Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Council to maintain its anti-Devonwall position

Cornwall Council will be making the case against Devonwall when it speaks to the Boundary Commission public hearings next week. That was one of the outcomes of today's Electoral Review Panel meeting at County Hall.

The Boundary Commission has published its proposals for five wholly Cornish seats and one cross border seat linking Devon and Cornwall. They did this because the new rules state that all seats must be within 5% of the ideal number of constituents and there is no formula that allows either five or six wholly Cornish seats within the 5% threshold. It is proposed that the cross border seat includes Bude, Launceston and Camelford as well as Torrington. Holsworthy and Bideford (see map).

A few months ago, the Council voted unanimously in favour of a proposal that we should keep Cornwall whole. That resolution will form the basis of the Council's evidence to the Boundary Commission.

In case the proposals for new boundaries do go ahead, we will also be making the argument for using the new ward boundaries that will come into effect for the 2013 elections. One of the rules that the Boundary Commission is meant to be working to is to avoid splitting local government wards between two different parliamentary constituencies - the reason being that such splitting will tend to mean natural communities are forced apart. But because the council wards will change before the next general election, the current proposals fail to meet this target.

The Council will also look at producing its own formal submission for an alternative course of action. This will be done with another meeting of the Electoral Review Panel to which all Cornwall Councillors will be invited.

If you want to have your say to the Boundary Commission, you can do so by following the instructions here.

In other news, the Electoral Review Panel voted for me as the new Chairman following the sad death of Mike Clayton. Contrary to reports in a local paper, the Panel also chose not to endorse a new boundary proposal that was put forward by a lobby group.

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