Thursday, 10 November 2016

Boundary Commission hearing at Truro – day one: A report

At Lys Kernow (“New County Hall”) in Truro today, speaker after speaker appeared at the Boundary Commission hearing to raise objections to the proposal for a cross-Tamar constituency.

The various representations were extremely well-crafted and made a strong case against Devonwall. Many people called for the Boundary Commission to join them in making representations to central government to amend the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act, while many outlined the distinctive characteristics of Cornwall and its identity. Three people gave presentations entirely in Cornish which were translated into English by Mark Trevethan.

People at the hearing who opposed Devonwall came from a range of Cornish cultural groups, some independent councillors, as well as a representatives from a number of political parties (Green Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Mebyon Kernow and even one Conservative!)

I left at six and there were still a couple of people due to speak later. The full list of speakers against Devonwall up to 6.00 was as follows:

Candy Atherton, Bert Biscoe, Dee Brotherton, Armorel Carlyon, Mike Chappell, Matthew Clark, Merv Davey, Mael Garrec, Peter Harvey, Claire Hewlett, Loveday Jenkin, Ian Lobb, Andrew Long, Greg Matthews, Nev Meek, Jack Morrison, Dave Munday, Gareth Parry, Mick Paynter, Amanda Pennington, Milo Perrin, John Pollard, Helen Rawe, Donald Rawe, Hugh Rowe, William Thomas, Mike Tresidder, Sarah Tresidder and Robert Webber. Apologies if I have missed anyone.

Highlights for me included the kilted William Thomas bursting into song with a fabulous rendition of “Bro Goth Agan Tasow, and Mael Garrec from the Union Democratique Bretonne making an insightful contribution about the negative aspects of border-blurring which had been experienced in Britanny.

Three speakers did not oppose a cross-Tamar seat. They were all Conservatives – George Eustice MP, Tim Smith and Richard Stephens.

I will be speaking tomorrow at about 2.30 and there are still a number of open slots for the hearing which will last from 9.00 to 5.00.

Staff from the Boundary Commission were very accommodating today and a number of people who turned to support other speakers were able speak themselves in some of the vacant slots.

So if you are free tomorrow – why not come along, have a say and oppose Devonwall!

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