Bodmin, Padstow and Rock: making good food Cornwall’s bread and butter

Bodmin in Cornwall - Cornish cross on streetMy latest article on Beacon focuses on three towns in nothern Cornwall: Bodmin, Padstow and Rock. Padstow and Rock have become known for their good food and the associated tourism that brings, through restaurants such as Rick Stein’s and Nathan Outlaw’s. Now, Bodmin wants to follow suit.

I wrote about Bodmin just over a year ago for the Guardian; for Beacon I caught up with the councillor who showed me around Bodmin’s Beacon technology park (no relation) and the town’s economic progress. Cornwall Council has decided to build new offices in Bodmin, and BT may use some of the space for its joint-venture with the county’s state sector. Continue reading “Bodmin, Padstow and Rock: making good food Cornwall’s bread and butter”

Cornwall council’s privatisation compromise

The west country council came perilously close to outsourcing a wide range of services to BT. Why did it change its mind?

Based on a set of interviews with councillors, and a trip to Bodmin to take a look at the Beacon technology park courtesy of Ann Kerridge – some images in the gallery above – this is my first piece in my second run as a freelance journalist, for the Guardian’s Society pages. Cornwall council is taking a pragmatic approach to outsourcing, trying to create and protect local jobs, increase efficiency and involve its local NHS trusts.

Continue reading “Cornwall council’s privatisation compromise”

Further reading: the Cornwall council and NHS outsourcing rebellion

The last fortnight has seen extraordinary events in Cornwall. This Tuesday, council leader Alec Robertson lost a vote of no confidence, primarily over plans to outsource many local council and NHS jobs. Jim Currie, a councillor who opposes the scheme, and who had resigned last week as deputy leader, won the vote to replace him. (Both are Conservatives.) The debate was watched live via the internet by around 4,400 people. Continue reading “Further reading: the Cornwall council and NHS outsourcing rebellion”

Where is The North? Where is The South? The NHS can help

Perhaps the most evocative road signs are those that mention not a city or town, but a region – particularly when that region is The North, which appears (as The NORTH) on signs as far south as Upper Street in Islington. But there is a problem: where is The North, or at least, where is its southern boundary? Continue reading “Where is The North? Where is The South? The NHS can help”

Blackpool trams are going places. Blackpool can too

I love Blackpool, mainly because of the rides, from sedate Blackpool trams to the rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, culminating in the enormous Big One. There is surely no finer Blackpool experience than plummeting towards the promenade at 87mph, as the sun shines on the sea. Continue reading “Blackpool trams are going places. Blackpool can too”