Friday, 25 September 2015


Remember this, if not you need to be prepared for the winter sandbags or storm boards should be check for serviceability.  Next week there are some very high tides and i will be checking the weather forecast so if there is a possibility then i will warn those in the heart of the town.   The town council is getting prepared having already checked the Salt bins and those needing replacing and a refill will be done in the next few weeks.    You can help by making sure that local drains are not covered in leaves and report to the town council any problems in your area.  Take care and everything will be fine.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015


This is a question i have been asking myself for a long time now as it appears that as living in Cornwall we get very little in the way of services and infrastructure and really the prosperous world ends at Exeter.    Once you pass Exeter there is no Motorway, safe rail service and no well connected airport and some of the lowest wages in the country.   Yes the wages in SE Cornwall are below £14 k on averages for those who work in the area, whilst the averages in London is £28k (more in inner London), yes over double.   Take infrastructure in London the spend £2k per head of population yet in the South West the spend £19 no wonder London is booming and jobs created.   Will this change in the elections, I believe not as when our MPs get to the great city they change, the fight for us outside the M25 stops.  But why should this be, well look at the fact Londons population is 8.3 million of which 37% were not born in this country yep 3 million.  The total for the number of people living but born outside the uk is 7.5 million or 13% of the population a staggering figure.   The population of this country has grown 5 million since 2001 without the corresponding increase in services and infrastructure, no wonder the hospitals, schools and housing suffer with capacity issues.   The NHS relies on foreign workers because the country in the 80s and 90s failed to train the doctors, nurses and dentists to match the known vacancies that the baby boomers would leave vacant.   Most of these come from countries that are is desperate need themselves for the same people with the same skills, yet all we do is throw foreign aid to them costing us .7% of GDP and spent £11.4bn in 2013.   School in many inner cities have students that speak in some instances up to 100 different languages and with so many students with English as their second language you can see why they struggle.    As I have said above housing is now critical for so many people and housing standards for so many are sub standard.   With population growth as it is housing benefits are out of control, a lot of people making a lot of money out of the misery of so many.   Currently the country spends £16.94 billion (2013) supporting housing yet the investment in affordable and social housing does not match this.  In Cornwall housing benefit costs the government £187 million (2013) nearly the same amount as the cuts to local government over the next four years.   Is this the best way to use our taxes which appear to be recycled to those rich property owners?  How many people will be able to afford to purchase a home. the real truth is not many of them and by renting they can't save for a deposit as rents are to high.   A recent survey by Shelter showed that the added cost of renting over a lifetime is £600k to families.  

The government is critical of Education received in many parts saying that our educational standards are not good enough to get our children into work or training.  Yet it is parliament that sets the rules and standards, why keep our youngsters in education until they are 18 get them out in the world with a decent basic education and teach them trades to skill them.  No child should be allowed to not take up a trade, further education and university.  But to penalise them if the do go onto degrees the now pay £9k a year for tuition and many are now coming out with debts of 10s of thousands of pounds.  Simple idea if the country needs Engineers etc if they take those degrees they get the education for free, no doctor or nurse should pay but should be committed to the NHS.  

As i have said in a previous blog during election time we live in a promised land and at present the parties are out bidding themselves for our votes.   I ask you to vote but take care they will change and the party line has more pull then your local needs.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


I'm not sure if I am allowed to do this from my hospital bed but to hell with it I'm going to.   Last Sunday (29.3.15) I was admitted to derriford hospital for a double heart bypass operation not something I was looking forward to but something I definitely needed.      On Monday very early I was up showered and dressed in my hospital gown, then the checks begin name, dob address.  Into the pre op room putting in the lines to get the medication into me then Mr Allan the surgeon came in and made sure I was ok with what was happening, I said "yes fine the alternative is worse".   Shortly before eight the world stopped mid sentence, I can't say what happened I was there in body but not mind.    At about three in the afternoon I remember being told everything had gone fine and I was now in the Intensive Care Unit.   The nurse fussed over me and from my drug induced pain relief I remember how she told me exactly what was going on.   My wife and son came to see me and I must have been talking rubbish because one minute I was talking to Rayna the next to my son but they were sat in the same seat.   The drugs are great a taking away the pain but they do strange things to your mind and you see so many funning things.   I had to Stand up and march on the spot, deemed fit I was move into the next room The High Dependency Unit here I was to be until Wednesday morning.   Here again the nurses were lovely they fussed over us made sure we took our meds and i can not speak highly enough of the care these people give. On Wednesday I had the chest drains removed which was painful and this is when they realised i had a chest infection, a very strong course of antiboitics was prescribed.   Although fit enough to go up onto the normal ward "Clearbrook" i didn't feel to good and that night was the worse i have ever experienced.   About three o'clock Thursday morning i was still awake and in great pain but once again the nurses were at my aid and although i did manage a couple of hours sleep i did awake feeling slightly better.   As i felt better i started to notice that the nurses and carers on the ward were very busy all the time.  I also noticed that some of the cleaners did not do a good job and were lack lustre about the way cleaning was done.  As with all wards of this type people came and went so on Friday (Good Friday) there was a change around and three new patients came onto the ward.   H who had diabetes, N who was struggling and had a very fast heart rate (103) and D who had a lung function of 40% and had had a aortic valve replacement.  Although I felt much better i was still suffering with the chest infection and I have to admit I struggled at times.  This was probably the same in all the bays of the ward as a large percentage had been through the same experience as me.    By Saturday morning the problems seemed worse as D struggle with a heart rate of 197 and through the brilliant care of the nurse this was brought under control.   H still had hourly checks for his diabetes whilst N was still not improving, the nurse never stopped and was the same throughout the day.   This is when I started to walk a little and saw the notices below that showed that the nurses were short staffed on both the Saturday and Sunday of easter, no wonder they never stopped.

My question is that with a 50% reduction in staffing levels how can nurses cope with patients that still have great needs after such difficult operations.  In the times of elections clear promises need to be made about the safe staffing levels on our hospital wards, just to bring in expensive temps should not be an option.   I was discharged on Sunday and now at home making a slow recovery.   So what have i learned.

1.   I have the greatest RESPECT for the nurses, carers and doctors at Derriford Hospital they have given me the chance of 15 years of quality life.

2.   Some of the SERCO cleaners are not good enough, except the young Plymouth maid who did the job above and beyond and was such a lovely person.

3.   I am very proud to live in a country that has a NHS that cares for its residents.

4.   Since 2001 there has been a 7/8% increase in population in this country equal to 5 million people, yet there has been no corresponding increase in NHS services.   No wonder the staff and hospitals struggle.

5.   Please support them 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015



Today the results of the Cornwall Council  Car Parking charges which included the Millpool and Riverside car parks in Looe, both car parks have seen increases in charges.   This is even though, the town has put in a lot of effort in promoting the town with new events and bring a lot more visitors to the town.  For me this is a kick in the face and even though we have tried to show the council how hard we have worked they have taken no notice.   I have today asked to set up a petition on the Council website to ask for a review and debate for the new charges including the 56 car parks owned by the Council and are free for users.   The new charges are

Monday, 2 March 2015



Today I will be reviewing the new Cornwall Council Parking Order which will be very interesting reading because it affects a small number of towns plus Truro.   It appears that the cost of parking will be going up in many of the coastal resorts hitting our main industry and the local residents of the areas with council car parks.   I said this the last time they did a revision of parking charges "Added costs of parking does not mean that the council will get more from car parks".  They have about 56 car parks in Cornwall owned, repaired, lit and insured by the council that they do not charge for.   I will be getting the full list onto this blog soon.   

Thursday, 26 February 2015


Dear Reader,  I as a local councillor have campaigned for over ten years now with a number of submissions to enquiries into this subject and letters to the PM and MPs, but in all that time little notice has been taken.   Well not one to give up I again tried recently by e mailing 641 of the MPs with an idea, only two replied one to say I was not in his area and the other told me firstly to get the local authority to build more houses and then the Minister will look into it.    You may well wonder why they do not want to solve the problem that is costing the government £16.82 billion a year in the cost of supporting housing costs in both the private and social sector.   Well the reason is that a lot of people are getting very very rich in this sector and by not meeting the needs for housing in the country the costs of houses go up and the costs of rents follow.   Recently I had someone in my area tell me that they could not afford to take a Housing Association flat because they earned just over the benefits limit and the £500 per month was to much and would lead to her being in difficulties with money (i.e. poor).  This is a similar theme across the area with the working residents not earning enough to have decent housing and all the other bills that come with it, i.e. rates and utilities.   It has been said that Housing Associations made £3billion in profit last year and many of the chief executives earn more then the Prime Minister, not sure how that works but they now charge 80% of the local market rate.   This in a place like Looe means that the local rents are expensive because the open market is very limited and very expensive because being a tourist area homes can be let out for high prices and make better returns for owners.  

How do we solve this problem of providing homes for people without them being to expensive at local wage rates and reduce the amount of money going to private and social landlords and reducing the countries debt for this.   Well for many years i have pushed the idea of a semi social house which is for local people only who are on the social housing register that are working in the area but can't afford open market house prices and private rents.  Well i will try and explain;

Councils own a lot of land and this should be allocated to be used for semi social housing, the return for this they would receive an income of £20 rent per week per for each house built in this ground and if later sold to the tenant it would be at the local rate for housing land and without discount.   This gives a return to the council for the land and gains the full future value of the land to rate payer in the local area, this income can be used for future provision or supporting the rates.   Any lease should be 99 year for mortgage purposes

The services and utilities should be brought to site at cost proportioned across all the properties on the site by the size of property in relation to the costs of provision.   The home should be modular in design and fabricated off site to reduce the costs and for speed of build.   Looking at the costs locally it should be able to bring in homes and flats for between £60k and £90k thus affordable to many local families and at mortgage rates that are affordable to local people.  These homes should be sold at cost-plus 5% to cover council costs and future projects.

These homes would be a solution to the affordability problems we face in Cornwall without the council having to fund the costs of the build.   It would provide an income for the council from assets it already has and reduce the pressure of local social housing which will in its current form can not solve the housing shortage.   My final two pieces to make this work and not effect the local housing market,  the houses should be given a condition of sale that means it can only be sold to someone else on the local housing needs register and if they default on the mortgage the home must be sold back to the council.  

I must again state that this is only an idea but with the country with its financial problems it has it is the only way to meet the need without penalising the tax payer to solve the problem.

Monday, 16 February 2015


I know i have not blogged for some considerable time but i feel with the elections coming in about 80 odd days it about time to start again.   Having listened to all the promises that have been made by all the political parties that are not costed or will cost us in the future i make the following proposal.   There is a major problem with Health, Social Care and Education that needs to be fixed quickly as without health you have nothing and without education you fail the test for the future of the country.   So how do we pay for all these without effecting the public purse and without putting the costs onto the future or our children's generation.   Well perhaps we should look at what we give away in foreign  aid which currently runs at .7% of GDP far more the many other countries such as France which gives .45 % of GDP.   So my suggestion would take half of the current foreign aid and put £3 billion into the Health Service, £1 billion into Social Care and £1billion into Education.   The is less the half of the £11.3 billion we give away in foreign aid now and bringing down the aid bill to around that of France.  This would remove the burden of the country where we currently have hospitals, a care system and education are in crisis.    The national debt has increased substantially over the last five years and we need to control debt because that is the future of our children we are playing with.

Next blogg about housing