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Partnership plan will be debated by Cornwall Council after mass petition

By West Briton  |  Posted: October 04, 2012

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PLANS to move council services into a new partnership with a private firm will have to be debated by Cornwall Council again after a petition gathered more than 5,000 signatures.

The petition was launched by Independent councillor Andrew Wallis after he tabled a motion at a full council meeting calling for withdrawal from the project which was supported by a majority of councillors but subsequently ignored by the ruling Cabinet.

In less than three weeks the online petition has gathered almost 4,000 signatures while paper copies have collected more than 1,200. However not all paper copies have been returned and it is believed as many as 1,000 more signatures have been collected.

Mr Wallis said: "I really cannot believe how quickly this target has been reached. I believe people have really got behind it, because they feel so strongly about what is happening at Cornwall Council."

Mebyon Kernow also welcomed the petition reaching its target.

Deputy leader Andrew Long said: "It is a testament to the feelings of the people of Cornwall that this petition has already reached the 5,000 mark. We must credit Councillor Wallis on the efforts he has put into getting to this stage. Without his enthusiasm and hard work this would have taken a lot longer. Now we want the Cabinet to take this strong message and cancel this failed proposal."

Under council guidelines 5,000 signatures triggers a debate at a full council meeting. The next full council meeting is on October 23.

Before that there is an extraordinary meeting of the council on October 16 to consider a motion of a vote of no confidence in council leader Alec Robertson.

The motion was tabled by councillors in response to Mr Robertson's Cabinet deciding to ignore the vote at full council calling for the withdrawal of the council from the shared services project.

One Conservative councillor, who did not want to be identified, told the West Briton that Mr Robertson's days as leader could be numbered.

The councillor said: "I really don't think he will survive this – not only is there support for the vote of confidence across the Lib Dems, Independents and Mebyon Kernow there are also supporters in the Conservative Party."

However the councillor warned that the outcome could change depending on how the vote is conducted: "If it is done in a secret ballot then he will definitely go, however Alec and his supporters are pushing for a recorded vote and if that happens he could survive."

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  • steveyandall  |  October 04 2012, 6:23PM

    Absolutely disgusting just as the decision to build the incinerator,against planners advice,was. In 2000 Parliament censured those responsible for deceiving them and ourselves re.the health impacts of incineration resulting in a totally false estimate of 100 people per year dying from the effect of incineration.The research of Michael Ryan and Dr Dick Van Steenis points to massive peaks in child mortality in wards downwind of incinerators but the very 'experts' that sway Public Inquiries in favour of incineration have failed to study or complete investigations into these VERY serious matters but maintain,with no veracious research,that health impacts are negligible--as do Parliamentarians that support CC despite prior knowledge of health issues. Of course CC shabbynet also know but even in the knowledge of health concerns AND the spectre of European Law banning the burning of plastic in favour of recycling in 2020 they are willing to forward 25m for only 5 years of payback within a 30 year contract. 25m that could have helped create an alternative waste management system(plan B).25m that could save the Scillies from isolation BUT we must ALL ask "why does CC need to help at this late stage"? Could it be that even the company behind the incinerator is getting cold feet? The irony of central government not having the 500k necessary to fund the ceremony organised to honour the Bomber Command memorial opening contrasts with a local authority that can raise 25m to fund a commercial enterprise for which commercial funding should be available!UNLESS,of course,the flaws in CC's plan are clearly visible to independent funders. Mr Lavery/Mr Robertson and their fellow travellers are more than capable of bankrupting Cornwall both financially and democratically. I know not the politics of Mr Lavery but do not overlook the obstacle Mr Roberston(Tory) places in the way of Tory central achieving localism.Every indication is that Mr R sees localism as a something to be excercised by him-not us. Yes.They must go.

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  • ackedoff  |  October 04 2012, 6:19PM

    I think what typifies the culture and atmosphere in the council is the following quote from the above article "If it is done in a secret ballot then he will definitely go, however Alec and his supporters are pushing for a recorded vote and if that happens he could survive." Fear of retribution if you don't toe the party line and bully boy tactics is rife through out, even our elected members are afraid to come out publicly against the actions of Mr Lavery and Mr Robertson. You have to ask yourself why This is no way to run a local authority, its not good for the councils employees and its certainly not good for the people of Cornwall. Time to read the writing on the wall guys, the people of Cornwall are slowly having the wool pulled away from their eyes and don't like what they see. Perhaps some words from Oliver Cromwell are apt at this point "you have been sat to long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, i say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go!." Addressing the rump parliament. April 1653.

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  • Elizabeth2010  |  October 04 2012, 4:16PM

    Do any of the Councillors opposed to the selling off of these services have another alternative? Did the Councillors not know that this was an inevitability of the cuts being made right across the board in all local councils? Are these councilors the same councilors who have derided some of the council's over priced shoddy services themselves?

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  • shagrats  |  October 04 2012, 1:18PM

    How many times has a petition pushed the debate back to the council before ? I presume none. However listening to Kim jung "Robertson" on the radio the other day, so what. they have the "Law" on their side and it seems that if those 12 councillors have made their mind up, or in this case, have been told by their boss what their mind is. then there is very little or nothing we can do about it. Other than "storm the bastile"

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  • shagrats  |  October 04 2012, 1:08PM

    Now lets start up a petition to stop CC gifting 25 million to the french company building the incinerator in St Denis.

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  • cheekyman_jr  |  October 04 2012, 11:45AM

    Recorded or secret vote, is shouldn't matter. These councillors are only in "power" because we have put them there. They are there to do our bidding and the best they can for the people of Cornwall. Cllr Wallis has proved this, he's a good man, lets see the rest of them do the same and prove themselves by ousting Robertson.

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  • D-Head  |  October 04 2012, 11:35AM

    The coalition government, the ConDems, promised us Localism and we ended up with.... There's a lot I could say but Olly-Gark has probably already said it. What I will say is thank god for the likes of Andrew Wallis.

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  • Phil_lip  |  October 04 2012, 11:05AM

    A word to councillors, stand up for what you belive in, even if it is a recorded vote and you agree in the no confidence ruling then vote for it. Do not let any pressure change your vote even if you are on the same party because that is not democracy and they know it and want to play games to rule without it.

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  • albru  |  October 04 2012, 11:02AM

    The main thing here is that the public have put down a marker that says that public services should be run by public bodies, not shady private sector organisations.

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  • Barfly1532  |  October 04 2012, 10:54AM

    Robertson and in fact the entire cabinet system should go. We live in a democracy he, and his cabinet are acting like dictators

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