Friday, 19 September 2014

Cornish Assembly: the Liberal Democrats need to come clean

Two days ago, I wrote a blog about the Liberal Democrat’s “commitment” to a Cornish Assembly.

I was extremely critical about Alex Folkes’ statement that: “My belief is that the current Cornwall Council should take on more powers and become the assembly.”

And I set out my incredulity about the Lib Dem view that devolution to Cornwall should be about further local government reform and not the creation of a new and powerful Cornish Assembly.

But further to this, I have just seen a report that Cornwall’s Liberal Democrats will launch their campaign for a Cornish Assembly at a meeting in Bodmin, next week, which will be addressed by Lib Dem MPs and parliamentary candidates.

Julia Goldsworthy is quoted as saying:

“As Scotland and Wales take still more power from Westminster, the rest of the UK cannot be left behind. We need real devolution in Cornwall too. Not just more power for local government, but a proper legislative assembly for Cornwall like Wales has.

“Ours is the only UK party committed at the highest level to a Cornish Assembly, and we have the capacity to deliver it. The Conservatives continue to believe that Cornwall should be ruled from London.

“Real devolution from London will mean we can devolve even more power from the new Assembly to towns and parishes all around Cornwall.”

I am confused. The “proper legislative assembly for Cornwall” referenced in the statement contradicts what Alex Folkes said only days ago. But the statement also talks about devolving more power to towns and parishes, as if it was only a unitary authority.

We need clarity from the Liberal Democrats. What exactly are they going to be campaigning for?

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