Thursday, 12 August 2010

Cornwall Council ignoring councillors and backing Devonwall LEP

At the last Full Council meeting, Cornwall Councillors unanimously backed a motion put forward by myself and fellow Lib Dems calling for a Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership to replace the unaccountable Regional Development Agency.

Now it appears that the Cabinet are set to ignore that decision and to bid with Devon, Plymouth and Torbay for a 'Peninsula LEP'.

This is a huge step in the wrong direction and it tramples all over the democratic will of the Council. Merging Cornwall with Devon will mean we end up as the poor relation once again. Cornwall's needs are very different from those of Devon and, as the smaller partner, it will be very easy for us to be overlooked.

According to press reports, Cornwall will be part of bids for two different LEPs - one just covering Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and the second including Devon as well.

I have no objection to Cornwall talking to other areas about some issues, but it should be joint work between two distinct organisations, not a merger which damages our ability to stand on our own two feet and cedes control over our affairs to others.

I have written to the Council's Monitoring Officer asking him to clarify whether ignoring the decision of the full council is legal.

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