The Leader of Cornwall Council John Pollard has written to the leaders of the main national political parties in England calling on them to give their support for greater powers and freedoms to be given to Cornwall following the general election.
In the letter, which has been sent to Prime Minister David Cameron; Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg; Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband; UKIP Leader Nigel Farage and the Leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas, Mr Pollard sets out the reasons why Cornwall should have greater control over its own affairs and calls on all the main political parties to back the ‘Case for Cornwall’.
The letter, together with copies of the revised Case for Cornwall document which sets out details of the additional powers and freedoms which are being sought, has also been sent to representatives of the main political parties in Cornwall.
“Following the Scottish Referendum last September the devolution of powers and responsibilities within England has become a burning topic” said John Pollard. “Cornwall needs to have more local accountability, more local control, more local direction and more local democracy. The powers, freedoms and flexibility we are requesting are all realistic and will enable us to deliver a better service to our communities and create a more flexible and sustainable Cornwall.”
“Our ambition is to achieve ‘double devolution’ so that the Council’s partners, including our town and parish colleagues and our partners in the voluntary sector, benefit from the transfer of powers from London to Cornwall. These are actions that the unitary Council, working with our partners, can achieve.
“We recognise that there are those with ambitions for different forms of governance and our ‘case’ will lay the foundations for later developments . As our negotiations on devolved powers develop, so will the debate on wider issues of governance and management.”
Following the decision of the full Council to back the draft “Case for Cornwall” in January, further work has been carried out on developing the “asks”.
The proposals set out in the Case for Cornwall document now include :
- Public transport and connectivity – including additional powers to decentralise bus regulation and retaining a fraction of fuel duty to maintain Cornwall’s roads
- Housing – devolution of powers and land holdings from the Homes and Communities Agency, working with the Government to identify ways of managing the number of second homes and retaining Stamp Duty to build affordable housing
- Health and social care – working with the Government to integrate health and social care
- Energy – greater control over the development of electrical grid and unlocking potential for geothermal energy
- Public sector efficiency – devolved delivery of funding and investment streams
The Council has already started discussions and negotiations with the main Government departments so that it can refine and further debate the Case for Cornwall before presenting a detailed submission before the summer recess of Parliament in July.
“The Leaders of the three main political parties have all publically backed the principle of more decisions being made at a local level” said John Pollard. “I am asking them to demonstrate their commitment to devolution by giving their support to the Case for Cornwall.
“I am also calling on the people of Cornwall to demonstrate their support for the Case for Cornwall by asking candidates standing for election in their local areas for their views on our proposals.
“People can also pledge their support by joining the #standupforcornwall campaign on social media by following us on Twitter @CaseforCornwall using #standupforcornwall or on the Case for Cornwall Facebook page .
“This is a vital time for Cornwall and we want as many people as possible to standupforcornwall so we can take greater control of our own affairs. “
Details of the Case for Cornwall are available on the Council’s website – where members of the public can pledge their support. Copies of the Case for Cornwall document will also be available in libraries and one stop shops where people can also pledge their support.
Story posted 30 March 2015