Cornwall Council welcomed an historic [sic] Cornwall ‘Devolution’ Deal but in reality, and unlike Welsh devolution that has done much to enshrine Wales identity, the council has merely accepted a watered-down form of continued ‘English’ devolution; retaining the current English identity that fails to address one of the major issues facing Cornwall – planning.
The housing policy House Planning Policy Framework (HPPF) was designed by Westminster to be carried out by Cornwall Council in a Cornwall of finite resources. Cornwall Council accepted Westminster’s ‘Local Plan’ assertion that supposedly makes the planning system more local, less complex and more accessible. If this means giving developers the power to over-rule the decisions of local people – then it has been successful. The council has accepted a form of ‘devolution’ for Cornwall that means not opposing Westminster’s housing target policy.
Cornwall Council’s ‘Devolution’: Health and Social Care
“Cornwall faces demographic challenges that are likely to put pressure on resources in future years. For example, the population of Cornwall contains more residents over the age of 75 than the average for England. This group is expected to continue to grow significantly”.
That statement suggests that the council has some understanding of the problem. But It’s not just the over 75’s, it concerns all inward migration to Cornwall, and its happening now, not in ‘future years’. We see the evidence in the decline of Cornwall’s delicate infrastructure (hospitals, surgeries, dentists, care homes, etc) creaking under pressure of Cornwall’s current population; along with, as some suggest, the homeless people of other regions that are purposely sent to Cornwall. Yet, rather than focussing on Cornwall’s current growing population, the council has supported the HPPF housing numbers that encourages MORE inward migration to Cornwall.
What are the people of Cornwall doing about it?
It has become regular feature to see people protesting against the mass housing that is being imposed upon Cornwall. Residents of St Ives are expected to vote on a new plan which could stop people from buying a ‘second’ home in the seaside town. The term ‘second home’ has become somewhat of a misnomer as these people can have multi-property portfolios; life’s achievers?
But these protesters are very likely to vote (if indeed they do vote) for the Tory/Lab/Lib etc; political parties of Westminster. An over-centralised administration that imposes the very policy they are protesting against! The old cliché remains true that people get the ‘government they deserve’ – along with its policies.
Does Cornwall have a political party?
Yes. Cornwall has its own political party, Mebyon Kernow – The Party for Cornwall. It is leading the campaign for a Cornish Assembly (not an independent Cornwall) that will deliver to the people of Cornwall powers to make bespoke policies for Cornwall – including planning.
MK has always fought against mass housing in Cornwall. Only last Thursday, MK councillor Andrew Long again condemned the London government’s enforced ‘National Planning Policy Framework’ following last week’s Cornwall Council Strategic Planning Committee meeting and its approval for over 600 houses to be built on two sites at Helston and Callington.
Like all political parties, MK requires support to make it effective for the people and the area it exists to represent. Until the Cornish and the people of Cornwall reject the political parties of Westminster, their enforced planning policies, and to then offer their support/vote for MK, they must expect policies devised in London, supported by officers in Bristol, and carried out by Cornwall Council.
The Cornish: state housing policy and the FCPNM
Our Cornwall Statement on Population Growth
Our Cornwall: Penzance & Penwith: Threat From Council Of Huge Increase In Development
Our Cornwall: Grim future looms as Cornwall Council gives up
Cornwall: a developer’s paradise?
Cornish Housing: What’s Planned for Your Town?