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Kevin takes the shilling

Graham Smith | 17:47 UK time, Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Remember the September meeting of Cornwall Council? The one which asked chief executive Kevin Lavery not to accept the invitation to be returning officer for the Devon and Cornwall police commissioner elections next year?

The issue troubling members was that the new commissioner will also have responsibility for policing in Devon. Not just Cornwall. I am not making this up.

Well Kevin has decided that the resolution of the full council - which went on (and on) to demand that a "strong delegation" be sent to lobby government for Cornwall to have its own police force - can be safely ignored. Not only has the demand for an audience with Theresa May been sidelined, Kevin is defying the will of the council and is accepting the invitation. He will be organising the police commissioner elections, and since he will do this in a personal capacity, to the benefit of election staff (in Cornwall as well as in Devon,) there is nothing the council can do about it.

The issue, now, becomes somewhat wider than just policing. What is the point of 123 elected councillors? Might they not just as well have stayed at home?


  • Comment number 1.

    Isn't it good to see democracy at work.

    Is it possible to have a vote of "No Confidence" in the chief executive?
    And would it make any difference?

  • Comment number 2.

    The question is: what is the point of 123 councillors debating what the Chief Executive does in a personal capacity?
    At that meeting, I taken aback that, of all the issues facing Cornwall, a group of Councillors decided to spend an interminable amount of time building this up into some kind of conspiracy to oppress Cornwall. It wasn't all Councillors to be fair, but I agree that if we are going to debate nonsense, we would be better off at home. I certainly would have preferred to be there during that debate.

  • Comment number 3.

    Linking Cornwall and Devon forces makes complete sense and is to the benefit of Cornwall the junior partner. It is councillors who are in the wrong if they are following any isolationist agenda without a mandate from the voting public which they clearly do not have. Were we living in the perfect county then such matters should be debated but we are not and serious cuts need to be made as a priority not attempting to reduce the already over-stretched police force which remains


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