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tragedy at the County Hall

Dear All,

Todays Cornwall Council Cabinet meeting.

Today we witnessed the lack of loyalty and welfare for Cornwall's taxpayers
with exchanges between members and officers attempting to stick to the
prearranged script. Apart from usual inaccuracies and misleading statements
which apparently are now the norm for reports made by officers, we expect
this kind of conduct from the officers who are innoculated with the
incinerator needle but today has proven this conduct has now infected the
very people who we should expect to make honest and unbiased decisions.
This unsavoury conduct highlights the worst of local politics which exists
in most of the senior management at County Hall today where protection of
self centred egos is first priority.

One importent agenda item today was the Support Services Strategic
Partnership which took over two hours to examine and promote. Discussions
soon highlighted here again that lack of involvement prevails even between
officers and Cabinet members. In effect this was an attempt to sell the
family jewels but more significantly it would add brownie point to Kevin
Lavery's CV and pave the way for another paid position, and possibly his
next job.

After two and a half hours on the above the meeting moved on to the
incinerator issue. Following apologies for incorrect statements we received
clarification that the WDAP resolution recommended that the CWFSDB
alternative to incineration and high recycling plan should be independently
assessed along with the incinerator option be considered by Cabinet. After
discussions including excellent support from our local and other members it
was admitted that legal opinion received from counsel was given from a
telephoned request and without access to all supporting documents. Planners
had not been consulted and members stated that a plan B had been requested
several years ago and now the same officers were doing their best to derail
the plan these officers include the PFI solicitor who spoke as usual with
forked tongue while hiding behind a large councillor to avoid looking at
anyone in the eye.
There was complete dis-regard for risks involved with the incinerator/SITA
contract, EU Directive that no recyclables should be incinerated after 2020
and the financial benefits to Cornwall's taxpayers.
Sadly members listened to the head of legal Richard William's advice that
money should not be spent on an assessment of CWFSDB 's plan, and voted 8 to
2 for acting accordingly. A sad day but not the end.

Many thanks to all who attended today, your support is appreciated. Meeting
Thursday at 7pm in Claytawc.

Re Ken

----------------------------------------------------

Hello All,

Have you ever sat in the Cinema when the young doe-eyed star on the screen
is about to be suckered by the baddie, and people in the audience yell out
"Don't do it kid"? This is even when the audience realise that it is a film,
it is fiction, and nobody on the screen can hear them. Well I know how they
feel after sitting through the Cabinet Meeting at County Hall on Monday
30th.

Cornwall Council were debating whether or not to privatise all the Council
services such as One Stop Shops, Libraries, Health Services and the like.
They would be more or less handed over to large private companies ( like
G4S) who may not even be based in the UK let alone in Cornwall. Council
Officers smiled sweetly and said that the One Stop Shops would still have to
have Cornwall Council written over the door so they would still be the same.
The Members were told that they ought to go along with the proposal because
of all the jobs it would create. One Member asked if they would be Cornish
jobs. He was told that they would be jobs for people "domiciled" in
Cornwall, in other words people could come to Cornwall for the job and then
buy a house here. Even then they were told, "Some of the special jobs will
have to be filled from outside Cornwall because Cornish people don't have
the expertise" This last was stated twice by two Council Officers with very
pronounced North Country accents. I too felt like shouting - Don't do it
kid!

Reservations were expressed about how quickly this had been discussed
without full consultation, and how if the contract were not signed fast, the
bidders would take their scheme somewhere else. No, if things went wrong the
contract could not be cancelled - where have I heard that before?

Well I very soon remembered, because after two and a bit hours of selling
off the family silver, they got round to discussing whether they should look
at referring the Cornwall Waste Forum presentation for detailed independent
review. After a discussion in which all the supportive Members played their
part, it was admitted that the Forum Proposal was workable, there was a
pretty good chance it would save all the money forecast. It was eventually
admitted that the legal opinion was written without access to the full
documents and completed over a weekend based on phone calls. It was even
partly admitted that planning had not been consulted and there was no reason
why the Proposal should not be treated like other Merchant schemes which had
been approved.

Officers kept saying that there was not time to put the proposal through
because of the delay. Time and time again Members said that the issue of a
Plan B was raised years ago, and it was those self same officers who had
been thwarting it.

So why couldn't the Proposal be reviewed? Because sometime in the dim and
distant past when they used quill pens, The Lib-Dems had signed a contract
with SITA - now I know where I heard it before!

As we filed out of the Cabinet Meeting, I heard a knocking sound, it was the
sound of democracy being nailed into the coffin.

Regards

Rod