The Conservatives seem to have a new plan for covering up their mismanagement of Cornwall Council. It's a diversion technique. They are happy to showcase exciting new plans whilst pretending that old problems don't exist.
So the new plan of offering some form of bursaries to Cornish students could potentially be a great idea. It's a pity that the plans appear to have been leaked to the BBC rather than given to councillors, but what can you expect.
I say potentially good idea, because we have no idea of the details. Where will this money be coming from and who will it be going to? Will it help the most disadvantaged or be spread thinly across the whole population? And will it be concentrated in those areas which are the most disadvantaged in terms of access to education - North Cornwall and the Lizard?
But at the same time, the Council is hoping that people don't ask too many questions about all the cuts they have made including:
- cutting budgets for bus services so as to threaten vital routes across Cornwall;
- cutting £4 million from the adult care budget;
- cutting 40% from the supporting people budget used to help people who are homeless;
- cutting funding for Camelford Leisure Centre and Bude Sea Pool;
- cutting library hours across Cornwall;
- cutting funding for grit to keep our side roads moving in the winter;
- trying to cut funding for public conveniences.
I'm sure that, like us, most people in Cornwall will welcome help for local students if the details are right. But we mustn't let the Conservatives get away with pretending they haven't also made huge cuts to important front line services.