When is a consultation not a consultation? When it’s run by Cornwall Council apparently.

Honestly, the way the council has run its latest consultation on raising car park charges countywide, you’d think they didn’t want the public to know. Or to comment.

Apparently this has been open to the public for weeks, but it doesn’t appear on the public participation and consultation section of the council’s website, and no press releases have been sent out.

Oddly enough, considering that, few members of the public seem aware it is happening at all.

For those not in the know - including me up to yesterday - the council wishes to raise parking charges in most of its car parks, on top of new on-street parking charges for most town centres. One example: Parking in The Dell, Falmouth, for two hours will now cost £2.30 rather than £1.00. So why on earth wouldn’t they tell us about this?

Instead it was squirrelled away on the council’s ‘engage space’ page. Whatever that is.

A spokesperson said adverts were put out on radio, in print (not with us) and in car parks, but they were told not to issue a press release. Obviously it’s not the fault of staff but the transport team - likely including Bert ‘Bus-Pass’ Biscoe, our non-driving cabinet member - who don’t seem to want to let motorists know what they’re up to.

I agree, Bert, less car use might be greener, but this lack of transparency seems more like a whitewash.