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“A VOTE at the Liberal Democrats’ spring conference could make a bid for Cornish devolution party policy.

The motion is among a raft of constitutional changes, including a move to proportional representation and House of Lords reform, due to be debated by party members in York next month.

Cornwall Councillor Alex Folkes, deputy leader of the Lib-Dem group, said the proposal was for “asymmetric devolution” where different regions could assume different powers from government.

“The key here is what is right for each area and if they want to go at different paces they can,” Cllr Folkes said. “We needed to work out how to avoid resistance in some areas affecting other areas’ determination. We want devolution because there are fundamental issues about people in Cornwall knowing what is best for Cornwall, just as is the case in Devon.”

Cllr Folkes said the county’s “culture, identity and history” made it a special case and that foundations for a devolved assembly, based on the Welsh model, had already been laid through the creation of the unitary authority.”

He added: “We think it is right for Cornwall. It should be the master of its own destiny and has, for far too long, been ignored by central government.”

The motion, to be voted on at the conference in York from March 7-9, proposes an “English Devolution Enabling Act”, which would devolve power to Cornwall, and also to London and any council, or group of councils, with a population of a million or more.

Ten years ago, Cornish party Mebyon Kernow (MK) handed over a 50,000-name petition to 10 Downing Street calling for a Cornish Assembly.

MK Cornwall Councillor Andrew Long welcomed “another conversion from the Lib-Dems” but had doubts over the party’s motives. He said: “Could they be worried about the popularity of Mebyon Kernow, which is fielding six candidates in the next General Election, and how that might affect their seats?””

By IainS Posted: February 10, 2014


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  • IainS  |  February 10 2014, 2:51PM

    We would like to believe their motives are honourable but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating because we have been let down so many times before. "When we had 50,000 signatures on a petition for a democratically elected Cornwall Assembly, they jumped on the bandwagon," he said. "But when they gained control of Cornwall Council in 2005 they utterly failed to do anything about it."

  • Taxman100  |  February 10 2014, 3:59PM

    I am sure the last paragraph was intended to be humorous, as it wouldn't matter how many candidates Mebyon Kernow fielded the result would be the same - loss of all six deposits. They really must have more money than sense! If the Liberal Democrats, and MK for that matter, are frightened of any other political party it is Ukip. The emerging party having gained six seats in the most recent Cornwall Council elections as opposed to MK's four, and we all recall MK, in one form or another, has been around for a very long time without any notion of significant success. The Liberal Democrats may suggest proportional representation, but as in the past it will be kicked into the long grass by the electorate: as happened decisively in respect of their Alternative Vote referendum. The only interest they have in this country is to sell it to the corrupt EU, and that will never happen. Reform the House of Lords? What they mean is stack it full of LibDem and Labour peers to filibuster, as they did recently, any suggestion of removing ourselves from the grasp of the corrupt EU. And, don't forget that household name, Mandelson (aided by his side-kick Kinnock) suggested Politician's should decide our fate in Europe and not the electorate. Apparently, we the electorate plebs, are not sufficiently educated to make the decision for ourselves. Now, that is what I call Labour and LibDem's version of democracy. I think they are in for a sudden awakening!

  • AnBalores  |  February 10 2014, 6:23PM

    I never trust a Lib Dem promise. As for UKIP, does anyone honestly believe they are serious except for a few right wing Tories and assorted other cranks who probably haven't heard the bad news about the loss of Empire and decline? http://tinyurl.com/kn7bsmp


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