Penzance Town Centre

Penzance Town Centre

Friday 19 July 2019

Coming soon - another General Election - Don't be Silent

The largest party in the next General Election will be the same party as always – the party of non-voters - see here for the implications.  Typically 34% of registered voters don’t vote in General Elections. To this can be added those who have not registered (may have moved house or never registered).

Check Registration:  You can check your voter registration with Cornwall Council (phone or email enquiry) detail here 

Registration to Vote:  You can register to vote online – check here.  (need NI number, they like your passport number, takes 5 minutes).

Postal Vote:  Avoid the risk of being ‘away on the day' – apply here

Appoint a Proxy:  You can appoint somebody else to vote for you (in Armed Force? travel a lot?): apply here 

Special situations:

Students:  Don't miss out on your vote.  See advice here

EU Nationals:  Register to vote in local elections. See rules here.

Armed Forces:  Register as ordinary voter or as service voter if likely to be posted overseas.  Advice here.

UK Citizens Overseas:  See rules here

Thursday 16 May 2019

Council Tax - Class F Exemption/Cornwall Council restriction judged unlawful

Council Tax - Class F exemptions – Cornwall Council judged to be restricting entitlement unlawfully.  This is a bit specialist but it will affect hundreds of families in Cornwall every year dealing with an empty property following the death of a parent or grandparent.
The law allows exemption from Council Tax for rented and owned homes on the death of the sole occupier from the date of death until up to 6 months after the award of probate provide the property remains continuously unoccupied and nobody else is liable due to shared ownership or having their name on the tenancy agreement.  

Cornwall Council has been restricting this exemption to the date of the award of probate based upon its ‘discretion’.    This policy will be an ‘earner’ for Cornwall Council as there will be hundreds of instances a year of homes being sold after the death of a parent to settle the deceased parent’s will and sales take months and cannot be completed until after the award of probate.  The purpose of the Class F exemption is to provide a 6 month period of grace to settle the estate. 

This policy has recently resulted in an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal which was successful – Cornwall Council has had to refund over £500 of Council Tax which was not legally due.   Decisions by Valuation Tribunals (referred to as ‘lower tier’ judgements) do not set a legal precedent so this use of ‘discretion’ by Cornwall Council may continue.   For the judgement to set a legal precedent it has to be a ‘upper tier’ judgement (High Court).  No case concerning Class F exemptions has ever reached the High court because the costs well exceed the loss of up to 6 months Council Tax exemption.

Any refusal of a Class F exemption must first be appealed with Cornwall Council and only appealed to the Valuation Tribunal if refused by Cornwall Council.  Cornwall Council decision letters turning down appeals should identify the appellant’s right to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal but that did not happen in the case in question.  The first struggle was to get the Valuation Tribunal to accept the Cornwall Council decision letter as’ kosher’ because it not include any reference to the right to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.  Anybody confronted with a similar Class F problem can message me for more on this matter. 

Valuation Tribunal appeal number  0840M239634/283C .  The decision can be found at the link below by inserting the appeal number:  

Friday 26 April 2019

EU Elections - Party links for Volunteering & Donations

Rather than publish links for the just the two new parties participating in the European Parliament elections on 23 May 19 I have included links for all of the significant parties......

Change UK – The Independent Party

The BREXIT Party

The Green Party
Home Page (for EU campaign):
Volunteer Page:

Conservative Party

Labour Party

Liberal Democratic Party

UK Independence Party
Donate: (click on donate)

Monday 22 April 2019

European Elections 23 May 2019

The European Parliament elections take place on 23 May 2019.  The UK elects 73 MEPs of whom 6 represent SW England (inc Cornwall).

The official timetable for the election is here 

The Notice of Election issued on 12 Apr 19 is here

Key dates:

Nominations to stand deadline:                                                Wed. 24 Apr 19

Registering to vote deadline (if not already registered to vote):   Tue. 7 May 19

-    Easy to read guide to registering to vote here
-    Register to vote link here  
Postal vote application deadline (if not already registered)      Wed. 8 May 19

Proxy vote application deadline (if not already registered)       Wed. 15 May 19

Outcome of Last Election (2014) 

-     South West result here
-     Cornwall result here
-     Cornwall turnout 36%

Who is Standing for Election?

Follow link here for a list of who is standing for which party.