Over the last few weeks Jayne Kirkham and Louise Coley with many Labour volunteers have been speaking with Smithick constituents.
Jayne says, “people are talking a lot about the NHS in Cornwall. They are worried about the changing shape of Cornwall’s health service and possible future privatisation and potentially losing MIUs and local hospitals. They will be very pleased at today’s news that the government has been forced into pausing the introduction of ACOs until they can be properly considered. Labour has been campaigning against the ACS/ACO system being brought in in Cornwall without full consultation and to keep Cornwall’s Minor Injuries Units and cottage hospitals, such as Falmouth.
"People are very worried about planning decisions in Falmouth. Just recently 4 blocks of flats for students and luxury apartments have been passed by central Bristol Planning Inspectors despite local council objection and refusal. We are going to work to push through the Local Plans for Cornwall and Falmouth so the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol is less able to do this. We are also going to put pressure on the university to honour the s.106 agreement to build for the new 2,500 students they requested rather than leaving it to private developers to do in a piecemeal, profit driven fashion.
"They are concerned about the state of HMOs/student houses. There is currently a licence you should apply for when running an HMO for which you need to prove the house is in a good state, but many landlords manage to avoid this and it only costs £365 (on a renewal) for 5 years. Labour’s plan for Cornwall Council is to push towards charging council tax on all residential properties that are short term let (eg holiday lets) to be paid by the house owner."
Jayne goes on to say, "empty homes should be charged at double council tax.
We are also delighted to note today that the cuts to the Cornwall Council budget affecting Cornwall Citizens Advice Service have been overturned. This was first picked up on and opposition to this was first brought by the Labour Group on Cornwall Council.”