Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Town Council update

Tonight was Launceston Town Council's monthly meeting and as usual I went along to give a report about what Cornwall Council is doing.

There was some good news - the decision to approve compulsory purchase powers to ensure the Kensey Trail gets built - some bad news - the continued failure of the Council to get parking machines working properly and some interesting opportunity for the future - a presentation by the people in charge of the superfast broadband programme about what is happening in Launceston.

Apart from broadband (which is a great scheme), the most interesting discussion was about the Government's Localism Bill (stay with me please). This will give far more powers to local town and parish councils and, through them, to ordinary voters. There are some opportunities - such as the chance for local people to be at the heart of deciding what will happen to their community. There are also some risks - such as that big multinationals will abuse the power for local communities to take control of local services and grab them for themselves.


Respondona said...

In what way do you think multinational companies will be able to take advantage of the Localism Bill?

Foss said...

Good news about the broadband. Here's hoping they want to roll out fibre to the cabinet (or better yet fibre to the home) soon. Please keep us posted!

Alex Folkes said...

Respondona - As things currently stand, the community right to challenge has to come from a town or parish council but the service can end up being run by a huge multi-national (such as SERCO) with no local roots. I hope this doesn't happen. The point should be that if a service can be better run locally then it is and a challenge shouldn't end up with it being even more remote.

Foss - Superfast Broadband should be with us by March next year. I've asked for a more precise timetable and for assurances that fibre to the premises will be made available for our business parks and the town centre.

Foss said...

Excellent. I was going to change my broadband but I think I'll hold out now, instead of getting caught up in another contract! Thanks Alex :)