First they came for the poorest, now your granny is in the crosshairs

10:27am Wednesday 18th June 2014

And so it has come to this! As the ongoing austerity, for some, continues to bite hard, we are starting to see the real impacts in this sunny part of the UK.

Major parties 'ought to listen' following elections

12:29pm Wednesday 28th May 2014

UKIP’s victory in the European elections was a wake-up call to the major political parties with the Lib Dems taking a particular drubbing, including their strongholds in the south west where long standing MEP Sir Graham Watson lost his seat.

Trafalgar roundabout changes shows that 'roads cause cars'

3:29pm Friday 14th March 2014

Skipper's mood has not been improved in recent months by the length of time spent sitting in his car, waiting for access on to the new Trafalgar roundabout on the main A39 in Truro. Some evenings, during rush-hour, the traffic is now backed up all the way up the hill to the junction with the Falmouth Road.

Problems are like buses. No, not that there are none anymore

4:57pm Thursday 21st November 2013

It seems that you have to wait a while for public anger to rise as the impact of the cuts start to have a real impact on peoples’ lives, and then it comes all at once, a bit like buses really.... The very same issue that has got people up in arms this week.

Huge going out of business sale at County Hall?

12:29pm Thursday 14th November 2013

IT’S an important week at County Hall, with an extraordinary meeting of Cornwall Council’s cabinet tomorrow (Thursday) due to consider some truly scary numbers about its budget.

Good news, bad news and jobs for the boys

2:46pm Thursday 10th October 2013

This week it's good news and bad news week.

Secret report blows up in officials' faces

3:57pm Thursday 26th September 2013

If last month’s Ofsted report had said that King Charles school was “outstanding,” then officials at Cornwall Council, and Heather Taylor, would be patting themselves on the back and congratulating each other. Parents would have nothing to complain about. Their primary concern is for the education of their children, rather than any ideological problems with privatisation.

Loos and the end of an era

3:03pm Thursday 12th September 2013

I am not sure where to begin this week, perhaps the law of unintended consequences is as good a place as any.

Parking charges should not undermine Cornwall's high streets

10:24am Friday 30th August 2013

Regular readers will know that my heart seldom bleeds for those County Hall bureaucrats whose sole purpose for existing on this planet is to make our lives more miserable.

PM's fourth holiday to MP's 'third Cornish home'

4:11pm Friday 23rd August 2013

Words can barely express the relief I feel now that Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived in Cornwall for his fourth holiday of the year.

A practical plan or an insult too far? You decide

3:01pm Friday 19th July 2013

And so it has come to this! Here in Cornwall we are to ask holiday home and second home owners to donate their leftovers to the county’s poorest.

The decision was perverse, and so is the outcome

11:32am Thursday 4th July 2013

There is a law of unintended consequences that says that there are commonly outcomes that are not the ones intended.

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce

12:55pm Thursday 27th June 2013

I AM not sure what he knew about healthcare, but Karl Marx was spot on when he said “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

TV's 'How councils waste your money'. A cheap shot?

11:25am Thursday 20th June 2013

I watched the Channel 4 “Dispatches” documentary on Monday evening out of morbid fascination to see how often Cornwall Council featured in the programme. It was billed as 30-minutes of investigative journalism with the title “how councils waste your money.”

Roundabout plans. Anything to do with huge Bickland Water Road housing plans?

12:56pm Thursday 6th June 2013

So the government has announced that it will spend a large lump of our cash on replacing the mini roundabouts at Union Corner with one big one.

NHS changes, plus the man in charge of Cornwall Council finances is......?

11:38am Thursday 30th May 2013

Depending on which anonymous ministerial briefing you believe, the National Health Service is either (a) on the point of collapse because of elderly people “bed blocking” in acute hospitals or (b) about to invite private hotel firms to launch a new chain of “hospital hotels” for those who technically are “cured” but who cannot be easily discharged because of a lack of care at home.

Nature abhors a vacuum

11:06am Thursday 23rd May 2013

They say that nature abhors a vacuum. And when you take the big beasts out of a jungle, one of two things happen: either some new big beasts come along to take their place, or the whole ecology is upset and eventually there's a wholesale extinction.

Time to change the rules on kicking out councillors?

1:14pm Thursday 16th May 2013

I thought that I would never have to write on this subject again, but the people of Wadebridge decided, in their infinite wisdom, to re-elect Collin Brewer for another term on Cornwall Council.

‘Politicians are like nappies, they need to be changed often and for the same reason’

2:15pm Wednesday 8th May 2013

So the people have spoken, and the long awaited clear out at County Hall is underway.

Over to you fair Cornwall - it's time to get out and vote

5:19pm Wednesday 1st May 2013

So we come to it at last. With what seems like decades since we had the ability to give the corridors of power at County Hall a good old-fashioned clear out, the time to put an X on the ballot paper has finally arrived.

Most weapons per head of population in the UK

4:14pm Wednesday 24th April 2013

Last week’s dramatic events in Boston have had me doodling with the arithmetic.

£10 million to lay the Iron Lady to rest. Money well spent?

4:17pm Wednesday 17th April 2013

So the great/terrible (delete depending on your partisan view) Iron Lady is laid to rest today.

It's nearly election time - Who wins? You decide.

5:32pm Monday 15th April 2013

Not long to go now. On Thursday, May 2 you can wander in to your local polling station and cast a vote in the elections for Cornwall Council.

The cuts at Culdrose - A flagrant disregard for heroism and tradition

11:07am Wednesday 27th March 2013

In all my years as stalwart of the Packet's letters page, it is rare that I have seen such a flagrant disregard for heroism and tradition.

So much damage, done by so a few, for so little

12:21pm Wednesday 20th March 2013

Politics is a dirty business, never more so than when elections are looming and spaces at the trough are up for grabs. So it is worth bearing this in mind when you read about the ongoing omnishambles that is the council tax freeze.

Unexpectedly bad decision in the bagging area

11:22am Thursday 14th March 2013

The rise of automated tills. Yes it was about time the Skipper took a break from council bashing, and had a look at something that has been getting his goat for years.

When will the rank hypocrisy of these people be noticed?

11:07am Wednesday 6th March 2013

They say that every political career ends in failure, but who would have guessed how spectacularly Collin Brewer’s end would play out, in front of the nation’s media as he is lambasted from all sides.

Zero council tax rise: The right decision?

2:34pm Wednesday 27th February 2013

So, no council tax rise. That was the final result of one of the most bad tempered, contrary and politically motivated displays of hubris that your pal the Skipper has ever had the misfortune to watch.

Eat more fish, veg and local meat but above all eat Cornish

4:47pm Wednesday 20th February 2013

Your pal the Skipper is not going to horse around this week, rather he is going to sink his teeth into the meat scandal that has made a lot of people feel a little queasy.

Shameful attempt to curry favour before an election

12:57pm Wednesday 20th February 2013

No Skipper column would be complete without a glimpse into the shennanigans at Cornwall Council, but this week’s will have to be short, mainly becauses most of my day has been spent with my head in my hands.

Take a good look, our Cornwall is changing - and it won't be here forever

2:34pm Wednesday 13th February 2013

Housing is the issue on everybody's lips this week it seems - if you can get past the taste of horse meat.

Backtracking pay greed and horrible hoaxers

1:17pm Wednesday 6th February 2013

It is a bit of a double this week as your pal the Skipper casts his weather eye on something that really gets my goat, and questions the motives of a group I am not keen on, to say the least.

Council tax cruelty and living high on the hog

3:04pm Thursday 31st January 2013

There can only really be one subject for this week’s column: the decision to make the very poorest working people in Cornwall pay to fill a council tax black hole at Cornwall Council. Shameful does not even come close.

'Election day cannot come soon enough'

1:08pm Wednesday 23rd January 2013

It is said that all political careers end in failure, but it seemed at times this week like the whole political edifice at the Blue Kremlin was crumbling.

Remember the Poll Tax, Cornwall councillors should

11:16am Thursday 17th January 2013

Your pal the Skipper has railed before against plans at the Blue Kremlin to make the very poorest people in Cornwall pay council tax.

The woman who loves Cornwall so much... she lives in Devon

5:05pm Monday 14th January 2013

It is back, the woman who loves Cornwall so much she lives in Devon, yes Caroline Quentin has returned to the goggle box to show us the yachts in Bodmin, the rich mining heritage of Newquay, and the fishing fleets of Redruth.

New Year's honours: Enough to make your blood boil

12:41pm Wednesday 2nd January 2013

THE New Years Honours list, like most things I seem to write about, has the ability to get me annoyed each year.

‘A Merry Christmas to nearly one and all’

10:09am Wednesday 19th December 2012

As the papers are put to bed for another week, and with just days until Christmas Day rolls round again, your pal The Skipper thought he would break the habit of a lifetime, and play nicely, well sort of.

Premier Inn plans decision

2:25pm Thursday 13th December 2012

So, after months and months of acrimonious debate, it appears the controversial plans for a Premier Inn in Falmouth town centre are set to be given the go-ahead.

Who is behind 'barmy' Falmouth boardwalk plan?

2:39pm Wednesday 5th December 2012

While the news that Falmouth could soon have its own boardwalk has been greeted by a mix of incredulity and surprise by the public, one thing that has not become clearer is how this expensive scheme progressed so far in secret.

The emergency services deserve our thanks and respect

2:10pm Wednesday 28th November 2012

I have been accused in the past of finding fault, and focusing on the negative, albeit mainly by those who are the target of my ire, but this week all I have to say is a big well done.

‘As democratically legitimate as a turnip’: The Skipper has his say on the PCC election

11:28am Wednesday 21st November 2012

Well the people of Cornwall have spoken, and if there is one word that sums up the response to the Police and Crime Commissioner election it would be ‘harumpf’.

‘Do not destroy everything that makes Cornwall so special’

10:24am Wednesday 14th November 2012

The news seems dominated by planning applications this week that give an insight into the long-term future of Falmouth and the surrounding countryside.

Police elections an affront to democracy and a huge waste of money

2:59pm Wednesday 7th November 2012

As I write these words, the world is waiting for the results of an election which will affect the lives of us all.

‘It appears money talks louder than any protestor’

10:20am Wednesday 31st October 2012

THE fact plans to build a new industrial estate on land between Falmouth and Budock Water have finally been granted permission cannot be a surprise to anyone. The battle continues to stop development on green belt

Some sense at last at the council?

11:06am Wednesday 24th October 2012

So, the long-running controversy over the proposed privatisation of Cornwall Council’s services is finally coming to its long-awaited conclusion.

‘Politicians must convince voters that their ideas are right and not just tell them we know best’

10:10am Wednesday 17th October 2012

So, farewell Alec Robertson. The leader of Cornwall Council was unceremoniously dumped from the role yesterday in a rare show of councillor power at the authority.

‘It will be the end of Budock Water as a village...’

9:40am Wednesday 10th October 2012

 New plans to build on the land between Budock Water and Falmouth will have come as no surprise to residents living near the green fields currently separating the two settlements.

‘There is no issue that divides readers quite like this one’

10:42am Wednesday 3rd October 2012

So, autumn is here once again, and the traditional sights greet us once more with the turning of the leaves, the darker evenings, and, of course, dogs back on our beaches.

‘Surely, and especially on such a divided council, everybody’s voice should be heard’

9:58am Wednesday 26th September 2012

So, fed up councillors have triggered an extraordinary meeting of Cornwall Council to discuss a vote of no confidence in leader Alec Robertson.



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