'GEORGE Newton' should spend less time on Facebook and more understanding geography and governance, writes independent Cornwall Councillor Bert Biscoe.
I'm loving the Eustice-Newton Cornish Localism 'revolution' – I think their shrill headline-grab is evidence of desperation that the Localism Act, like the Sustainable Communities Act, is just a piece of self-justifcatory window-dressing – people don't want centralism disguised as devolution – such as Neighbourhood Plans only saying where the huge numbers of houses dictated by the National Planning Policy Framework can go. If Neighbourhood Plans determined what sort of development, on what scale, a community needed to evolve as it wishes to, then that would be localism – but that's not what we've got, is it? And then they also seem quite willing to confuse (thesmelves at least!) by suggesting that a campaign for genuine devolution is really a demand for Cornish independence – the leap of logic is awe-inspiring and, on a drenched summer's afternoon lamenting the lack of apples, quite amusing.
Truth is, a Cornish Assembly seeks the powers and functions to be able to determine, via secondary and tertiary legislation, the ability to determine how Cornwall evolves, to ensure that the economy is able to accommodate, and will benefit from, population growth (should it occur), to develop a strategy for using all the land in productive, sustainable and creative ways, and which has the devolved powers and duties to shape the housing and development markets in Cornwall so that Cornwall can make its best contribution to UKplc.
As it is, Newton and Eustice – George and Mildred – look like slightly sad apologists for the dictatorial Pickles, whose command and control techniques are not only grinding the economy and communities to a halt, but are destroying what morale is left among the staff in his own Ministry.
Truth is, in this coalition, the thinking, the learning and the quality politicans are all LibDems – the shrill apologists, tilting at turbines, EU, GCSEs – even Richard Branson – are slow-witted and dull idealogues.
Devolution for Cornwall will enable us to sort out sustainable transport and link it to high-tech communications to actively and permanently reduce carbon and encourage an outward-looking, resilient economy, sort out the wasteful, confused and poor quality NHS which is currently fragmented because centralists don't understand how the periphery works, effectively and productively manage economic development programmes which address real economic challenges, and to intelligently manage one of the most vibrant, innovative, creative and productive small peripheral regions in Europe – Oh yes! And we in Cornwall ain't paranoid about Europe – its our millennial partner, neighbour and trading arena. It's really time that the George And Mildred Show gave up trying to prolong the Battle of Waterloo!