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Bob resigns from Cabinet after Council fails to take action in respect of serious health and safety incident within Cormac

I have resigned from the Cabinet with effect from 25 April 2020. My reason is as follows.

A resident in my division called Joe (not his real name) was an employee of Cormac. He worked as a highways safety inspector. On 16 December 2016, Joe was working alone in the Grampound Road depot. An incident happened that resulted in Joe sustaining life changing injuries and he has never returned to work at Cormac and he will probably never work again. He was medically retired from Cormac in spring 2018.

No health and safety investigation was carried out at the time of the incident. Five weeks after the event, Cormac filed a RIDDOR report with the HSE but that report was a work of fiction. I only found out about the incident several months later and, after my intervention, a so-called investigation took place within Cormac. Cormac refused to release that report to me. Cormac lied to the HSE about the incident on two more occasions.

I have had a number of meetings with chief executives of Cormac, the chief executive of Corserv, and the chief executive of Cornwall Council over the past two-and-half years trying to get Cormac to admit their failings over this incident and to apologise to Joe, but I have been met with a wall of silence. It is clear that there has been a significant cover up within Corserv and this has been condoned by our chief executive.

On 9 March 2020, I presented a report to my Cabinet colleagues and I asked them to instruct the chief executive to put this matter right. The Leader has had conversations with the chief executive but she has point blank refused to do anything about it. We are now at an impasse and I cannot continue to serve in a Cabinet that is not prepared to take the appropriate action. That is why I have resigned.

To all the officers in the Planning and Sustainable Development Service and the Economic Growth Service, I thank you for all the great work that you have done whilst I have been your portfolio holder. You have given me fantastic support in my role and it has been a real pleasure to work with you. I am sure that you will continue your great work in the future without me. The same goes for the others within the Economic Growth and Development Directorate.

To those many Cormac employees, colleagues of Joe, who wrote to me asking me to try to get justice for Joe, all that I can say is that I tried my best, but my best was not good enough. I am sorry to have let you down.

A copy of the report that I presented to Cabinet colleagues can be downloaded here.

A copy of the incident report that Cormac compiled in August 2017 can be downloaded here. Please note that this is a very large file, approx. 27 MB.


April 2020



See Resignation from Cabinet

See Cormac incident update

See Cormac solicitor letter

See Interview recording

See Council refuses to answer questions about Cormac

See HSE letter to Cormac

See Court case threat update

See Behind the Headlines

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