Cornwall Councillors are keen not to be culled, but when it comes to planning they seem conspicuous by their absence.

Your pal the Skipper wonders what’s going on when a 150 home green field development is ushered through by officers with no hint of councillor involvement.

Not a peep out of our so-called representatives as the College Valley site was approved - apparently 60 odd objections, a 2,000 signature petition and a town centre protest don’t merit official representation. You have to ask what councillors do consider necessary to call an application in for scrutiny.

Or perhaps our councillors are just scared of their officers these days? With certain new - and almost invisible - members that wouldn’t surprise me, but surely Penryn has a little clout?

Then again, according to certain councillors in Helston, it’s an open secret that we live in a county with an officer-led council. The people we elect are doing little more than rubber stamping decisions made by people who are meant to be their staff - and our servants.

At the least it would be nice to see consistency among the planning officers who hold approval or denial in their gift. But they can’t even consistently post up decisions or applications online, many of which disappear into a black hole for weeks at a time. Is this by design, or are they less omnipotent than they wish to appear?

Whatever the answer, I predict dark days ahead for our shiny new concrete county.