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The Next Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Camborne

April 11, 2014

Nominations for the next Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Camborne were taken at the Town Council meeting last night.

If the current Deputy Mayor of Camborne, Cllr Graham Taylor, had been prepared to accept a nomination, Labour members would have supported him. Unfortunately, he had decided to stand down, due to personal circumstances.

I nominated Cllr Trevor Chalker for the role of Mayor. Trevor was elected last year to the council and has been a real asset, bringing his business experience and his passion for fairness and honesty. It was disappointing that he did not win that vote but he was then nominated and supported for the role of Deputy Mayor.

Cllr Colin Godolphin won the vote for Mayor of the town next year. Colin has been a councillor for many years and is also involved in local organisations.

I wish them both well for the year ahead.

Labour Campaign HQ Opens in Camborne

March 24, 2014

michaeljohncake1

Photo by 42 photography

This is Michael Foster, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Camborne & Redruth with Jon Cruddas MP celebrating the opening of Labour’s campaign headquarters in Camborne with a special cake baked and iced by local member Linda Moore.

We are all very pleased that Jon came down to open the office and to tour Cornwall (visiting his birthplace in Helston) meeting with local organisations, charities and community groups.

Jon Cruddas was appointed by Labour Leader Ed Miliband to lead Labour’s policy review. As well as visiting local organisation, Jon met with Labour supporters for an informal policy discussion. That was a lively one!

The shop opening in Camborne has been met with a lot of enthusiasm from members and from passers by, delighted to see Labour’s presence in the town. It will be used as a hub for our campaigns across Cornwall.

This is Michael Foster, our parliamentary candidate in front of the shop – you really can’t miss it!

michaelshop

Photo by 42 photography

The Budget for Cornwall

March 19, 2014

For people in Cornwall, who are an average £1883 worse off since the coalition came to power, this budget does nothing to help.

* tax relief on £15,000 a year savings for some
* struggling to find jobs that pay £15,000 a year in Cornwall

This is a budget for the well off -and it is telling that the coalition partners tried to drown out Ed Miliband with cat calling when he tried to talk about the cost of living crisis for working people.

There is nothing to help Cornwall here and it is not even certain that the money for floods can be claimed against storm damage.

According to IPPR, only £17.58 per head is spent on transport infrastructure in the South West, compared to £2595.88 per head in London. Instead of addressing this, the Chancellor promises an air ambulance for London, while Cornwall still pays for its own, despite the problems of our rural transport network.

The coalition has failed in its promise to cut the deficit by 2015, the national debt will not stop rising for years and the economy is only now approaching the level it was at before they came to power through their back room deal.

Britain needs a Labour government and Cornwall needs a Labour MP again to stand up for us after the years of coalition neglect.

Help for people affected by flooding (from Cornwall Council)

March 2, 2014

Help for homeowners and businesses affected by storm and flood damage
This information, along with other available schemes and assistance, is on Cornwall Council’s website: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/floodrelief

There are four schemes available for home owners and businesses affected by the severe weather, between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014, to apply for financial assistance.

1. Council tax discount
Householders, whose house has been affected by the severe weather, can apply to Cornwall Council for a three month discount from their council tax.
Qualifying criteria
• Flooding must have occurred between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014 You can only make one claim per property affected
• The property has been flooded in whole or in part as a result of adverse weather conditions
• The property was the sole or main residence of the householder on the day of the flood
• As a result of the flooding the householder was adversely affected
How to apply
To establish whether a property qualifies for a discount due to flooding we need the following information:
• Name and address of the property affected
• Date the flooding occurred
• Details of how the property was affected by the flood
• Supporting evidence to help us with your application
Applications can be made by phone, email or in writing.
Phone: 0300 1234 171
Email: revenues@cornwall.gov.uk
In writing: Shared Services (Income), PO Box 676, Threemilestone, TR4 9LD

2. Business rate relief
Businesses, affected by the severe weather, between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014, are able to apply to Cornwall Council for a 100% business rate relief for three months.
Qualifying criteria
100% rate relief will be awarded for those properties which meet the following criteria:

• Flooding must have occurred between 1 December 2013 and 31 March 2014. You can only make one claim per property affected
• The property has been flooded in whole or in part as a result of adverse weather conditions
• On the day of the flooding the property was occupied and subject to occupied business rates
• As a result of the flooding the business activity undertaken at the property was adversely affected
• The rateable value of the property on the day of the flooding was less than £10 million
How to apply
To establish whether a business qualifies for business rate relief we need the following information:
• Name and address of the property affected
• Date the flooding occurred
• Details of how the property was affected by the flood
• Supporting evidence to help us with your application
Applications can be made by phone, email or in writing.
Phone: 0300 1234 171
Email: revenues@cornwall.gov.uk
In writing: Shared Services (Income), PO Box 676, Threemilestone, TR4 9LD

3. Repair and Renew grant
The Government has announced new ‘repair and renew’ grants of up to £5,000. The grants are to help households and businesses pay for repairs, over and above what would normally be covered by insurance, which improves a property’s ability to withstand future flooding. The grants will not cover standard repairs or provide compensation.
We are expecting the Government to publish details of eligibility and criteria soon. We will provide details of how to apply as soon as we can.

4. Business Support Scheme
The Government has announced a new Business Support Scheme for small and medium sized business premises, physically affected by coastal and inland flooding. Eligible businesses will be able to claim for costs, initially up to £2,500, which could include: immediate clean up costs and repair, replacement of stock or equipment, additional staff costs, structural surveys and non- recoverable insurance excess.

An application form to apply for a grant from the Business Support Scheme will be available by Monday 3 March.
This information, along with other available schemes and assistance, is on the website: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/floodrelief

Ukip and European Funding

March 1, 2014

As grumpy as Ukippers are about Europe, they never seem to have a problem with European funding. As Left Foot Forward point out

The Riveria International Centre in Torquay, where the UKIP conference is currently being held, was partly funded by a European grant of £3 million.

Earlier today, Nigel Farage welcomed UKIP members to their spring conference, telling delegates that UKIP had claimed back the idea that it is not disreputable to talk about the EU.

However it has been revealed that the town in which the party’s conference is being held has benefited to the tune of £7.4 million from European Regional Development Funds (EDRF) since 2007.

and the Daily Mirror

His party want out of the EU but that isn’t keeping them off the Brussels expenses gravy train
UKIP leader Nigel Farage and his Euro MPs claimed nearly £800,000 in expenses and allowances from the EU in one year while campaigning for Britain to leave.

Wonder if Ukip councillors in Cornwall want to stop the £300 million convergence funding that is helping to keep Cornwall’s economy going through hard times?

Best bananas

February 26, 2014

We had a fascinating presentation yesterday at Camborne Town Council from Dorothy, a banana farmer from the Windward Isles.

All of the banana growers in the Windwards Isles are small farmers and fair trade farmers. They meet their social responsibilities with enthusiasm. As Dorothy explained, there is no child labour – children should be at school, or playing, not working on farms.

And they back that up with action. The farmers receive a small premium per box of bananas. They hold community meetings and ask people what they want to do with the money. On one island, they have a bus that collects all the children to take them to school. Other projects make sure that children are fed at school and they have also – with local help – built classrooms and supplies computers so they get a better education.

There’s more: to meet the fair trade criteria, the farmers hand weed the crops and keep use of chemicals to a minimum, with workers protected at all times if they have to handle anything due to fungal infection or something that might destroy the crop. Bananas are sampled regularly to make sure nothing harmful has been absorbed.

In order to produce cheap bananas from other countries, multi national companies have industrial spraying operations, that not only affect workers but villagers.

The islands have been hit by climate change: storm after storm has destroyed plantations and the farmers keep rebuilding. Recent storms were particularly severe and they are working together to get their farms up and running again. We should support them.

It’s a simple choice: dirt cheap bananas, maybe pesticide contamination or produced by child labour versus fair trade bananas and knowing that for a few extra pennies, you are shaking hands with small farmers on the other side of the world and your money going directly to help a local community.

You can help by signing the fair trade petition here

Camborne is a Fair Trade town and proud of it.

Tories starve Britain’s food banks of millions in EU aid

February 25, 2014

Tory MEPs have voted against EU aid for Britain’s poorest people, denying food banks millions of pounds. The European Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority – 592-61 – to endorse the fund today, with Conservative MEPs amongst the few opponents.

The government had already sought to block the fund in inter-governmental negotiations, and won a concession that the money can be used for “immaterial” not “material” aid, which it has said it will use. In practice that means Britain’s food banks will be blocked from claiming from the £3 million fund allocated to the UK.

Richard Howitt MEP, who helped negotiate the fund, said:

“It defies belief that David Cameron’s government has sought to block a fund for ‘the most deprived’ and their MEPs have voted against it today. And even after it is agreed they will still prevent Britain’s food banks from claiming from it.

“The cost of this government’s anti-European ideology, coupled with its bitterly felt cost of living crisis, is literally taking food from the mouths of children.

“By taking the cash for other ‘immaterial’ projects, they are only demonstrating how immaterial it is to meeting true need in the country. It is sheer hypocrisy for the government to oppose the EU fund saying it is their own job to provide help – but then refusing to do so.”

The government says measures of this kind are best delivered by individual nations via their own social programmes – yet there aren’t any government plans to aid food banks from national budgets.

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