Cornwall Council meets in full session tomorrow, where all 123 councillors are expected to attend and participate.
In a full day of debate the highlight may come early on as the council, and council Leader John Pollard will come under increasing pressure to change the consultation process on the controversial Cornwall NHS STP plan that the council is a major partner in.
Refused a debate in the actual council session, councillors have resorted to having to ask the Leader of the council (PMQ style) to guarentee a debate on the STP at the next full council meeting in Feb. But first he must answer this question posed by the a member of the public:
Sustainability and Transformation Plan: NHS Cornwall’s deficit £264 million and growing; Treliske Hospital on weekly Black Alert; Cornwall Local Plan proposes 52,000 houses and student/elderly accommodation by 2030. Obvious NHS Kernow deficit cannot reduce without drastic measures of hospital closures/privatisation and increased Government funding. What steps have the Council taken to lobby Government?
Mrs Carlyon Truro
Councillors Cornelius Olivier (Labour, PZ) and then Sue James (Lib Dem, St Just) and Neil Burden (Ind, Stoke Climsland) will ask respectively:
“Does the Leader of the Council agree that consent to the content of the Strategic Transformation Plan for NHS services in Cornwall from any Cornwall Council officer, sub-committee or committee should be subject to final approval from a full meeting of Cornwall Councillors?”
“Our Devolution Deal, “putting Cornwall first” approach appears to be a major reason why the development of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Cornwall is being presented as following a partnership rather than an NHS led approach. Whilst there may be potential benefits in that for the people of Cornwall, the lack of an open and transparent democratic strategic steer places the legitimacy of the outcome at risk. To give such a steer was the reason I, with the support of many others, had hoped for a debate in this Chamber today. This is now giving a public perception that the final plan might be Officer led rather than locally driven and democratically accountable. Given that I have had significant public interest and support for my request and that a round of public meetings has now taken place, will you, as Leader, ensure that a full debate takes place at our next Council meeting?”
“Sustainability Transformation Plan The STP public consultation came to a close last week. What did the STP and Council learn from such encounters and how will the utter frustration of the public be addressed? It appears the idea of a Sustainable Transformation Plan in changing how the NHS and the Social Services operate in streamlining and making the whole more efficient has become seriously confusing by at the same time the need to cut services in order to save money. Surely this is muddying the water and a real coming together of various elements of care which could be advantageous is already seriously damaged at the first hurdle making the public very nervous as we have witnessed as to what services they will now lose”.
Each councillor will then be able to ask a supplementary question that Cllr Pollard won’t have prior notice of. You will be able to watch the whole thing live via the council’s webcast on their site.
In a full day’s session our Councillors will also be debating:
Cornwall’s Capital Programme (eg big money spending) – to decide to increse spending from £674.117m to £715.655m;
- the proposed structure of Cornwall’s Intermediate Body Status – (who gets to decide how the EU money is spent) Cornwall’s Economic Future: Whose Money is it Anyway? Growth Funding in a post Brexit world
- a review a ‘outside bodies’ eg Cormac,
- the role profile of a councillor – an agreed job description that will inform people thinking about standing at the council elections
- how many Councillors Cornwall should have after 2021.
- Cornwall Labour have also be given time to lead a debate on the economy of Cornwall post Brexit and the democratic implications of funding structures. Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Labour leader has spoken to CS previously on this subject, arguing that because of Brexit, Cornwall is in serious danger as central government is likely to stockpile money rather than give it out, and that major decisions on funding are increasingly taken by non-elected officers and this is getting worse. Cornwall Labour: SWGC “is further proof of Government intentions to close down the democratic process
We mentioned that a Full Council is when all councillors are expected to attend and participate. We’ll let you know the ones who couldn’t be bothered…