Who would have thought the period just before an election would be a great time for councillors to make unpopular decisions?

Well if a planned media blackout by Cornwall Council is anything to go by, now is perfect.

According to the council’s press office, we have now entered purdah - the pre-election period when no announcements can be made to prevent electioneering - so there will be restrictions on publicity and, more importantly, no webcasting of meetings.

Now I may be wrong, but surely the people most disadvantaged by preventing webcasts are not councillors craving attention but the public looking for information on the running of the county.

This move surely flies in the face of any aim at increasing council transparency - instead it smacks of a return to the days of meetings held in closed sessions.

At the same time, it is not an efficient way of preventing information from getting out, as members of the public can still attend meetings, and journalists can still report.

Instead, it is a leaky halfway house that benefits no-one. These meetings are all chaired, and if they were controlled in a proper manner then electioneering could be prevented without the need for radio silence.

I am assuming that meetings are continuing because the council has important matters to discuss, otherwise why not halt them for a month?

But if they are truly important, surely we need to know any outcomes.