There are basically two historic reasons for the current situation which empowers the Cabinet to ride roughshod over any democratic opinion in Cornwall Council. The first was a referendum in 2000 where people in Cornwall were asked what sort of governance they preferred. The options were 1. to keep the committee system, 2. To elect a ‘mayor’ or ‘governor’ type post or 3. to have a cabinet structure. I remember that I voted to keep committees but the majority decided on a cabinet.
The second was when the current constitution was drawn up for Cornwall Council which reinforced the strength of the cabinet and leader.
Therefore what I think needs to happen is that the constitution needs to be changed, to enable greater democratic input from elected members, and wonder whether this can be done by the Council or whether a further referendum is required.
On a lighter note I am really happy to report that the Pipewell and Pond project by St Cleer Parish Projects Group is nearing completion. The pond looks very much as it did back in the 1950s of which we have a photograph and the water is now running again in the newly excavated well. There is still a dipping platform to install at the pond and the well area needs some further work, but it is all coming together very nicely. Look at the website to see a pictorial and written record of this project.
I am putting together a cluster meeting for three Parish Councils to help them look at what services they already provide, what might be possible in the future and how they can co-operate to achieve best value for their residents.