Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Cabinet set to agree to localism - at last!

After the shock of putting localism on hold, it looks like the cabinet will finally be allowing devolved decision making in the county.

Localism - allowing local members to work with town and parish councils and others to take local decisions - was a key plank of the move to unitary status. Without localism we would have all decisions being taken in Truro. There would also be a huge gulf between decision makers and people.

It was a massive mistake, in my view, for the new Tory led administration to stop localism in its tracks. It sent the message that Cornwall Council was not interested in what local people have to say.

After a lengthy consultation process and endless meetings - led by the Communities Scrutiny Committee - the Cabinet will next week consider a proposal that would see localism start again. It appears that Cabinet Member Lance Kennedy will accept the recommendations of the scrutiny committee word for word.

That's great, but it is incredibly frustrating that we should have had to wait so long. Liberal Democrats said that we should have let the local committees develop at their own pace and in the direction they wish - exactly what the new report says. So why we had to wait for a decision that could have been made four months ago is anybody's guess. There is no doubt that relations with town and parish councils have been hurt as a result.

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