“Should more power be devolved to Cornwall and, if so, in what form? If the answer is ‘no’, please say why not.”
However, I am concerned about calls to devolve further powers from Westminster to Cornwall Council. Cornwall Council is barely in its sixth year – we do not need another round of confusing, local government reorganisation.
In my view, Cornwall Council has yet to put to good effect the powers it received as a Unitary Authority under Labour and through changes introduced by this government. Take housing for example. Cornwall Council is woefully behind in adopting its Local Plan causing untold disruption and unrest in communities across West Cornwall.
Rather than diverting a huge amount of officer time in developing proposals for further devolution, Cornwall Council should be using the new powers, flexibilities and responsibilities it has to improve services and outcomes for local people.
Cornwall Council needs time to bed-in and deliver in its responsibility as a Unitary Authority.
There is an opportunity for Town and Parish Councils to take on services from Cornwall Council. If funded fairly, then these councils could cluster together to deliver more services closer to home. This is where I would like to see powers devolved.