Councillor slams Falmouth pier project plans

PLANS for a new community group to run events on Falmouth’s Prince of Wales Pier have been slammed as undemocratic by a town councillor.

Oliver Cramp has also warned the creation of the ‘community interest company’ could lead to the town’s assets being managed by private companies with no links to Falmouth.

Community Interest Companies (CICs) are a new government initiative that allows groups of people to form a company to run events and raise money. He is concerned that the Falmouth group have applied to take over and manage the buildings and run events on the Prince of Wales Pier, which is a publicly owned Cornwall Council asset. However, they say that this will only be the first step and they plan to move on to take over and run other unspecified areas and activities around the town.

Mr Cramp says that because these people are not democratically elected, they are self-appointed, and will not be responsible to the people of Falmouth. “They will have a job for life if they so wish, and cannot be voted out of office by the community if we do not like what they are doing.”

He added: “There is no guarantee of continuity. “When an elected council run public activities there is a certainty of permanent long-term management on behalf of the community.

He also fears that if people running the CIC want to close it down, all its money, assets and responsibilities must by law be passed to another CIC which might be anywhere in the country. “Do we really want to run the risk of our town being run by managers based up-country?”

Many of the public areas around the town are managed by the elected town council in co-operation with locally based residents and Cornwall Council. Groups behind CIC schemes must, by law, show that they have the approval of their local community. “ I do not believe the Falmouth group have shown this,” said Coun Cramp “Nevertheless, Cornwall Council seem to have approved their proposal without asking for any such proof.

“Your elected town councillors are strongly of the opinion that there is no need for change and no need for this C.I.C. and that responsibility for the management of the pier and other public areas in the town should be with the elected council in co-operation with Cornwall Council and others they choose to appoint. “If these people want to help run Falmouth they are welcome to get involved, but first of all they need to stand for election to the town council next May and show they have the approval of the people of Falmouth.”

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:50pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Gill Zella Martin says...

There is currently no evidence to show that a majority of residents believe the concept of the cic is an egregious idea.

Standing for councillor does not automatically mean that one is democratically voted in because if only one councillor stands for any particular ward then they will gain the right to hold office having been un opposed. Therefore it renders the theory that one should be a town councillor to be a member of a cic defunct.
A town council cannot apply for funding in the same way an independently run cic or other non profit making group can and that would be a disadvantage. Take a look at Helston.
There is currently no evidence to show that a majority of residents believe the concept of the cic is an egregious idea. Standing for councillor does not automatically mean that one is democratically voted in because if only one councillor stands for any particular ward then they will gain the right to hold office having been un opposed. Therefore it renders the theory that one should be a town councillor to be a member of a cic defunct. A town council cannot apply for funding in the same way an independently run cic or other non profit making group can and that would be a disadvantage. Take a look at Helston. Gill Zella Martin

4:27pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Bess Trecoa says...

"They need to stand for election to the town council next May".

No they do not, you have no right to dictate that whatsoever. You can suggest it but you can't dictate it.
"They need to stand for election to the town council next May". No they do not, you have no right to dictate that whatsoever. You can suggest it but you can't dictate it. Bess Trecoa

7:15am Fri 12 Oct 12

Gill Zella Martin says...

Why would joining the town council first before joining/running the CIC be democratic. According to information freely available to the public some town councillors adhere to the Llib Dem political party. There were in fact members of that political party that voted for a unitary authority against the wishes of the majority of the public. When people vote for town councillors some of those people vote according to political party adherence. Therefore why does the town council believe that being a town councillor would be any more democratic than an un elected person/persons running a CIC.
Why would joining the town council first before joining/running the CIC be democratic. According to information freely available to the public some town councillors adhere to the Llib Dem political party. There were in fact members of that political party that voted for a unitary authority against the wishes of the majority of the public. When people vote for town councillors some of those people vote according to political party adherence. Therefore why does the town council believe that being a town councillor would be any more democratic than an un elected person/persons running a CIC. Gill Zella Martin

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree