Monday, 29 September 2008

Yet more unitary chaos!

Mebyon Kernow has condemned the manner of the decision by the Liberal Democrat dominated Implementation Executive to call for elections to the unitary council to be delayed until the autumn of 2009.

This follows the ridiculous announcement by the Boundary Committee for England that it will “not be able to complete the work” necessary to decide the new ward boundaries (123 councillors) for elections to the new unitary council by May or June next year and suggests that the elections should proceed on the basis of 82 Councillors on the same electoral divisions as the current County Council.

The present proposal for a delay in the elections would mean that all six district councils (elected in 2007) would be abolished as of the 1st April, but the appointed Implementation Executive would continue along with the 82 sitting county councillors who were elected in 2005 to serve until only May 2009.

Cornwall would therefore be governed for up to six months by councillors with no democratic mandate to serve beyond May next year.

I have already stated that a slight delay in the date of the election, perhaps two-three months, would not be unacceptable to MK but only if the existence of both Cornwall County Council and the district councils was extended until the democratic arrangements are in place for the new Council.

We do not consider it acceptable that David Whalley and the existing Liberal Democrat administration of the County Council should be able to take control of the new Council without an election.

At tonight’s meeting of Restormel Borough Council, there was widespread agreement on this across the chamber. I helped to draft a proposal which was supported by all councillors present – bar the abstention of a couple of Lib Dems. We voted to support a delay in the date of the election until the boundaries for the 123 seats were agreed, but only if the ‘vesting day’ of the new authority was pushed back and the lives of Cornwall County Council and the districts extended until that time.

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