"Cornwall needs less democracy"

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carrek
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"Cornwall needs less democracy"

Post by carrek » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:44 pm

The latest mindless populist bandwagon is an idea to reducing the number of councillors at Lys Kernow.

http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/news/sh ... ticle.html

Jude Robinson in another typical 'speak first, think later' outburst has suggested that the number of councillors "freeloading" means their number needs to be cut. No mention of the Council's 22,000 employees, many of whom in the top echelons are more than likely doing plenty of freeloading themselves.

Andrew "On The Fence" Wallis seems to think that democracy should take a back seat. He suggests that those who sit should be "those who turn up", not those elected by the people.

Finally there is the moronically mindless WMN/TIC in yet another anonymous article, who goes about comparing the amount of councillors to the number of Welsh Assembly members (despite the Assembly having 22 unitary authorities underneath it, a.k.a. 1,264 councillors) and to the number of Devon County councillors (despite Devon having 8 district councils underneath it, a.k.a. 337 councillors)

So to sum up, Wales' population is 2,999,300, and they have 60 + 1,264 (1,324) representatives outside of Westminster, not including parish councils, making 2,265 people per representative.

The population covered by Devon County Council is 754,700 (doesn't cover Plymouth or Torbay), and they have 62 + 337 (399) representatives outside of Westminster, not including parish councils, making 1,891 people per representative.

Cornwall Council covers a population of 534,300, and we have 123 representatives outside of Westminster, not including parish councils, making 4,343 people per representative.

So, dear Jude, Andrew and WMN, Cornwall has half the representation of Wales, and less than half the representation of Devon. We don't need less councillors, we need more. Cornwall is seriously underrepresented.

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Kitto
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Re: "Cornwall needs less democracy"

Post by Kitto » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:58 pm

I wouldn't say that Cornwall is under represented at all - it definitely could be reduced in size. Many councils across the country are far too bloated. We need to make these councils, and councillors, more accountable, so that in the future there won't be so many financial scandals! Incidentally, if there was a Cornish Assembly, how would local government work in Cornwall? Would you revert to district councils followed by parish councils?

carrek
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Re: "Cornwall needs less democracy"

Post by carrek » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:57 pm

So it's fair that local government representation is vastly unequal across the UK is it?

Reducing the number of councillors doesn't necessarily make councils more accountable, just less representative.
Kitto wrote:Incidentally, if there was a Cornish Assembly, how would local government work in Cornwall? Would you revert to district councils followed by parish councils?
I don't presume to have all the answers, and an Assembly would likely sort it out for itself, but to my mind there are a few options:

1. split Cornwall into districts
2. revert to the previous 6 district councils
3. have Cornwall as a unique 'county-region' and combine local/regional services
4. create an entirely new way of delivering local services

The most likely options are 3 and 4. Cornwall is not big enough to follow the region/county/district model present in the rest of the UK so will need to think outside the box, looking at areas in a similar situation in other countries.

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Marhak
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Re: "Cornwall needs less democracy"

Post by Marhak » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:00 pm

Well, I can list out councillors who ought to be thrown off.

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P_Trembath
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Re: "Cornwall needs less democracy"

Post by P_Trembath » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:40 pm

Marhak wrote:Well, I can list out councillors who ought to be thrown off.
To be replaced with new ones?
Everyone, Cornish or otherwise, has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small; no one is too old or too young to do something.

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Marhak
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Re: "Cornwall needs less democracy"

Post by Marhak » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:26 pm

Not necessarily. Unless there are some honest candidates out there.

zennorman2
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Re: "Cornwall needs less democracy"

Post by zennorman2 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:47 pm

If we moved to a Cornish Assembly 60 members paid £20,000 each per annum would have to be the solution. There is a real danger in what Jude Robinson is proposing (although populist) it is getting to the point in Westminster that politics is a rich mans game and we want to avoid that in Truro. People like Dick Cole took a big personal risk in leaving well paid jobs to become a Councillor. Four years on £12k a year may not entice some people who are otherwise quite able but have got commitments and - either way - it is a time limited contract. A figure of £20k would also be around the kind of level that most people in Cornwall get a year - anything more could entice people in for the wrong reasons.

The districts were not all that with party political chief executives, big pay offs at 50, chief executives who were also directors of building firms, strange planning decisions, an anti County Council bias etc etc. The region of Cornwall would get on with the big strategic stuff and the parishes and towns service delivery (roughly speaking) although there may need to be clusters at this level because (frankly) 2000 odd parish and town counsils is a ridiulous number (too much local civic pride and not enough common sense).

In my experinece most counsil officers are hard working and have integrity. Those who get around £70k do so on thge basis of 100 hour weeks. Its the culture and the system to blame

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