Monday, 23 August 2010

LEP clarity

First we had Cornwall Council unanimously agreeing that a Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership was the best way forward.

Then Alec Robertson co-operated with a press release which seemed to indicate that a Devonwall LEP was still being considered - certainly this was the message picked up by the local press.

Then Jim Currie stepped in to clarify that the Council only had one policy - but failed to rule out being part of two bids.

Finally, Alec Robertson has confirmed that there will be no other LEP bid. (But apparently nobody thought to tell Devon)


There are serious lessons to come out of this mess.

The first is that the sovereignty of Cornwall Councillors making decisions in full council is not as absolute as we would like to believe. Despite what everybody believed to be a cast iron decision, some people were apparently still working in contradiction to that policy after it was passed. If there are people at the Council who believe that councillors do not make the policy decisions, then they need to be disabused of this notion as soon as possible.

Second, the capability of the Cabinet to follow through on policy. Alec Robertson agreed a press release which at least implied something very different from agreed policy. Subsequently he had to correct himself and have his deputy issue a statement. Did he really believe in something different or was he simply hoodwinked by those clever people from Devon? Whatever the case, it was a mess which did the Cabinet and Cornwall's LEP bid no service at all.

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