Cornwall Council’s initial £70m investment programme in jobs and homes was passed today at the meeting of Cornwall Council. This programme will allow for the Council to intervene in the market to speed up house building and to support investment in new jobs. It’s the start of a possible £600 million Cornwall Investment Fund. The programme was also examined and passed at the Cabinet meeting last week.
At that meeting Cornwall’s Conservatives warned that although they supported the investment plan in principle, they could not support the proposal at today’s full Council meeting unless they were given more info on governance of the scheme and a more detailed business plan. True to their word, with no more details produced, Phil Seeva the Leader of the Conservatives on Council Group, and most of his colleagues voted against the programme when it came to Council today.
Council leader Adam Paynter defended the plan “We have waited long enough for the homes that the people of Cornwall need. Far too many are living in substandard or overcrowded accommodation and this investment programme will allow us to take action to address some of these problems”
The Conservatives were asking for at least a delay until the next Full Council in January so that further scrutiny of the Council’s plans could take place. Cllr Paynter urged no delay in approving the extra borrowing so that officers could complete deals that are at delicate stages and needed to be completed before then.
“Investment programmes such as this are supported by the Conservative Government and the Secretary of State, so I cannot understand why the Conservatives in Cornwall have decided to play politics and oppose this much needed investment programme.
“In spite of their opposition, I am delighted that we now have the ability to move ahead, building new homes and creating much needed new jobs for the people of Cornwall.”
The Conservatives urged the Lib Dem/Independent administration to slow down in their plans to build houses in Cornwall with tax payer money.
Commenting, Conservative Group Leader Cllr Phil Seeva said:
“The Conservatives on Cornwall Council of course, are committed to bringing and creating economic investment to our County, as well as solving the housing crisis.”
“However the way in which the administration has gone about pursuing this scheme is rushed at best and half-baked at worst.”
“We have concerns about the governance, that there is no specifics on the return of what is public money after all, and the lack of a business plan, despite our group asking for it on many occasions. What we got instead was a few pages of information at the eleventh hour that gave little detail, and doom-mongering from the Leader of the Council, saying the whole scheme would fail if deferred for further discussion, as we requested.”
“We will be keeping a close eye on this scheme as it progresses and hope that this hasty decision made today, does not come back to bite this council, and the people of Cornwall, at a later date.”