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'Cornwall Deal' could give devolved power to the county

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 22, 2012

Nick Clegg

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The Government is in talks to hand powers down to Cornwall as part of its promise to empower local communities, the Western Morning News has learned.

MPs and councillors from Cornwall met Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is leading the drive to move power out of London, before Parliament's summer break.

Mr Clegg was urged to back a "Cornwall Deal", giving the region more clout to implement polices over housing, health and economic development, as well as more funding to carry out any new role.

The principle has already been established through "City Deals", which have been awarded to Manchester, Leeds and Bristol among other areas taking over from London decision makers.

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Cornwall is unlikely to be included in a second wave of deals to devolve power as the policy has been designed for urban authorities. But advocates on the peninsula believe they have established a "dialogue" for Cornwall to pioneer the concept for rural areas.

Those who attended the meeting have told the WMN that officials in the Government's Cabinet Office have been tasked to work with organisations in Cornwall to help them draw up initial proposals. The council, NHS and enterprise partnership in Cornwall are all closely involved.

Details emerged against the backdrop of a furious row over Conservative calls to reject the campaign for a Cornish Assembly – a devolved administration akin to governments in Scotland and Wales. But talks over a "Cornwall Deal" are unlikely to involve full-blown devolution coveted by Cornish nationalists

The meeting with Mr Clegg included representatives from Cornwall Council, the Cornish Constitutional Convention and three Cornwall MPs.

Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives, presented the Deputy Prime Minister a dossier entitled A Duchy Deal? Powers to build affordable homes, pool all funding and expertise to create jobs and combining NHS, social care and welfare budgets under an "integrated" health service are among the ideas being floated.

A spokesman for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said: "Rebalancing the economy is one of the Deputy Prime Minister's key priorities in government – that's why he pioneered the city deals, of which wave two will be announced in due course.

"He is also extremely keen to address the particular challenges faced by rural economies and that's why he met a group of MPs and councillors from Cornwall to discuss the issue."

When proposals emerge, they will need approval from all major public bodies in Cornwall. One natural deadline is Cornwall Council elections in May.

Mr George said: "Cornwall should have a greater say on those things that affect Cornwall. That's all. There's nothing sinister about it."

Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, who was also at the meeting, said: "Are we going to get better public services, will it be value for money, will it create more jobs? I believe we need to satisfy these things if we are to have decision-making in Cornwall rather than Whitehall."

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  • youngcornwall  |  August 23 2012, 9:36AM

    I would have thought this is a very good time now, not later, for those with the same aspirations as MK and others who think the same way to get together and pool their resources and fight for what they think is best for Cornwall, a little bit of unity would go a long way if this is at all possible.

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  • eu_blues  |  August 22 2012, 9:22PM

    We all want things delivered for the People of Cornwall, so that our Young have a future, that will NOT happen untill we get our God given right Assembly. AnGoff 1955 An Assembly ruled over by the EU, not the Cornish people. That's nearer the mark. Cornwall will be guided as a regional state through the EU, and Cornwall Council will be the beacon that will enable this to be achieved.

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  • eu_blues  |  August 22 2012, 9:15PM

    Mr Clegg was urged to back a "Cornwall Deal", giving the region more clout to implement polices over housing, health and economic development, as well as more funding to carry out any new role. So, will the Cornish population get a say in how these important polices will be implemented?. Or will all of this policy arrangements be made behind closed doors as usual. I suspect so.

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  • Slimslad  |  August 22 2012, 7:39PM

    I would vote Stannary. Oh...Wait they are not electable, are they? LOL

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  • AnGof1955  |  August 22 2012, 7:22PM

    Yes Slimslad, and who do you Vote for??

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  • Slimslad  |  August 22 2012, 6:21PM

    "only come to Cornwall through a forward thinking, progressive Assembly." The criteria for being part of this "Assembly" could only come through the ballot box. The ballot box will bring in the same old, same old.

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  • AnGof1955  |  August 22 2012, 6:05PM

    YC you are so far in Bed with the bearers of false witness, that you cannot see the Trees through the Wood. Education is just one small aspect of what is needed, and none of it will come about without changing the status quo. So no YC it is not me who is holding things back, it is the likes of yourself who cannot or will not see that change will only come to Cornwall through a forward thinking, progressive Assembly. Which is what myself and others are calling for. While I am actually out there making the difference, you sit at your keyboard with your head in the sand. So like I said, your opinions mean nothing.

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  • KernowGB  |  August 22 2012, 5:35PM

    @youngcornwall (re Wednesday, August 22 2012, 4:51PM) Still nothing useful to say? Why do you consider AnGof1955's comment on 'Education' inappropriate, given the context of the above article and this comment: ----------------------------------------- Mr George said: "Cornwall should have a greater say on those things that affect Cornwall. That's all. There's nothing sinister about it." ------------------------------------------ Why, then, do you fear the possibility of a 'Cornish' Education Curriculum with its attendant Cornish self-empowerment? What could be a better bulwark against that 'Truth' that you endlessly choose to 'deny''?

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  • PaddyTrembath  |  August 22 2012, 5:32PM

    youngcornwall wrote:- "For goodness sake man get a life, there are more important things that the people of Cornwall want and need at this present time, people likes of you are holding Cornwall back, can't you see that." Never mind YC, all he has to do is to repent, and you will be able to have a good laugh about all this down the local in heaven when you have both passed on.

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  • KernowGB  |  August 22 2012, 5:04PM

    @efranks101 (re Wednesday, August 22 2012, 3:30PM) You make a lot of points, but what is their relevance to a place that has been experiencing such things for generations and not just since a bank/government-induced economic meltdown? Why, in fact, is it an either/or scenario that you are suggesting that Cornish Rights should subsidise, by continuing to ignore a wrong that has been around for a very, very long time within a world that 'today' take such wrongs very seriously. You said, and I quote, ------------------------------------ "They must come first, befoe this vanity project. Crying out for minority rights and blaming London will not solve the economic and societal problems we face" ------------------------------------- How do you know that and how would you define what you understand about (what you call) this "vanity project"? Uuuummmm "Vanity", "Project"? Perhaps this response to Monday's Report, might just provide some context. http://tinyurl.com/8rxrdxu What would be the cost consequence of the Government recognising 'the Cornish' as a 'national minority'?

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