News updates are a handy way of looking at recent news items and commenting on them. They are aimed at producing information and also stimulating debate and discussion.
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News that Prince Charles has extra rights – the ability to examine bills , and it appears give his consent- came to light following an FOI. What was not revealed was whether any changes were made to the bills or quite why he has this right.
Andrew George, MP said:
The Duchy plays an important role in this constituency, which is much appreciated. At the same time, constituents are entitled to know what role the Duchy plays in seeking to influence the legislative process. If princes and paupers are to live as equals in a modern Britain, anyone who enjoys exceptional influence or veto should exercise it with complete transparency. The Duchy asserts that it is merely a private estate, but my constituents were astonished to learn that it appears to have effective powers of veto over the Government.
The Duchy likes to style itself as a private estate – this has been challenged and apparently successfully.
Michael Bruton, co-founder of the Port Navas Quay Conservation Committee, had asked the duchy to disclose information about the Port Navas Oyster Farm under legislation which requires public bodies to reveal their environmental record.
The Duchy of Cornwall, which comprises the Prince of Wales’s business interests, has been ordered to disclose environmental data from an oyster farm.
The decision by an information tribunal redefines the duchy, a 700-year-old private institution, as a public body, leaving it open to further challenges. The ruling came after a legal battle against the farm near Falmouth. The tribunal said the duchy had not carried out an environmental assessment of the farm.
The potentially far-reaching decision defining the duchy as a public body under environmental regulations was made by the First-Tier Tribunal on information rights, a court that deals with disputes relating to freedom of information.
On the housing front
ST IVES MP Andrew George has called on the Government to clamp down harder on second-home ownership. He says anyone wanting to turn a property into a holiday home should be forced to apply for planning permission.
Meanwhile a report revealed yet again the housing problems in the ‘Westcountry’ and points west.
Sky-high house prices, rising rents and a lack of affordable housing have created a “broken housing market” which makes living in the Westcountry harder than ever. This is the conclusion of Home Truths, a new study by the National Housing Federation (NHF) which says the gap between the haves and have-nots is wider than ever.
The answer will probably be to build more. We have been here before! Which is probably what the inquiry below will call for.
A call of “action not words” has heralded a major new inquiry which will thrust the Westcountry’s affordable homes crisis into the spotlight. Campaign group Housing Voice is to gather evidence and “innovative ideas” from the entire sector, including people trapped in poor quality housing or priced out of the housing market.