The Conservative Group on Cornwall Council has called out the administration that runs the council for supporting a poorly worded motion that commits Cornwall Council to opposing changes to the planning system, despite the changes not being confirmed yet.
At Full Council today the Leader of the Liberal Democrats brought forward a motion asking the council to raise strong objections to the proposed changes, which the Conservative Group refused to support.
Commenting, Conservative Group Leader Cllr Linda Taylor, who spoke in the debate on the motion, said:
“This whole motion is just farcical and just another example where the Liberal Democrats are grandstanding and chucking headlines out there without pausing to stop and consider the facts.”
“Firstly the very text of the motion asked councillors to object strongly to the proposals, but says that briefing sessions should be arranged so councillors can understand what the proposals are. Surely councillors should be fully briefed on an issue before being asked to take a view on it.”
“Secondly, the proposals councillors are being asked to object to are purely, that, proposals. As the motion says, this is part of a consultation, which has not yet concluded.”
“We will not play the Lib Dem games of knee-jerk reacting to everything they don’t like the look of for the sake of getting headlines. Just look at the council’s official stance on a second referendum for Brexit, which is still in place, following another motion put forward by Cornwall’s Lib Dems, which has again been show up to not be in the best interests of the people of Cornwall.”
Also speaking in the debate was Conservative Newquay Councillor Olly Monk, who spoke up in favour of some of the proposed changes. He said:
“The aims of the policy are to develop better designed and quality housing for the future to cope with the challenges we have in the battle to fight climate change, as well as looking at new ways for local authorities to deliver more affordable homes in areas where they are required by using the infrastructure levy to achieve this objective. “
“It could, if the correct policies are implemented in our new Local Plan mean that we will at long last will be able to deliver truly affordable homes both in the rental, shared ownership and open market homes for our children to occupy in the future.”
“I am concerned that following the lead of the Lib Dems, this council has voted to take away the prospects of giving the young families who live in Cornwall the chance to own their own truly affordable home.“
“In Cornwall there has been a stagnation over the last eight years in a number of affordable homes we have delivered and it is also evident that a third of the homes we are building in Cornwall do not contribute £1 towards the provision of affordable homes. Is that fair?”
“Truly affordable homes can only be delivered by providing subsidy. This policy is laying the first stepping stones for local policies to be designed to achieve this goal.”
“Assumptions have been made regarding the delivery of affordable housing before the full information is available. It is not until the consultation finishes and the green paper comes forward that we will have a true picture of how the infrastructure levy will operate and so in my opinion makes this motion premature.”
“Consultation means what it says on the tin. It’s not set in stone, and should be challenged but it should not be rejected out of hand. That’s what this motion is promoting. “
“We in the Conservative group will be sending in our recommendations through the consultation so that Cornwall can deliver on the truly affordable homes we require and where they are needed. “