Wednesday, 26 February 2014

What is the point of Cornwall Conservatives?

Yesterday, Cornwall Council formally agreed its budget for the coming year. The key decisions were taken back in November but the rules state that a vote must also be taken in late January or February each year after the formal local government settlement is announced. Thanks to the superb work of our finance officers, the provisional figures were only £12,000 out - only 0.001% of the overall budget - meaning that we did not have to make time consuming and costly changes to the plans already agreed.

But, once again, there was barely a peep from the council's Conservative group. Despite suggestions that they would come forward with either an alternative budget or an amendment, nothing appeared. And, whilst the majority of the group voted against the plans on offer, they had nothing to say about what they would do differently.

Tory group leader Fiona Ferguson continued her bizarre campaign against bringing new jobs to Bodmin and lowering the council's administration costs. But she had nothing to say about services or even about council tax.

I have always thought that it was wrong to vote against a budget if I had not put forward an alternative. Four Tory councillors clearly had a similar outlook as they voted for the proposals given their own group's lack of direction.

So if the Conservatives in Cornwall have nothing to offer as an alternative to the Liberal Democrat and independent administration, what is the point of them at all?

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