Wednesday, 19 December 2007


On Radio 5 this morning Nick said he would like to see a Referendum on Europe. In or Out, no messing about with referenda every time there is a new treaty, or a change in membership. Do we want to be in or not? Straightforward question. I can go on the doorstep with that.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Coalition talk

Let's hear a loud, clear 'no' to coalition talks. We have to work with the Tories down here, and they're just not on our wavelength. They may produce the odd national figure that seems reasonable, but when you get down to Councillor, activist or member level, they are still unreformed Thatcherites. So nip it in the bud straight away Mr Clegg, lets have nothing to do with them.


Phew! that was close. Nick came close to losing through being too cautious. Let's hope he learns a lesson and takes the brakes off. And make sure Chris and Vince are both right up front with you, Nick, we need their immense talent. What a team! I might even break my diet and put milk in my celebratory cup of tea! Ooooh sod it, I'm going to have a biscuit as well! Happy days.

Monday, 17 December 2007


Up early to deal with e mails from people worried about planning and dustbin collections,etc. Then up to Penair to listen to year 9's visions for the future of Truro. This class was a bit more fidgety than last weeks, with a number of people who clearly didn't want to be there, so they were a little more challenging. Still, lots of interesting ideas and we all survived. Had a couple of Furniss Coal Vouchers to deliver. I normally wait until I've got 6 or 7 to do, but in this cold weather I thought I better go out, even though I only had two customers. Then a nice run down to Malpas and back, in 37ish minutes. My running mate moaned quite a bit, along the lines that its alright for people who've lost weight and can magically go faster, but I don't listen, she's ten years younger than me and will soon catch up. Then I posted all my Christmas cards.

Sounds like a good days work to me, but my wife disagrees. She's barely talking to me. Seems I'm not entering into the Christmas thing properly or, indeed at all. (The Christmas cards weren't for family and friends just, you know, my ward) Still the result of the leadership election will be out tomorrow and a win for Clegg will surely put a smile on her face. Although sometimes, I wonder if she really cares either way, or at all?

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Can't blog today

Can't blog today, because tonight's Planning Committee is the issue of the day, and its been suggested that I should be very careful about commenting on live planning matters. Fair enough. One of the joys of a City Centre Ward is that we get lots of big applications, and to nights theme is Supermarkets, with Sainsburys and the Co- Op involved. So I shall quietly read the Officers reports today, go along to the Committee and listen to the Officers expert presentation, and to anyone else who wants to say a few words, and quite possibly chip in with a word or two myself.

More excitingly than all that, though, I've now lost one and a half stone and manged to do two sub eight minute miles, at Running Club, last night. We did more than two miles in all, but I got a bit slower. Yes, Running Club, I am that sad. But I'm the one strutting about with my shirt tucked in and my belt done up another notch. Oh yes.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

A small success

People who run sports teams do it for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they have a child in the team or they've always played themselves and want to stay involved. For whatever reason they do our community a big favour. The Police will tell you how good it is for young lads to be involved in organised sports, and the benefits in terms of health and being part of a team are obvious. But it's a thankless task for the organiser, and I have a lot of respect for the people that do it.

So it was good at Full Council to be able to reject the Councils plans to increase charges to teams wanting to use the Council owned pitches in Falmouth. The loss to the Council is £1000 per year, and the saving to the teams is only £6 per game, but it's a step in the right direction. A very small success, but Falmouth has some of the poorest wards in the Country and £6 could be the final straw, that makes someone call it a day. Perhaps next year we can agree to give under 18's the pitches for free.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Labour lies

Unseemly scenes on Lemon Quay last Saturday. Every year the Mayor holds a Charity Day where local charities take stalls in a marquee on the Quay. The Transition Truro team unfurled their banner for a photo opportunity and Labour PPC Dr Charlotte MacKenzie, who has attached herself to the Greens to their increasing dismay, caught hold of one end of the banner and despite much tugging couldn't be dislodged. Not while there was a camera there, anyway!

I only mention this small matter because Dr C is keen to be in my blog. I've published two of her comments, but had got bored of her by the third. So she's e mailed me at the address Carrick give me for Council business, complaining that I haven't published her comment! Dr C, this blog is not a platform for Labour lies. Best thing to do is to write you're views on a leaflet and, if you've got any activists left, and I hear you haven't, deliver them to the poor unsuspecting electorate and let them make up their own minds. Oh, they already have, haven't they, you always struggle to even come third in actual elections, don't you.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Young People

Nice start to the week, up to Penair School to talk to 14 to 15 year olds about what Councillors do and, more importantly, how the Young People would like to see Truro develop. We started off telling them who we were and then they gave us a series of presentations. Now I've been banging the drum for Young People and the need to involve them in the decision making process, for a little while, but I still found this lot impressive. The ideas presented to us included making Boscowan Park more attractive to a wider range of potential users, a Snow Park so that there is something to do in the winter, an Ark Pet Shop and Cafe on the Compton Castle site, move the Football Club to Pencoose Farm (been there, tried that), a Leisure Centre, and a shopping mall with an ice rink and glass roof on Garras Wharf.

These are all great ideas, several of which have already been put to us by Officers (at great ex pence) and Developers. There were no 'Green ideas' which is surprising for Young People. In the question and answer session we began to focus on housing. They do not want everything built on, they don't want Cornwall covered in housing, they like things as they are. But, I asked them, if we don't build more houses where will you live? We talked of Eco Villages and new Council Estates and had a great time. We Councillors probably learned more than the Young People, we're more ready to compromise, whereas Young People have a certainty about them. Perhaps one day when I'm retired from public life, I'll find myself having a cup of tea in the Ark Pet Shop Cafe, and I'll smile,knowing that our City is in safe hands.

Thursday, 6 December 2007


Interesting stuff at detailing the many appearances of Mark Prisk MP in Cornwall. I see what the Tories are trying to do here, but I think they're making a mistake. As 'Shadow Minister for Cornwall' Mark can come down and look after the various Tory hopefuls in the County. I met Mark at a lunch hosted by Sarah Newton, Tory PPC for Truro Falmouth. Now, from what I saw at that lunch Sarah has absolutely no personality or presence whatsoever. Do you remember the way the Doonesbury strip once represented a character, I think it was Dan Quayle, as a feather floating in the air?. That's Sarah. So although Mark is supposed to be mentoring and guiding her, he ends up completely overshadowing her. He engages with people in the room, while she sits playing with her hair. Most people probably think she's his Researcher.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Huhne = IDS

Nice post by Guido Fawkes on saying if we elect Huhne we'll be in the same position the Tories were in when they elected IDS. Makes sense to me.


Two votes posted off from here for Nick today. I had decided for Nick at the beginning of the campaign, having seen both of the candidates in action during the course of the previous year. But I have been more impressed by Chris than I was before the campaign, although his dodgy dossier and the whole LibDem for Chris style of campaigning have undone any good his personal performances on TV and the Radio have done. Still should Nick win, I hope he will accept that Chris has done enough to be able to pick his job and must be part of the new team.

Fire Brigade

Various Devon and Somerset Councils are grappling with a £1.8 million shortfall in the Fire Service budget. They propose that Ilfracombe go from full time to retained and for Plympton, Exmouth and Paignton to go from 24 hour full time cover, to retained at night. The Councils are blaming the Labour Government for the shortfall.

We've been having this discussion down here for the past year, ever since the LibDem controlled County Council proposed that Falmouth and Camborne Fire Station, the only two full time Fire Stations in the County, go from full time to retained. There has been a vigorous campaign from the West Briton to save the Stations, with many Independents, Conservatives and especially the Labour PPC for Truro Falmouth, a Dr Charlotte Mackenzie, making political hay. Dr C has been particularly vicous in her letters to the West Briton, saying its all LibDem incompetence and nothing to do with the Government. A quick trawl around the internet sees many Councils experiencing similar problems with the Fire Service, and all blaming the Government. Will Dr C put her hand up now and say she got it wrong and was just trying to get some cheap publicity? No, I don't think that's the way NuLabour does things.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Jogging again

A great run on Saturday and not just because the road to Malpas is so beautiful, but because it only took 37 minutes, another PB! (that's shorthand for personal best, a thing we runners say). And the satisfaction of standing around at the end waiting for my mates, who only 6 months ago were very much faster than me. Now they mutter about injuries, feeling a bit sick, etc. I try to look sympathetic. Not smug at all.

But can it last?. Will Hutton writes in this weeks Observer that most people who loose weight put it all back on again. He's joined weight watchers, but I don't think I'm enough of a team player for that. See I'm permanently starving and what reasons are there not to have a little mid morning snack?. Health?, that's a bit of a lottery. Being a bit quicker on a Saturday? nice but not that important. And I'll need more than a couple of inches off my waist to suddenly become attractive to women. It's more about self image anyway, so I'm doing it for myself and myself is increasingly thinking that a little mid morning snack is more fun than loose jeans.

And Christmas is coming.