Author: Julia Penhaligon

And they’re off! Reform UK pledges to fight every constituency in Cornwall – but most local Conservatives still have reasons to be cheerful

By Julia Penhaligon So far, none of the major bookmakers is offering constituency-level odds on MPs likely to get elected at the 4th July general election. This morning (Thursday)...

Flaming June: countdown to 4th July general election polling day

By Julia Penhaligon Dissolution of Parliament (the official start of “purdah”):  Thursday 30th May Publication of notice of election:  Friday 31st May Delivery of nomination papers: before 4pm Friday...

Reform UK makes it six out of six in Cornwall

By Julia Penhaligon The first day of the general election campaign has brought a significant boost to the chances of Cornwall electing a Labour MP for the first time...

Sunak’s election gamble leaves a policy vacuum in Cornwall

By Julia Penhaligon Yesterday’s announcement that a general election will be held on 4th July has called into question the future of several key public policy decisions in Cornwall....

Election leaflet wars: it’s that time of year already

By Julia Penhaligon No-one in North Cornwall is 100% sure if they have heard the first cuckoo of the year, but already they are talking about the first “leaflet...

Did we mention that this is an election year? Musical chairs at Cornwall Council to allow Parliamentary candidate more time on the campaign trail

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall councillor Connor Donnithorne has stepped down from his County Hall cabinet portfolio role to concentrate on his campaign as a Parliamentary candidate. Councillor Donnithorne is...

“Why would anybody risk becoming leader in the year before an election?” Only 345 days to go

By Julia Penhaligon The stage is set for County Hall’s annual pantomime about who should be the leader of Cornwall Council. The smart money says Conservative councillor Linda Taylor...

Tough at the top, as pay rises lag behind inflation

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Council chief executive Kate Kennally is in line for a £4,752 annual pay rise, if the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers...

Cornwall Council’s “confident” ambition is to become a player on the global stage, says chief executive Kate Kennally

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Council has answered a Freedom of Information question about County Hall’s importance on the global stage. The question stemmed from comments made by chief executive...

Politics: always room for more fruitcake in St Austell and Newquay

By Julia Penhaligon Any threat that Reform UK might pose to Conservative MPs in Cornwall at the next election should be seen in the context of what is happening...

Cornwall is starting to look like one of the few places where local taxpayers alone are forced to finance tourism, as Dorset announces a £2/night levy on hotel guests

By Julia Penhaligon Dorset is to introduce a tourist tax. Strictly speaking it will be a levy on visitors staying in hotels, but the move is nevertheless significant and...

St Ives Labour candidate “developed a deep affection for Cornwall through frequent visits”

By Julia Penhaligon The Labour Party has completed its slate of Parliamentary candidates for Cornwall by selecting Dr Filson Ali to contest the St Ives constituency. She is a...

Here we go again: the plots, rumours and conspiracies are limbering up for the annual Cornwall Council leadership contest

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall’s Conservative councillors have started their annual headcount of how many of them will make it to County Hall next week for the re-election of their...

Everything you wanted to know about what’s on your plate, as government publishes new Food Security Index

By Julia Penhaligon The government has today (Tuesday) published its first “UK Food Security Index” to help maintain oversight of how food is produced and distributed. The Index is...

Don’t look now: trying to focus on Cornwall’s tax and spend priorities

By Julia Penhaligon The new “budget development” scrutiny committee to be created by Cornwall Council will have a Conservative majority, if next week’s full council meeting endorses a recommendation...

Bring out the bling: Cornwall’s town mayors raid the dressing-up box

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall’s reputation as a defender of pomp and ceremony in local government is taking centre stage this month as several towns go through the annual romp...

Two wheels good: cyclists get the lion’s share of Truro’s “river city” windfall

By Julia Penhaligon Truro’s powerful cycling lobby has won an important victory to prioritise a hugely expensive lifting bridge to connect Boscawen Park with Newham, on either side of...

Dolcoath Avenue offices to close next week

By Julia Penhaligon The Cornwall Council offices at Dolcoath Avenue,Camborne, will close next week. The council’s Conservative administration took the decision to sell in July last year as part...

Some council chiefs “reduced to tears” by league table which has County Hall in the bottom 20%

By Julia Penhaligon The fall-out from last week’s “performance data” release which suggested that Cornwall Council is one of the worst in England continues to reverberate around County Hall....

Out on a limb: as Cornwall’s attempts to write its own devolution “White Paper” remain shrouded in mystery, the Institute for Government says that being small is not necessarily beautiful

By Julia Penhaligon A report out today (Thursday) suggests that Cornwall could miss out on the next round of “devolution” after the next general election. A 37-page analysis by...

That’s the way the money goes: max headroom to the rescue

By Julia Penhaligon A rare sign of intelligent life was allowed to flicker briefly at Cornwall Council’s cabinet meeting this morning (Wednesday) before it was inevitably snuffed out as...

The devil is in the detail: while the ambition is “brilliant” the reality is red warning lights flashing all over the place

By Julia Penhaligon There is always more to do – and less to do it with.  Cornwall’s children’s services are heading for a crisis with rising demand – but...

A bridge too far: after three years of blether, Truro can only watch as inflation erodes the value of government’s pre-election “transformation” cash

By Lee Trewhela and Julia Penhaligon The full raft of plans proposed to revitalise Truro with £23.6 million of government pre-election funding could now be in jeopardy. The cash was...

Tory love-in brings no cheer for those who need to cross the River Tamar

By Julia Penhaligon A near-empty House of Commons chamber last night (Tuesday) heard the government rule out any immediate cash injection to help ease the cost of crossing the...

Cornwall Council’s Annual Report: squeezing 9 “brilliants” into only 19 pages

By Julia Penhaligon For a local authority whose budgetary policy resembles a wildly bouncing roulette ball, Cornwall Council’s annual report is remarkably upbeat.  It is, quite literally, fantastic. The...

Sick councillor has Cornwall’s political parties on by-election watch

By Julia Penhaligon Around 4,700 people in South East Cornwall will have to get by without their local councillor for a few more months after her colleagues agreed to...

That’s the way the money goes: who remembers February’s budget?

By Julia Penhaligon County Hall appears to be moving to a “permanent revolution” model of budgetary planning with further major changes to the financial assumptions voted on by the...

Spoiler alert: not everyone cared deeply about last week’s Police and Crime Commissioner election

By Julia Penhaligon Nearly one voter in every hundred in Cornwall spoiled their ballot paper in Thursday’s Police and Crime Commissioner election. Official figures show that 801 out of...

Olly said what? Cornwall’s Tories drop the marmalade as housing boss appears to announce dramatic new “homes for locals” policy

By Julia Penhaligon A little-noticed national newspaper article has set tongues wagging at County Hall because of two quotes attributed to a Cornwall Council cabinet member. The i newspaper...

Tories hold Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Commissioner post thanks to split vote

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Reports understands that the Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Commissioner election result, to be announced shortly, will confirm that Alison Hernandez has won with...

Lies, damned lies and statistics – Cornwall languishes in 257th place in national “league table” of council performance

By Julia Penhaligon As last night’s local council election results creep in, County Hall officials in Truro are muttering darkly about how unfair everything this – and Cornwall Council...

TORY WIPEOUT: Reform UK helps Labour strengthen its grip on Plymouth, sending shockwaves through Cornwall’s Conservatives

By Julia Penhaligon Only one Conservative councillor, out of 14, survived night’s Plymouth City Council elections.  Labour gained 11, the Independents gained one and the Green Party gained one,...

The votes are in!

By Julia Penhaligon While political junkies wait to see how many voters brave today’s weather to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner, County Hall has revealed how 2,700 voters...

Police & Crime Commissioner election will offer clues as to who is likely to run Cornwall Council next year

By Julia Penhaligon Polling stations are open from 7am-10pm tomorrow (Thursday) to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall. Conservative Alison Hernandez is defending the role...

Whoops! Tory MP demonstrates “mismanagement” of local election campaign in bridge and ferries row

By Julia Penhaligon The politics of crossing the River Tamar have exploded spectacularly for Conservatives in Plymouth, after local Tory MP Johnny Mercer accused bridge and ferry bosses of...

Fields of gold: Cornwall Council eyes £120 million in solar farm business rates

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Council appears to be on track to “earn” nearly £4 million a year in business rates if all of the proposed solar farms currently proposed...

Councillor censured for refusing to say sorry, after revealing council’s secret plan to move bus dweller from Falmouth to Truro

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall councillor Dulcie Tudor has been censured by County Hall’s standards committee for failing to apologise for an alleged breach of the code of conduct. The...

Rwanda is safe, declare all six of Cornwall’s MPs

By Julia Penhaligon All six of Cornwall’s MPs voted in favour of the government’s new law to send migrants to Rwanda pending processing of their asylum claims. A late-night...

We want a tourism tax, say councils – but not, yet, in Cornwall

By Julia Penhaligon A growing number of local councils are calling for a tax on tourism. The councils are responding to research which found overwhelming support for the idea,...

Pot holes, dog mess and broken street lights are so last century, as councillors queue up for a day of diversity training

By Julia Penhaligon The 87 members of Cornwall Council are said to be getting very excited about an all-day training session on Wednesday (24th April) which will teach them...

Can you hear the drums, Fernando? Huge protest fuels demand for a tourism tax – but not, yet, in Cornwall, where a £1 per night levy would raise £24 million a year for local services

By Julia Penhaligon Protestors in the Canary Islands believe their huge demonstration on Saturday has brought them closer to a new tourism tax to help offset the costs and...

EXCLUSIVE: Cornwall must avoid too much tourism, says the boss of Visit Cornwall

By Julia Penhaligon Malcolm Bell, the executive chair of Visit Cornwall, has repeated his call for a statutory registration scheme for holiday accommodation providers. Cornwall Reports first covered the...

Planning in Cornwall: how it works

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall’s planning officers look set to defy public opinion – and a large number of elected local councillors – by recommending approval of an application to...

And then there were none

By Julia Penhaligon Today’s (Thursday’s) Ipsos UK poll suggests that all of Cornwall’s Conservative MPs would lose their seats if an election were to be held now. The poll...

Inside Camelot: the new-look Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board

By Julia Penhaligon Whatever you do, don’t call it a talking shop.  The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board has a new look. And what it lacks in...

Stop the clocks: it’s end of an era in Camborne

By Julia Penhaligon There is deep gloom and foreboding in Camborne’s Commercial Street.  A sense that things will never be the same. They used to say that if the...

What a drag: Cornwall’s MPs vote to ban smoking

By Julia Penhaligon Only one of Cornwall’s MPs voted against a ban of smoking last night (Tuesday.) Camborne and Redruth’s George Eustice, who has only a few months to...

Stop frittering away precious resources, Cornwall Council’s finance chief tells colleagues

By Julia Penhaligon The chief finance officer of Cornwall Council has set pulses racing at County Hall with a dire warning about the administration of next year’s budget. But...

We’re ready for a general election, say Cornwall’s Greens

By Julia Penhaligon The Green Party has named its six Parliamentary candidates in Cornwall for the general election. It is the first time the Greens in Cornwall have fielded...

Silence of the lambs: will Cornwall’s Tories cling to their “extra responsibility” payments until the last possible minute?

By Julia Penhaligon There could be an upset at tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) full meeting of Cornwall Council over the timing of important reforms to scrutiny arrangements. A review has recommended...

Labour selects oceans campaigner as Parliamentary candidate for South East Cornwall

By Julia Penhaligon The Labour Party has selected ocean conservation activist Anna Gelderd to be its Parliamentary candidate for South East Cornwall. She lives on the Rame Peninsula and...

Did we mention this is an election year? Government finds money to pay fishermen for not catching fish

By Julia Penhaligon The government has announced a compensation scheme for Cornwall’s Pollack fishermen. It follows a decision, based on scientific evidence, to set the total allowable catch to...

Natural England should be stripped of power to designate Sites of Special Scientific Interest, says St Ives MP Derek Thomas

By Julia Penhaligon The row over new environmental protections for the Penwith Moors is continuing in Parliament, more than nine months after Natural England confirmed its status as a...

On the road again

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Council leader Linda Taylor has announced plans for another “meet the people” tour. Councillor Taylor will start in Callington on 19th April and plans to...

Beyond the fringe: Plymouth City Council elections will provide insights into political mood

By Julia Penhaligon Voters in Plymouth will have plenty of choice in the city council elections taking place on 2nd May. All of the 19 contested wards have candidates...

Police and Crime Commissioner election will be a three-horse race

By Julia Penhaligon The Labour Party has confirmed that its candidate in the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner election will be Daniel Steel. There are no candidates...

War of words over Isles of Scilly ferry wars

By Julia Penhaligon The Council of the Isles of Scilly has taken the highly unusual step of publishing a list of “corrections” to various statements made during a recent...

Everyone a winner, as Lib Dems hold on in Looe

By Julia Penhaligon The Liberal Democrats won the West Looe Cornwall Council by-election last night (Thursday), holding on to the seat represented for many years by the late Edwina...

Another opinion poll: now it’s just getting silly

By Julia Penhaligon The very latest opinion poll, by Redfield and Wilton, points to a complete Conservative wipeout in Cornwall if a general election were to be held now....

Cornwall Council by-election: polling underway in West Looe

 By Julia Penhaligon Voters go to the polls in West Looe today for a Cornwall Council by-election.  Polling stations opened at 7am and close at 10pm .  Voters will...

Vigil for Falmouth aid worker killed by Israeli Defence Forces in Gaza

By Julia Penhaligon About 100 people attended a vigil in Falmouth yesterday evening (Wednesday) for aid worker James Henderson, 33, who was one of seven killed by the Israeli...

YouGov poll: more bad news for Cornwall’s Conservatives

The joys of Multi-level Regression Poststratification (MRP) opinion polls, which claim to offer constituency-by-constituency impacts of national data.  Cornwall Reports advises taking such polls with a huge dose of...

Final day of campaigning in Looe by-election

By Julia Penhaligon The Cornwall Council by-election in West Looe, caused by the death of councillor Edwina Hannaford in February, will be determined tomorrow (Thursday.) Liberal Democrat Jim Candy...

Local politics: it’s party time in Plymouth

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall’s political junkies, denied a full round of County Hall elections until next year, are heading for Plymouth to campaign in city council elections on 2nd...

Tax and spend, or slash and burn? Don’t make any plans for May

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall might have no local council elections on 2nd May but three other dates looks capable of setting political pulses racing. On or around 1st May...

Labour Party has a Parliamentary candidate for North Cornwall

By Julia Penhaligon Labour has selected Robyn Harris as its Parliamentary candidate for North Cornwall. Ms Harris, from Wadebridge, works for Cormac.  She hopes to build on the progress...

Just say no: the next “City of Culture” nonsense is already on the horizon

By Julia Penhaligon There are no Cornwall Council elections this year but already thoughts are turning to what the political parties might have to say when they come knocking...

Don’t look now: reform of County Hall scrutiny postponed until after next year’s elections

By Julia Penhaligon There will be no reform of Cornwall Council’s scrutiny arrangements until after next year’s elections. The agreed reforms will see a ban on the chair and...

County Hall’s proposed cull of elected strategic planners fails

By Julia Penhaligon An attempt by County Hall officials to streamline their planning procedures, by cutting the number of elected councillors on the strategic planning committee from 11 to...

We need a new food policy, say farmers, preparing a tractor “go slow” through Westminster this evening

By Julia Penhaligon At least 50 tractors will be driven slowly through London today (Monday) as farmers from across the country protest against the government’s food policy. Seven years...

Out with a whimper: the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership has just been scrapped. Will anyone notice?

By Julia Penhaligon Launched in May 2011, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership was a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government quango which replaced Labour’s quango, the South...

Is this the launch of Cornwall’s Tory farewell closing-down sale?

By Lee Trewhela and Julia Penhaligon With fewer than 14 months before they next face the voters, Cornwall Council’s ruling Conservative administration has been asked if it is “playing...

Did we mention this is an election year? Rishi Sunak shares his thoughts about Tamar Bridge tolls

By Julia Penhaligon The question of how much it should cost to cross the River Tamar occupied Rishi Sunak at Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday.) South East Cornwall MP...

Additional spending on Truro’s Pydar project will impact council services, admits County Hall

By Julia Penhaligon Truro’s troubled Pydar "regeneration" has secured an emergency cash-injection of £10 million to keep the project alive. But the raid on Cornwall Council’s capital budget could...

Go now, councillor urges Linda Taylor

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Council leader Linda Taylor was today (Wednesday) asked to resign over the sale of Camborne’s Dolcoath offices. Camborne Labour councillor Steve Barnes said the closure...

Cornwall’s potential still not unleashed, as County Hall’s latest “devolution White Paper” remains unwritten

By Julia Penhaligon Dynamic proposals to unleash the potential of Cornwall by writing an “oven-ready” plan for devolution appear to have fizzled out. Having promised in January to report...

“Customers” scrutineers face re-brand as County Hall contemplates “new functions”

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Council’s scrutiny committee for “Customer and Support Services” is to be rebranded as “Corporate Finance and Performance.” The committee, which has theoretical responsibility for oversight...

Scrutiny of County Hall executives should be less of a rubber-stamp, but not much less, say councillors

By Julia Penhaligon Scrutiny of executive decisions at Cornwall Council looks set to change following the recommendations of a cross-party group of councillors. At the moment the 11 members...

Sick councillor granted leave of absence after failing to attend meetings for six months

By Julia Penhaligon A Cornwall councillor has been granted a leave of absence on the grounds of ill-health. Sharon Daw, a Conservative who represents the Lynher division, has not...

EXCLUSIVE: Planning and property development – how it works in Cornwall

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Council’s strategic director for the economy, Phil Mason, has been asked to explain a confidential letter he wrote to a property developer extending his support...

Nothing fishy: MPs debate pollack quotas set to zero

By Julia Penhaligon St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double has led an adjournment debate about the government’s intention to ban pollack fishing. The decision to lower the “total...

Did we mention this is an election year: Truro’s Boscawen Park grows a magic money tree

By Julia Penhaligon A £5.2 million facelift for Truro’s Boscawen Park has come a step closer following receipt of the first tranche of cash. Today’s release of £464,251 is...

Despite their dire national poll ratings, could the Conservatives actually win in West Looe?

By Julia Penhaligon Despite last week’s budget having a negative effect on their national opinion poll ratings, Cornwall’s Conservatives are oddly optimistic about their chances in the forthcoming Looe...

Labour selects Noah Law to contest St Austell and Newquay

By Julia Penhaligon The Labour Party has selected its Parliamentary candidate for the St Austell and Newquay constituency. Noah Law, an economic development specialist from Lostwithiel, was selected in...

County Hall executive takes charge at Truro City Council

By Julia Penhaligon Eyebrows are rising across more than 200 town and parish councils in Cornwall in response to the appointment of a senior County Hall official to run...

Four way contest in Looe by election

By Julia Penhaligon Four political parties are contesting the Cornwall Council vacancy at Looe, caused by the death of councillor Edwina Hannaford. Polling for the Looe West, Pelynt, Lansallos...

That’s the way the money goes: would you like to ride in my £165,000 virtual Mid Cornwall Metro balloon?

By Julia Penhaligon A marketing video attempting to stir enthusiasm for Cornwall’s Mid Cornwall Metro railway project has cost nearly £165,000. The video, which was part of a “virtual...

Tories declare war on holiday lets

By Julia Penhaligon Furnished holiday lets are to face a shake-up in their tax rules, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a few minutes ago. Mr Hunt was announcing his final...

Tumbleweed Truro: another local shop forced to quit the city

By Julia Penhaligon Tremletts newsagents, of River Street, Truro, has told customers it is now operating its daily paper round from home because of the cost-of-living crisis. Craig and...

No croissants for County Hall as bid to host Anglo-French summit flops

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall has failed to persuade the Foreign Office that it is the right place to host a summit of English and French local government leaders. Cornwall...

Devolution: the promise of “progress by the end of the month” did not specify which month, as plan to “unleash the potential of Cornwall” with a White Paper fades to grey

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Council appears to be struggling to keep up with its own hyperbole about developing a cross-party consensus on devolution. County Hall chiefs are still trying...

House of Commons speaker still in difficulty over Palestine, as another of Cornwall’s MPs tells him to go

By Julia Penhaligon St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Double has added his name to the growing list of those who want the Speaker of the House of Commons...

St Ives MP Derek Thomas calls on House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to quit

By Julia Penhaligon St Ives MP Derek Thomas has become one of the early signatories to an Early Day Motion calling on the Speaker of the House of Commons...

Spend more, get less: if Cornwall ran on hot air we’d all be fabulously wealthy

By Julia Penhaligon Many of Cornwall’s council taxpayers will have to find nearly £1,900 a year to keep County Hall in the style to which it has become accustomed,...

Ceasefire now: protestors call on Cornwall Council to help stop the slaughter in Gaza

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall councillors and County Hall staff were taken by surprise this morning (Tuesday) when a few dozen protestors dressed in Middle East-style clothes and carrying Palestinian...

Holiday lets will in future need planning permission, says Gove

By Julia Penhaligon Housing Secretary Michael Gove has this morning (Monday) announced wholesale changes to planning and regulations surrounding short lets. The measure is among those which housing campaigners...

Despite last night’s by-election defeats, most of Cornwall’s Tory MPs still have reasons to be cheerful

By Julia Penhaligon Last night’s two by-election defeats for the Conservatives have renewed speculation about what might happen in Cornwall if the Right-wing Reform UK party fields candidates in...

Lib Dem poll blues

By Julia Penhaligon Another opinion poll about voting intentions is bad news for the Liberal Democrats, who traditionally have seen themselves as the primary challengers in Conservative “blue wall”...

A week is a long time in politics, but pastygate is finally breaking the internet

By Julia Penhaligon This time last week Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was starting his whistle-stop one-day tour of Cornwall, which history might yet record as the start of the...

Tories on the slide in rural areas? Poll suggests Conservatives now struggling even in the countryside

By Julia Penhaligon An opinion poll for the Country Land and Business Association, attempting to assess voting intentions in rural areas, suggests support for the Conservatives has collapsed. The...