Politics

General Election 2024: Reform UK overtakes Tories in latest YouGov poll, raising prospect of votes at 16 for next May’s Cornwall Council elections

By Julia Penhaligon The latest YouGov opinion poll implies that the Conservatives are on course for defeat in every constituency in Cornwall, with Labour winning four and the Liberal...

Carry on camping: Cornwall’s planners ignore local residents and approve major expansion of Newquay’s Boardmasters festival

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall Council’s enthusiasm for mass tourism was displayed in public this morning (Thursday) as planners voted 9-0 to approve a major expansion of the Newquay’s Boardmasters,...

General Election 2024: what Labour’s manifesto means for Cornwall

By Graham Smith The Labour Party general election manifesto, published this morning (Thursday) is short on detail – but nevertheless offers glimpses of what could be in store for...

Mass tourism: Spain takes to the streets, while Cornwall merely comments politely online

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall’s planners will come under scrutiny today (Thursday) when they consider a highly controversial expansion of the Boardmasters music festival at Newquay. Organisers, and County Hall...

Newquay Airport privatisation is “business as usual” and need not be paused because of the general election, says council’s top lawyer

By Peter Tremayne The privatisation of Newquay Airport is to continue, causing uncertainty over the future of aviation as speculation increases that within 10 years the 650-acre site could...

Former Kipper says he is backing Steve Double

By Julia Penhaligon The former UKIP candidate for St Austell and Newquay has declared his support for Conservative Steve Double. Dave Matthews represented Nigel Farage’s former political party in...

General election 2024: Tory election manifesto still demands a mayor for devolution

By Julia Penhaligon The Conservative’s election manifesto, published yesterday (Tuesday) continues the party’s demand for a directly elected leader, or mayor, in return for more devolved powers. The issue...

General Election 2024: opinion polls suggest that time is running out for Cornwall’s Tories to save their seats

By Julia Penhaligon With only 21 days to go, and election manifestos now coming thick and fast, the latest YouGov poll shows the Conservatives losing ground to Reform UK...

Bookies don’t rate the chances of any of Cornwall’s MPs to become next Conservative Party leader

By Julia Penhaligon Technically, Cornwall has had no Members of Parliament since Parliament was dissolved little over a week ago because of the general election. But as speculation grows...

Keeping the aeroplanes flying: can Cornwall learn a lesson from Surrey?

By Peter Tremayne Turning airports into housing estates is rarely straightforward – particularly if local residents are capable of organising well-funded and legally robust campaigns to oppose the developers....

Win some, lose some: SWW boss picks up additional £298,000 in share options after surrendering £237,000 pay bonus

By Peter Tremayne South West Water chief executive Susan Davy has forgone a pay bonus of £237,000 following the serious cryptosporidium poisoning of drinking supplies in Devon. It is...

Councillor complains of “veil of secrecy” surrounding airport sale

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall councillor Stephen Barnes has complained of a “veil of secrecy” surrounding County Hall’s ambition to sell Newquay Airport. “When are we going to be told...

Who will benefit from the privatisation of Newquay Airport, asks councillor

By Lee Trewhela Questions have been asked about an American company which is likely to take over the running of Cornwall’s Newquay airport if a partnership deal is agreed...

An airport investor with a taste for large housing estates called “garden villages” – what could possibly go wrong?

By Peter Tremayne The future of Newquay Airport could rest on the intentions of an American company which owns a small former RAF station in Surrey.  The available information...

Is the Mid Cornwall Metro on time and within budget? How dare you ask such a “commercially confidential” question!

By Peter Tremayne Details about one of the most politically contentious projects underway in Cornwall are to be kept secret because of “commercial confidentiality.” The £60 million Mid Cornwall...

Max Headroom again to the rescue, as councillors told they can spend another £17.2 million on houses without having to worry

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall Council is to buy 50 open-market houses to use as temporary and emergency accommodation for families who would otherwise be made homeless. The £17.2 million...

Please think about becoming a Cornwall councillor, urges County Hall, as the next council election campaign starts even before the general election campaign is finished

By Julia Penhaligon The next round of Cornwall Council elections are still more than 10 months away, but County Hall is already “talent-spotting” for new members. The council is...

General Election 2024: Labour is now 1/9 to win in Truro & Falmouth

By Julia Penhaligon Rishi Sunak’s D-Day disaster has encouraged punters to invest heavily in Labour electing its first Member of Parliament in Cornwall since 2001. Bet365 is now offering...

Purdah on the dancefloor: how County Hall keeps politics out of politics, but only when it wants to

By Graham Smith Several councillors and other political activists have asked Cornwall Reports for advice about “purdah.” While dictionary definitions point to the religious separation of men from women...

General Election 2024: Tory plan to make 18-year-olds do National Service will cost Cornwall millions, warns IFS

By Julia Penhaligon The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that Cornwall will lose out on millions of pounds if the Conservatives win the election and implement their plan...

General Election 2024: Cornwall’s Tories in despair over Sunak’s D-Day blunder – “it’s every man for himself”

By Julia Penhaligon Today’s (Saturday’s) bookmakers’ odds have not changed since Rishi Sunak’s astonishing decision to leave early the D-Day commemorations in Normandy – a gaffe which seems certain...

General Election 2024: Cornwall has 42 candidates

By Julia Penhaligon Nominations for the 2024 general election closed at 4pm today (Friday.)  There are 42 candidates in the six constituencies. Candidates and parties, by constituency, are: St...

General Election 2024: putting Rishi on the telly appears to have made things worse for Cornwall’s Conservatives

By Julia Penhaligon Tory supporters in the Camborne and Redruth constituency appear increasingly glum about their general election chances. The bookmakers are now so desperate to find someone willing...

Newquay Airport privatisation: why the lawyers, and historians, are watching

By Peter Tremayne The idea of selling hundreds of acres of publicly-owned land to property developers has got County Hall officials worried about a 70-year-old political scandal which could...

Follow the money: Cornwall’s election candidates seek cash for campaigns

By Julia Penhaligon Britain has the finest democracy that money can buy. It might not be the most scientific way of measuring popular support, but online crowdfunding appears to...

On a wing and a prayer: Cornwall Council pressing ahead with Newquay Airport privatisation, which could mean the end of aviation by 2035

By Peter Tremayne A controlling stake in Newquay Airport is to be sold to a private investor, if recommendations from Cornwall Council officials are endorsed by the ruling Conservative...

Rumours, plots and conspiracies (continued) – is Nigel Farage about to get a political group on Cornwall Council?

By Graham Smith Cornwall Council’s new Corporate Finance and Performance Overview and Scrutiny committee meets for the first time next week – and has immediately become the focus of...

GENERAL ELECTION 2024: EXCLUSIVE – Cornwall Reports form guide after two weeks of the campaign

By Graham Smith This election reminds me of 2015.  But the result will be very different.  The current Cornwall Reports forecast is: St Ives – Lib Dem gain Truro...

Why I was sacked from the economy committee just 10 minutes before it started, by Conservative councillor John Conway

By Julia Penhaligon Launceston Conservative councillor John Conway has spoken of his dramatic sacking from a key County Hall committee just moments before it was due to start this...

Where will we find £55.6 million a year? We’re so glad you asked, says Cornwall Council

By Julia Penhaligon The source of the £55.6 million annual borrowing costs associated with Cornwall Council’s £10.6 billion capital spending plans remains a mystery, after County Hall failed to...

Plots, rumours and conspiracies (continued): Tories triumph to win chair of County Hall’s economy scrutiny committee

By Graham Smith St Austell Conservative councillor Anne Double has been elected as chair of County Hall’s economic scrutiny committee.  She replaces Saltash councillor Martin Worth, who has been...

Plots, rumours and conspiracies: how the law of unintended general election consequences might leave blood on the floor at County Hall this morning

By Graham Smith There is no shortage of Conservatives in Cornwall who think that Rishi Sunak’s decision to call a snap general election was suicidal. County Hall Tories had...

General Election 2024: bookmakers say the odds are shortening on Labour winning in Camborne and Redruth, but Tories are now narrow favourites in South East Cornwall

By Julia Penhaligon Bet 365 this morning (Tuesday) shortened its odds on Labour defeating the Conservatives in Camborne and Redruth to 1/7.  Yesterday those odds were 3/20 and last...

General Election 2024: full details of YouGov poll for every constituency in Cornwall

By Julia Penhaligon The first YouGov projection of the 2024 general election suggests an historic Labour victory. YouGov thinks Labour could win 422 seats, governing with a majority of...

General Election 2024: following the money, as the bookies like Labour to win in Camborne and Redruth

By Julia Penhaligon Bet 365 today (Monday) reports a slight tightening in the odds on a Labour victory in Camborne and Redruth. A week ago Labour had been 1/5...

Tory splits: critic of large solar farms is back on his local planning committee after threats to create a new political group

By Graham Smith Cornwall councillor Steve Arthur has been restored to two key County Hall committees after another Tory rebellion. Perranporth councillor Arthur, who was elected as a Conservative...

General Election 2024: more Right-wing candidates enter the fray in Cornwall, further dividing the Conservative vote

By Julia Penhaligon Nominations do not close until 4pm on Friday (7th June) but there are signs that even more Right-wing candidates and parties are planning to seek election...

General Election 2024: notes in the margins – how Cornwall is divided

By Graham Smith Follow the money, they say.  Seven days in, and the bookmakers’ odds have not changed. If the accountants are right, the Tories are going to come...

EXCLUSIVE: the officer in charge of Cornwall Council’s finances quits

By Graham Smith Cornwall Council’s chief finance officer, Tracie Langley, has told colleagues she plans to retire as soon as possible.  Friends say she will be gone by Christmas....

General Election 2024: Mebyon Kernow will not field candidates

By Julia Penhaligon Mebyon Kernow has confirmed that it will not field candidates in the 4th July general election. The party has never saved a deposit in a general...

Enter stage Right: Cornwall could have four general election candidates who want to bring back capital punishment

By Julia Penhaligon Four Independent candidates, disillusioned with both the Conservative Party and the Reform UK party, say they will enter Cornwall’s general election contest next week. Cornwall Reports...

General Election 2024: that was the week that was

By Milo Perrin The mere sight or sound of Rishi Sunak, is of course depressing to most. The most depressing thing though about his visit to Penzance on Wednesday...

Our business cases should include officer-time, says Cornwall Council’s chief finance officer

By Julia Penhaligon Cornwall Council’s ambition to spend £10.6 billion over the next ten years on major capital projects has set pulses racing among some economically-literate councillors. The general...

General Election 2024: could Sheryll Murray lose in South East Cornwall?

By Graham Smith Until last week, most observers of UK politics would have said there were few Conservative seats in Parliament more secure than South East Cornwall. Former Cornwall...

It’s that man again: Rishi Sunak hunting votes in Cornwall

By Julia Penhaligon Only three months after his last visit, Rishi Sunak arrived back in Cornwall this morning (Wednesday) hoping to save the marginal St Ives constituency (majority: 4,200.)...

The things they say: what might a Labour government mean for Cornwall?

By Julia Penhaligon Until the Conservatives dropped their conscription bombshell, it was actually quite hard to identify major differences between the current government and the most likely next one....

Remembering conscription: travel to exotic, distant lands, meet exciting, unusual people and get shot at

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Any young voters attracted by the Conservatives’ plans to bring back conscription might be interested to know how the scheme worked until its abolition in 1960....

How badly do you want to be a Member of Parliament? It’s tough for Cornwall’s wannabe politicians

By Julia Penhaligon The more ambitious of Cornwall’s political activists have only a few days to find a constituency where they might seek election to Parliament on 4th July....

EXCLUSIVE: the curious case of how County Hall has tried to silence a critic of large solar farms – but might have simply launched the Popular Front for the Liberation of Cornwall

By Graham Smith Perranporth councillor Steve Arthur, who resigned from Cornwall Council’s Conservative group last year in protest at County Hall’s dash for large solar farms, has been sacked...

Make the election count

By Julia Penhaligon The general election on 4th July has created opportunities for earning extra cash. Cornwall Council needs people to staff 450 polling stations and to then help...

Keeping politics out of politics – how County Hall plans to spread the Pydar experience to the whole of Cornwall

By Graham Smith Cornwall Council has re-hired the same consultants responsible for its Pydar redevelopment plan to write a new countywide “Growth Strategy.” Inner Circle Consulting are the brains...

Beyond the fringe: day 5 of the election campaign

By Julia Penhaligon Further evidence that the far-Right in local politics is fragmenting has come with suggestions that four Independent candidates could stand in Cornwall in the general election....

ELECTION EXCLUSIVE: how to get rich quick without really trying

By Graham Smith Bookmakers have started offering constituency-level odds on the outcome of the next general election.  There are some interesting offers – with Cornwall Reports prepared to put...

A brilliant place to be a child – particularly if you don’t like school classrooms

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Ten years after Cornwall’s planners first started talking about it, there is finally some movement on the construction of a primary school for the huge West...

Cornwall withdraws its “Trans Toolkit” advice to schools

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall Council has withdrawn its controversial “Trans Toolkit” advice to schools, pending new guidance from central government. Last year County Hall endorsed a 72-page document, published...

The law of unintended consequences: despite the ifs, buts and maybes, the general election could also produce quite a shake-up on Cornwall Council

By Julia Penhaligon The general election could trigger a number of Cornwall Council by-elections in the coming months, leading potentially to a change in political control at County Hall...

In the bag? Is Team Cornwall coming home with £10.6 billion?

By Graham Smith The announcement of the general election did not go unnoticed in Leeds, where thousands of potential property sector investors are window-shopping for money-making ideas.  A few...

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...

Asylum-seekers? Rwanda? No-one’s asked us, say Newquay Airport

By Peter Tremayne Newquay Airport has said it has had no request from the government to facilitate flights to Rwanda for the forced deportation of asylum-seekers. Newquay is one...

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....

General Election on 4th July

By Graham Smith Multiple sources at Westminster saying a general election will be held on Thursday 4th July, allowing for a six-week campaign.

Hundreds in Truro to say farewell to Gaza hero “Hendo”

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Hundreds of people are attending the funeral of Falmouth aid worker Jim Henderson, who was killed by the Israeli Defence Forces in Gaza in April. About...

We’re for sale, come and make us an offer, Cornwall Council tells punters in Leeds

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall’s “sales brochure” now being handed to unsuspecting passers-by at a huge property developers’ conference in Leeds reveals more details about several “investment” opportunities. Punters wandering...

Devolution: We’re courageous and brave, so come and spend your money in Cornwall, Kennally tells Leeds property developers

By Graham Smith It now more than a year since Cornwall Council’s Conservative cabinet voted unanimously to reject chief executive Kate Kennally’s long and expensive campaign to change local...

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...

Looking for a pantomime? Cornwall’s new Economic Forum appoints Hall for Cornwall chairman as its new boss

By Julia Penhaligon The first chairman of the new Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Economic Forum is to be Lord John Hutton, a former cabinet minister under Tony Blair...

Cornwall’s latest devolution “White Paper” to be launched in Leeds

By Graham Smith County Hall's long-awaited thoughts on devolution are due to be unveiled in Leeds tomorrow (Thursday) attended by an extraordinarily large delegation of Cornwall Council officials, including...

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...

Pale ale-gate: Cornwall Council leader pulls out of three-day trip to Leeds

By Graham Smith Cornwall Council leader Linda Taylor has pulled out of a three-day excursion to Leeds for a property developers’ conference. Although still named on the website of...

“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...

Pale ale-gate: will the official cost be anywhere near the true figure?

By Graham Smith Tomorrow's (Tuesday's) full meeting of Cornwall Council has only one question from the public: how much is it costing taxpayers to send 12 people to the...

Huge increase in the number of children in Cornwall referred to gender-identification clinics

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Data collected and analysed by parents’ groups in the South West suggests that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly refer significantly more children to gender-identification clinics...

Runaway train? Mid Cornwall Metro approaching the points of no return

By Peter Tremayne Two Cornwall Council cabinet members are due to make a decision on Wednesday (22nd May) about whether or not to go ahead with the Mid Cornwall...

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...

Next week’s “pale ale-gate” looks like it will cost Cornwall’s taxpayers even more than “champagne-gate” in 2018 – and that’s before you try to calculate the reputational damage

By Graham Smith Yorkshire’s prostitutes are looking forward to a bumper pay packet next week as around 12,000 wealthy executives from the property sector, mostly men, descend on Leeds...

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...

Rival camps sharpen their knives over Cornwall Council’s trans-gender advice for schoolchildren

 By Rashleigh MacFarlane The row over what teachers should say to schoolchildren who question their own gender has intensified with the publication of new government advice. In future, children...

Team Cornwall is sending 12 to Leeds, including the current council leader (but will she still be leader by Tuesday afternoon?)

By Graham Smith Cornwall is sending no fewer than 12 people to a property developers’ conference and exhibition in Leeds next week. Cornwall Reports has obtained the full list...

Pale ale-gate: Team Cornwall sends Captain Kate to Leeds to help woo Bob the Builder

By Graham Smith Cornwall Council’s chief executive Kate Kennally is on the team to attend the UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum next week. The three-day event, in...

Let’s talk, says council leader – and people in Bodmin are certainly ready to say what they think

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall Council leader Linda Taylor might face some hostile questions tomorrow (Thursday) when she visits Bodmin as part of her latest tour. A campaign group with...

Pale ale-gate: Team Cornwall is off to a “perfect storm” in Leeds

By Graham Smith “Team Cornwall” is off to the UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum next week – a three-day “extravaganza” in Leeds for property developers. The UKREiiF...

Councillors to debate Cornwall’s approach to transgender issues in schools

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall councillors are to go ahead with an inquiry into the way gender-identity is “taught” in local schools, despite new guidance expected imminently from the Department...

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...

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...

Cornwall’s teachers to be told County Hall’s “Trans Inclusion Toolkit” is based on a contested belief

By Rashleigh MacFarlane Cornwall’s teachers are preparing to find themselves in the middle of a new “culture war” over transgender ideology, as the government confirms that its official existing...

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...

Tributes to former South East Cornwall MP Colin Breed

By Graham Smith Tributes have been paid to the former South East Cornwall MP Colin Breed, who died recently aged 76. The former Lib Dem MP represented the area...

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...

Former South East Cornwall MP Colin Breed dies

By Graham Smith The former Liberal Democrat MP for South East Cornwall, Colin Breed, has died.  He was 76. A former bank manager, he was the MP from 1997...

Fingers crossed: County Hall waits to find out the latest estimated cost of the Mid Cornwall Metro

By Peter Tremayne The Mid Cornwall Metro railway project has entered a critical phase of detailed design work, which should allow for a more detailed assessment of the costs....

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....

Trust us, says County Hall, pushing ahead with disposal of 2,000 public assets

By Lee Trewhela Cornwall Council’s deputy leader has denied the decentralisation of 2,000 land assets owned by the local authority is a “fire sale.” The council has agreed to...

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...