Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Tories to abandon localism before it even starts?

I've just received the genda for next week's meeting of the Tory/Independent Cabinet. One item is on the new community network areas. These were designed to ensure that the new unitary council has localism at its centre. It appears that somebody wants them scrapped.

As I've blogged before, the danger of the new Cornwall Council is that it would centralise everything in Truro. For those of us in Launceston, it may as well be London. So the community network areas and the panels that will form their hub are vital.

But the Cabinet's plan appears to be to put these on hold before they even start. The paper going to Cabinet says that there has been concern from some councillors and from some parish councils and that there is concern about a one size fits all approach. I have no doubt that there will be problems to be ironed out and I'm delighted that they have realised that there cannot be a uniform approach to this issue. But that doesn't mean that everything should grind to a halt until some mythical perfect solution is found.

So I'll be arguing at the Cabinet meeting next week that consultation is the right approach, but that this should happen alongside the organic development of the community networks.

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