the cliffs they are an endangered species. Try telling that to anyone with a breeding pair nesting on the roof, when the noise starts at 4 am.

So I got featured in the West Briton, front page of the Packet, Radio Cornwall phone ins and had lots of meetings, trying to get the District Councils to act together. We've had a survey done, by Dr Peter Rock the leading expert on Gulls, so we know how many there are, and tomorrow we are having another meeting. The plan is to run a series of Seagull Awareness events, starting in Feb. But why wait until then. Cornwall is the only place where Gulls attack people and that's because you upcountry people think it's entertaining to throw your chips at them. Well pack it in, its not helpful.

So far, not a single Gull has suffered as a result of my campaign. In fact several have taken to nesting on my roof. But the tide is turning, my feathered friends, and soon their will be some actions taken, although I can't be specific as to what they may be, at this exact moment.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Election Fever

This election fever has actually stopped me from blogging over the last few days. I don't have any inside knowledge, just a vague feeling that it won't happen. But I'm on my own, everyone down here is convinced and we're working towards a Monday or Tuesday announcement. I'm going along with the flow, nothing we're doing is wasted and it is focusing minds. So more leaflets tomorrow and a Friday planning meeting for the Postal Vote team. And several more days of feverish speculation.