Councillors told they must become ‘ambassadors for growth’.

Last year, Cornwall’s councillors became alarmed by the way the Government was ‘disciplining’ planning authorities that dare to refuse applications from the mega-developers. This is done through awarding huge costs against councils at appeals if they lose. So a peer review of Cornwall Council’s planning process was set in motion to try to find ways of streamlining the system. A team of councillors and planning officers being sent to Cornwall by the Local Government Association to look at what was going on.

Amazingly, given Cornwall Council’s record in promoting building, this anonymous team concluded that Cornwall’s councillors were ‘anti-development’. But it doesn’t stop there. In advance of the formal report, I’m reliably informed that they’ve concluded Cornwall Councillors should ‘recognise the benefits of development’ and ‘become ambassadors for development in their communities’.

rip demoocracyIs this the final victory for the neo-liberal ideologues, who are intent on reducing the democratic process to the status of rubber-stamping growth and the profits of businesses? No longer supposed to represent the people, councillors are to represent developers to the people! There doesn’t seem to be too much point in holding elections any more. Although, if you can convince most people voluntarily to vote for growth-at-all-costs councillors then I suppose you can fool all of the people all of the time.

This entry was posted in discourses and ideologies, population growth and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Councillors told they must become ‘ambassadors for growth’.

  1. LABartlett says:

    I heard a report on Radio Cornwall about this visitation by ‘the wise men from the east’ and would like to make three points.

    1. Are the members of the LGA team aware of Cornwall’s position at the heart of a World Heritage site? Acres of countryside have already been built over since this designation was granted: any more building threatens our mining heritage. Just look at Heartlands. And, in the recent past, the building of houses in Portreath which completely obliterate the view of the 1809 mineral tramway, a unique engineering feat (and one of the earliest railways in Cornwall.)

    2. Was it the Government who sent a team of people here to tell us how to run our affairs ? If so, this smacks of colonialism. Not that this attitude is anything new, but it shows no regard for the independent decision-making of Cornwall councillors. RIP democracy indeed.

    3. If Cornwall’s councillors allow themselves to be walked all over in this way, then they are not representing the views of hundreds, if not thousands, of Cornish people. While acknowledging that the financial constraints upon them are severe, if they said ‘No’ with one voice, then surely the Government would have to listen. If financial penalties for turning down developments are incurred, then the council should refuse to pay them. Either they represent us or they represent the developers – they can’t do both.


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