From the Press Gallery Diary
Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before…
Full Council met at County Hall / Lys Kernow today to discuss… well not that much, not substantive anyway. Pretty much everything was passed back to committees, given more time or indeed abandoned altogether.
“More fudge in there than at the seaside” said one wag councillor escaping from the hot and stuffy chamber.
Compared to say November’s council today’s meeting was decidedly empty of council business and they were done by 2pm. Without a break for lunch! Councillors spent a painful amount of time, the entire morning actually, discussing the internal procedure of who substitutes for who if a person can’t make a committee meeting.
After far too long they decided to defer the decision.
There was no real council administration business to ratify – difficult to do before the budget is fixed next month – so we got Leader’s announcements, public questions then a series of motions from ‘back bench’ councillors.
“It was a 2 hour meeting packed into 5”
Leader Adam Paynter told Councillors of the letter the council has received from the Stadium for Cornwall partnership requesting up to £6m to complete the build. Separate story on that here : Stadium for Cornwall asks for £6m to complete build – Watch interview with Council Leader
The council will have a look at the business plan from the Cornish Pirates, Truro City FC and Truro & Penwith Colleges that says the Stadium would be viable once running but despite their best efforts, they are short of initial money to complete the build. Officers will produce a report that cabinet will consider and vote on a recommendation to Full Council who will vote on it on April 17th.. Paynter said it’s now up to the partnership to convince the Cornish public that it is worth it.
The council leader was quick to point out that you can still find clips on You Tube of David Cameron, who loves Cornwall so much he’s bought a £2m second home here, promising money for the stadium back in … oh.. back in the election campaign. Darn. No worries though, it’ll be fine because the Cornish MPs have promised previously they’ll be able to get some money for the Stadium.
Motions – how did we do?
DISABLED PARKING BAYS & WHY FULL COUNCIL HAD NOT MUCH ON AGENDA
Today, Conservative councillors raised the motion that’s hit the headlines calling on a reduction in the cost to people with disabilities for Cormac to paint a disabled parking bay on the road for them.
Costs associated with the creation of a traffic regulation order, advertising, consultation, and implementation of a new bay lining and signing is around £3800 per bay in Cornwall but other councils either offer the service for a fraction of the cost or for free.
(We made predictions this morning in our article Full Council Today – Here’s what they are (not) talking about )
Predicted Likelihood of passing: Pretty good, should receive populist support across the chamber
1-0 I reckon. Adam Paynter admitted he had never heard of the charge and it was clearly ridiculous to charge that amount. He thanked the Tories for bringing to his attention a charge that he said was introduced by the Conservative led council administration (2009 – 13) and ‘it would be urgently looked at’. The motion was withdrawn after the Leaders remarks to allow time for a full investigation.
Charges for blue bay parking bays have been immediately suspended whilst the Council decides what to do next.
HOLIDAYS LETS TO PAY COUNCIL TAX
Proposal by Labour group to make all holiday lets etc pay council tax rather than business rates as this would raise significant sums for the council. Read more about it here Should all Holiday Lets Pay Council Tax? Council could raise a least £1m a year
Predicted Likelihood of passing: Fairly good, has popular support but unclear what the full implications may be.
Julian German had circulated a paper to councillors beforehand that explained that actually the Council gets a rebate from central government on any money lost from Small Business rate relief. So it’s worth looking at again in more detail before we ask to do anything.
Void on the coupon. This motion was witdrawn. Try again with a diffrent wording.
FULL COUNCIL VOTE ON NHS CHANGES
There was a motion to allow Full Council to have final say on all the changes being proposed for Cornwall’s NHS and Health & Social Care services.
The Accountable Care Inquiry has not finished its sessions yet or made any recommendations as to which of the six management options to take forward, so we said it would be easy to say ‘let’s wait and see’ and that’s exactly what happened. Full Council was promised a ‘meaningful vote’ on the plans, probably in September.
The decision in relation to the Accountable Care System is a decision of Cabinet, not Council. There may be aspects of the decision at later stages that require Council approval, but the substantive decision rests with Cabinet. The law is clear that the function is a Cabinet decision.
Full council could only ever express their will with a recommendation to Cabinet that would be hard to ignore.
Predicted Likelihood of passing: Even though it sound good on paper, likely to be defeated as councillors will not want to pre-judge or interfere at this time with the official inquiry.
Como lo dice . Motion was defeated as we predicted.
Tour of Britain
Mother might need to start training. Cyclists are asking the Council to underwrite the funds to host a stage of the Tour of Britain. This was raised previously in November but was sent out to committee for analysis.
The council supported the idea of holding a stage of the tour, at some point. They allowed £10,000 for a feasibility study but removed the time pressure by deleting any mention of the 2020 Race, so rather than support ‘a stage of the tour in 2020’ they decided to vaguely support ‘a stage of the Tour of Britain’, whenever. This suggestion was raised by Julian German who couldn’t help raising a wry smile, as it was he who wanted the money for the Capital of Culture bid.
Predicted Likelihood of passing: About as much chance as your mother winning the Tour de France.
Call that one a draw? There was no time to raise a bid for 2020 but supporters of the Cornish stage were happy enough with the outcome when they left the public gallery.
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