Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Questions on the unitary decision

I have written to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to express concern at the undemocratic way in which the County Council’s proposal for a single unitary authority was given the go-ahead.

The decision letter to the Chief Executive of Cornwall County Council stated "the Secretary of State considers that ... the proposal would command a broad cross-section of support from a range of stakeholders, both public and private sector, as well as some support from the general public. She notes that whilst certain districts carried out polling which came down heavily against the unitary proposal, the climate in which the polls took place suggests that the results need to be viewed with caution."

I have requested to be informed how, in spite of such overwhelming opposition, the Secretary of State was able to come to the conclusion that there was a 'broad cross-section of support' for the proposal in Cornwall. At the same time I have asked to be provided with full lists of those organisations and individuals who supported the unitary bid and those who opposed it.

I have also raised concerns about the County Council’s ‘supplementary submission’ to DCLG which contained considerable misinformation and have asked how the Secretary of State assessed this documentation and what weight she gave to it.

The response will be posted as soon as I receive it.

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