Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Case for Cornwall

Cornwall Council today passed the 'Case for Cornwall' - our ask of government for more devolution of powers and responsibilities. We also had a briefing about the deal that the Government has negotiated with the authority. Sadly, the latter debate was held behind closed doors at the insistence of the Government.

The case itself is pretty broad with asks in a wide range of areas including the economy and training, culture, transport and the integration of health and social care services. It also includes requests for devolution in housing, planning and for much greater freedoms for Cornwall in respect of finance.

The Case for Cornwall was backed by councillors by 63 votes to 24. All the Conservatives who were present voted against, as did UKIP councillors. Lib Dems and Independents voted (broadly) in favour, as did Labour and MK. Sadly absent was Scott Mann. Although he is now MP for North Cornwall, he is still a councillor. As one of his constituents I got in touch with him to ask his views on the Case for Cornwall. Sadly he has not responded.

As for the deal on offer, the government's demand for secrecy means that I cannot say any more. It's fair to say that it is not all that we might have wanted, however.

The council's official line is that the deal will be made public as soon as it is ready to be announced. I am sure that it is entirely coincidental that David Cameron is planning to be in Cornwall on Thursday, signing pen at the ready.

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