It is now just a couple of weeks until polling day on Thursday 4th May when people right across Cornwall will have their chance to elect their local representatives to Cornwall Council. The Lib Dems have been in charge for the last four years with the Independent bloc supporting them.
Cornwall Council has a very large budget of round £1.2 billion per year but a lot of people feel that they don't always get their priorities right. They say they can't find money for the things that really matter, like adult social care, but then they can always find money for pet projects like spending £536,000 on a bid to make Truro the "European Capital of Culture" - even though we will have left the EU by then and are therefore unlikely to be successful.
The Council is not getting its approach to social care support right at the moment. I have seen many parents of disabled children or carers of adults with special needs who have previously benefited from quite modest support payments to help with a few hours a week of respite care or three hours a week from personal assistants. It just helps them keep things together. But all too often that small amount of support is being pulled away by Cornwall Council which is leading to anxiety. It is also a false economy because when funds are tight we should be looking for more ways to provide a small amount of money that can make a big difference and reduce the need for more expensive care options later on. Cornwall Council have it back to front at the moment.
Planning is another area where change is required. In the last few years, the Council has had a poor track record in defending Cornwall from urban sprawl and inappropriate development on green field sites. They do not pay enough attention to the need for infrastructure and services to support new development.
Local Council elections are always very close in this area so anything can happen. Although I am a Conservative, I also have a lot of respect for everyone who puts themselves up for election whatever Party they represent and also to all the volunteers who give up their time to help deliver leaflets. So, whichever way you decide to vote, make sure you do vote.