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National Coastwatch seeking volunteers 26 April, 2016

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Election Expenses – the plot thickens 22 April, 2016

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The relentless Michael Crick continues his investigation into the Conservative Party’s non-committal relationship with the law around electoral spending.

There’s nothing new about party volunteers travelling to other areas to campaign but the law around spending is very clear. Costs incurred for campaigning on behalf of local candidates must be declared by the candidate as a local expense, not a national one. Hotels and ‘Battle Buses’ were paid for out of the central pot but, as Michael Crick demonstrates, the work done was very much in support of specific local candidates.

It’s very clear that the Electoral Commission need to investigate this thoroughly, and there’s every chance that the police will become involved. If there’s deliberate wrongdoing found then this is very clearly a subverting of the law to win an election.

This affair cannot be brushed under the carpet.

Answers needed on Election Expenses 21 April, 2016

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You may have seen Michael Crick’s report on Channel 4 News last night – if not I’ve linked to it above. Obviously there are a number of interesting questions that arise from this, not least whether or not electoral law was broken in the pursuit of vital marginal seats, and I and many others will be hoping to hear some answers over the coming days.

A government elected by a mere 36% of the electorate, already suffering from questions about its relationship to offshore money and influence, cannot simply brush this under the carpet. If the law has been broken then there will need to be a full investigation.

A stunning victory for Karen in Wadebridge West 16 April, 2016

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The dust has settled on a keenly fought Cornwall Council by-election in the Wadebridge West electoral division with Karen McHugh pulling off a stunning victory for the Lib Dems. The seat was previously held by Scott Mann for the Conservatives but the Tory vote collapsed (by 40%) while the Lib Dem vote share was up nearly 20%. Th12670732_188175881565153_6178987500279772554_ne Labour, Green and Independent candidates also put in good showings.

 

The results were:

Conservative: 356 (25.6%)

Independent: 111 (8.0%)

Labour: 222 (16.0%)

Lib Dem: 604 (43.5%) 

Green: 95 (6.8%)

Turnout was 47.85%

 

I’ve known Karen for about twenty years and I know how strong her values are and how deeply compassionate she is, so I have no doubt she’ll be an excellent representative for Wadebridge as well as being a key contributor to Cornwall as a whole. I’m really looking forward to working with her.

I would also like to make special mention of the other candidates in this election who all fought so hard throughout the campaign. While we may all have had our philosophical differences no one can doubt their strong commitment to the people of Wadebridge and the surrounding area. I applaud anyone who puts themselves forward for election but Wadebridge West was blessed with some particularly good candidates. Well done to everyone.

 

Steve Knightley wins Wadebridge East 6 September, 2013

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Cornwall Councillor Steve KnightleySteve Knightley has won the Wadebridge East by-election for the Liberal Democrats. The vote was triggered by the resignation of the Independent Collin Brewer. In the end, the result was close:

Steve Knightley (Lib Dem) 408
Independent 399
Conservative 217
UKIP 202
Labour 58

It was a particularly disappointing night for UKIP, who slipped back from their result in May, and the Tories, who would have hoped to have made more of an impact given this was on their PPC’s doorstep.

It was a great result for Dan Rogerson MP and the North Cornwall Lib Dems and I am sure Steve will make a great Councillor for Wadebridge and Cornwall as a whole. I’m looking forward to working with him.

Changes to rubbish collections 26 March, 2012

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As you may already be aware, there will be changes to rubbish and recycling collections in Cornwall from 2nd April and in many cases this will involve different collection days and different containers for recycling.

To find out how the changes will affect you follow this link and to find out your new collection day use the postcode checker on the Cornwall Council homepage.

St Eval Community Centre – Grand Opening 7 January, 2012

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Some time ago I wrote a post about the facilities the Americans left behind at Trevisker St Eval. I reflected at the time that it would be a tragedy if these buildings were left empty while the local community faced the closure of its Post Office, shop and community facilities.

Two years on, after an astonishing amount of hard work from members of the community, I was invited to attend the opening of new facilities – on the site of the former US buildings at Orion Drive.

No one should underestimate what an amazing achievement this has been for the local community. There have been numerous occasions when everything seemed to be lost and it appeared that St Eval might head the way of so many other rural settlements and fall into slow decline. The local residents had other ideas. Their determination has been outstanding. They have fought their corner with the Ministry of Defence, worked up business plans and put in the hard, unpaid labour to produce a social club, kitchen, meeting venue and a new Post Office. Most crucially of all, they have never given up.

There will still be many obstacles in the future, but the local community was proud to open the doors today. It is an amazing achievement with an incredible community spirit at its heart – local residents have every right to be proud.

(You can read more about the community at St Eval here.)

St Eval 8 December, 2011

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David Parsons wins Bude North and Stratton for Lib Dems 27 October, 2011

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Huge congratulations to David Parsons, who has scored a resounding victory in the hotly contested Bude North & Stratton by-election. The Result was: David Parsons (LD) 958 (61.17%), Con 395 (25.22%), Lab 120 (7.66%), Ind 93 (5.94%).

David is a talented campaigner who will be an excellent representative for an area which seems to have been forgotten by Tory-led Cornwall Council. I’m very much looking forward to working with him.

A future for Camelford Leisure Centre? 12 October, 2011

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As my colleague Alex Folkes writes, the Council’s Cabinet met this morning to debate the future of leisure services in Cornwall. Inveitably, part of that involved a discussion about Camelford Leisure Centre, which has been under threat pretty much since the Tory-led administration first started to look at leisure services last year.

In the end the Cabinet tried their usual trick of pulling a rabbit (or half a rabbit, as I described it to the Leader’s disgust) out of the hat to give the local community a little more time to put a business case together to save their facilities. It bought them a little time and kept the public gallery off their back, but most people in the room were sceptical of the Cabinet’s commitment to Camelford and the possibility of the local campaign receiving the support and assistance they need to meet the new deadline of 31st December.

Throughout this whole issue there has been no real indication that the Tory-led administration in Truro has any understanding of the serious issues facing rural communities. Camelford Leisure Centre serves a large geographical area which includes a number of small schools. Cornwall Council on the one hand claims to be working to improve the health of its residents while on the other hand showing no commitment where it really matters.

Residents in Camelford and the wider area can be forgiven if they take this morning’s concession with a pinch of salt.