29 January 2009

The new chief executive of Cornwall county and unitary councils, Kevin Lavery, has given a bleak assessment of the council’s record, referring to several official judgements on the council’s work, though he was upbeat about eventual success. From swamp to sunlit uplands, I suppose. You can read some of the outside judgements in the blog posts I have put at the end of this one. The parrot is now very pale indeed.

Note that the dismal judgements are, as I have explained in those earlier blog posts, not about Cornwall suffering from external and distant agency but about assessments of internal works.

Thus, there’s nothing surprising in Lavery’s assessment.

What is disturbing about this story is the response of David Whalley, the Liberal Democrat leader of the council. Whalley says that Lavery has highlighted what “we have known for a long time.” He went on to say that Cornwall county council “is a traditional council…resistant to change.”

He presumably means that though he and the Libdems saw the need for reform and sought it, some councillors and council workers resisted changes. Of course they did; every organisation and political party has, and needs, conservatives and reformers. It was Whalley’s job as leader to win over the traditionalists or disable their resistance and to rally the people of Cornwall to the cause of change.

The Libdem record in running the county council is at best like the curate’s egg and we now know, don’t we, that, despite some good work, they cannot deliver a twenty-first-century council and county.

The Liberal Democrat project has been weighed and found wanting. They have failed Cornwall.


Earlier posts

One star Cornwall

Cornwall county council: the parrot is pale

Assessing Cornwall

Kevin Lavery’s speech is reported in ‘Cornwall’s troubles laid bare’ in the Western Morning News 28 January 2009