Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has described the Liberal Democrat announcement about their commitment to the creation of a Cornish Assembly as “ill considered” and a “nonsense.”
On behalf of Mebyon Kernow, Cllr Loveday Jenkin has released the following statement:
“There must be an election on – the Lib Dems are talking about a Cornish Assembly. It is an abject shame they have done nothing about meaningful devolution to Cornwall whilst in government over the last five years.
“The statement from Nick Clegg and Jeremy Rowe contains many fine words about creating a Cornish Assembly, describing it as ‘much like that in Wales.’ But the Liberal Democrat statement is ill considered and goes on to state that they are actually planning to simply give more powers to the unitary authority. Cornwall needs proper devolution – not local government reform.
“Cornwall needs a powerful legislative Assembly – similar to those in Wales and Scotland – that control the majority of the public sector including the National Health Service, all aspects of education, a wide range of public bodies, and local government.
“It is an unbelievable nonsense that the Liberal Democrats do not know the difference between a National Assembly and a local council – thinking they could be one and the same!”
The statement from Nick Clegg and Jeremy Rowe stated that the Assembly could be “formed out of the existing Cornwall Council,” adding that “if Scotland can manage with 129 MSPs for five million people, then nobody can sensibly argue Cornwall needs more than 123 representatives.”
The reality is that Scotland has 129 MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, but it also has a total of 1,222 councillors on a range of 32 principal authorities. While in Wales, the Assembly has 60 AMs and a total of 1,254 councillors on 22 principal authorities.
MK’s model for greater self-government mirrors that of Scotland and Wales, with local communities also served by a small number of principal authorities beneath the National Assembly.