Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Public will be involved in 'state of Cornwall' debate

Cornwall Councillors today rejected a proposal to abolish the provision for a 'State of Cornwall debate' the has languished unused in our constitution since the inception of the new authority.

I say unused, but when I made this suggestion at today's meeting, the Leader claimed that there had been such debate last year in the form of a presentation by the Chief Executive to councillors and there would have been one this year but, er, there won't be....

I suggested that this was a missed opportunity for the Council. For all that the Leader claims that he wants openness and transparency, they miss every chance to practice this. A genuine State of Cornwall debate would allow the public, groups and businesses to come and take part in an open ended debate about what is right and what is wrong with the governance and services of Cornwall. There wouldn't need to be a formal motion to debate or any vote at the end of the process but the Council could take a back seat and simply listen to what was said and try to make things better as a result.

I was grateful that councillors agreed with what I said to the extent that Cllr Bert Biscoe and I proposed that a revamped State of Cornwall debate be kept in the constitution and be held each year.

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