The Case for Cornwall and more powers
Should Cornwall Council be given the opportunity to take on more responsibility which are currently administered in London? The Council thinks so, and has compiled a document called the Case for Cornwall to allow the Council to engage with the Government and start a conversation on devolution.
In the Case for Cornwall document, it sets the scene and how the Council would like to discuss the certain options. Of course all this depends on if the Government is listening and is really serious about devolution. The report to the Council is HERE; the Case for Cornwall document HERE; and the options are HERE.
For those who are thinking why there is no mention of an Assembly is because this document sets the scene and is a building block, rather than the ‘hey, we want it all and our own self-governing body.’ There is no merit of going in ‘All Choughs Blazing’ and getting the document dismissed quickly and thrown in the bin, the Case for Cornwall explains in a measured way what Cornwall could do. Does the document cover everything? No, but it is a damn good starting point.
Of course, the Council is a democratic body, and if the Council voted to have the proposals for an Assembly included, it could. However, after a passionate amendment from Mebyon Kernow (MK) who called for the idea of an Assembly being included in the document, a vote was taken with 14 people supporting the MK amendment. There were two other amendments from the Tory’s and Labour. These were both lost, with 22 people supporting the Tory amendment and (I counted) eight supporting the Labour amendment. Finally a vote was taken on the Case for Cornwall and the vast majority of the Council supported the proposals.
As I said before, all these proposals rest on the Governments willingness to engage with Cornwall Council. We in Cornwall also have to be realistic that Cornwall is not the only area asking for more devolution and powers. I do also understand the Government will have a tricky path to navigate on this whole issue as it cannot be seen as giving too much to one and not enough to other areas. And of course, the whole devolution agenda could dramatically change (both positive and negatively) post the General Election in May.
I guess we play the wait and see game.