Lib Dems claimed Unitary means devolved powers

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Post by truru » Sat May 02, 2009 2:22 pm

The Lib Dems have consistently claimed that a Unitary Authority would mean greater powers for Cornwall. It'd be interesting to see if their claims ever come to fruition so it'd be a good idea to keep them all in one place.

There are a few instances where the unitary authority was first sold as a stepping stone to a Cornish Assembly:

- Dick Cole claims that while speaking on the Politics Programme (29th October 2006), Colin Breed MP said that the unitary authority would be "akin to a Cornish Assembly". (I did email the BBC to ask if there is any way to view that edition but got no response)
Dick Cole blog post, 14 July 2007 ... ority.html

- David Whalley said: "The unitary council is one step along the way. We have a long-term strategy. There is something inevitable about the journey to a Cornish Assembly. We see things happening around us – the dissolution of the regional assembly, changes in the way the RDA engages with sub-regions."
Cornish Constitutional Convention press release, 1st December 2007

- Carrick District Council said that MPs were describing it as a stepping stone: "The Cornish MP’s are adamant that the new unitary authority is a first stepping stone towards a Cornish Assembly which we believe is wholly inconsistent with the Governments current policy stance."
(CDC Consultation Response, link unavailable from Carrick site after council switchover), but is available here:, page 15

- Text published on Matthew Taylor's website (27th November 2007), but not attributed to Matthew Taylor. The article talks about the unitary authority but uses the word assembly: "The proposal from Cornwall means replacing the current seven County, District and Borough Councils with a single elected assembly which could take powers from central government and the region."

The following is the promotion of the unitary authority as a way for devolving greater powers to Cornwall from Westminster and Bristol:

- After CCC's bid for unitary status, Cornish MPs described it as "a step in the right direction". Andrew George said the change to unitary wasn't just about changing local government borders, but about securing more powers, and Matthew Taylor said "The decision today is a big step towards many more decisions affecting Cornwall being taken in Cornwall instead of by Government quangos" ... nwall.html 23rd Jan 2007

- MPs claimed that they "found clear support for proposals to devolve power on economic development, strategic planning, affordable housing and health care", and that they "secured reassurances that the new authority would clear the way for real and meaningful devolution of power to Cornwall". Matthew Taylor and Colin Breed asserted that powers will be devolved from London. ... __mps.html 19th Jun 2007

- Dan Rogerson: "Following years of pressure from Liberal Democrats, the Minister is making the right noises. This shows just how big an opportunity the new Council for Cornwall could be for our communities. New powers are finally in sight." ... -in-sight/ 18th Jul 2007

- Matthew Taylor: "I am pleased that we got across to the Minister that the Cornish bid is very unique, in that it is a model of “double devolution”, which not only decentralises power away from London and the unelected region to Cornwall, but that within that takes power to the most local level, giving each of the county’s sixteen major towns and all of their surrounding communities voice in decision-making." 18th Apr 2007

- Matthew Taylor again: "The Minister has already reassured us that a unitary authority would clear the way for the real and meaningful devolution of power to Cornwall." and "This is a once in a lifetime chance for Cornwall to take back power from London and the unelected region." 19th Jun 2007

- Matthew Taylor yet again: "This news opens the way for Cornwall to have more say over its own future, and for better and more efficient local government structures. This is a once in a generation opportunity – but it is just the beginning. My colleagues and I have been pressuring Ministers to make sure that the shake-up is not simply cosmetic and will genuinely mean greater control for local people over local issues. They have assured us that a single Cornish Council will give us the opportunity to win more say for Cornwall over local services, and we will be holding them to it." 25th July 2007

- In March 2007 Andrew George said: "This could be a welcome first step for a new beginning for Cornwall", Dan Rogerson said "All five of Cornwall's MPs will be working with the County and District Councils to keep up the pressure on Ministers to deliver real devolution to Cornwall. No less will do.", and Lord Paul Tyler, a Lib Dem peer, said: "The Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Team believe that a united Cornish authority could bid for additional opportunities, for example, to pilot the abolition of Council Tax in Cornwall and its replacement by a fairer Local Income Tax." ... voice.html 29th Mar 2007

On 18th April 2007, Cornish MPs had a debate in Westminster Hall about the Cornish unitary bid and greater devolved powers:

- Dan Rogerson said: "My hon. Friend the Member for Truro and St. Austell (Matthew Taylor) was trying to get across what we see as the different nature of the bid from Cornwall, in that we hope that it will be not just a bid on a par with existing unitaries and the aspirations of other parts of the country to have unitaries, but a bid for a new form of local strategic authority." ... eform.html

- You can see the whole debate including Dan Rogerson's above statement on the TheyWorkForYou website: ... -18b.139.0

- A summary of that debate is on the Lib Dem website, which also talks about the devolved powers Cornwall will get: ... 33396;show

In March 2009, as elections drew closer, Andrew George made the following statements:

- "A new structure of Government for Cornwall should be used as the first step on the road to creating a powerful directly elected Cornish Regional Assembly, able to shape the future of public services, environmental policy and economic regeneration." ... beginning?

- "Although the debate in Cornwall has matured in the last 20 years, there is still a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation of what it would be appropriate for Cornwall to try to achieve through a devolved regional assembly, which is what this paper is arguing we should be moving towards." ... beginning?

edited by: truru, May 02, 2009 - 02:28 PM

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Post by T2reloaded » Sat May 02, 2009 4:09 pm

The whole unitary sell from the Lib-Dems has been on the bases of a lie there are NO additional powers indeed the westminster govt has stated this over and over again but the LDs keep repeating the lie in the hope they will be believed. A Cornish assembly requires primary leglisation the unitary was brought in using the same leglisation as set up the english unitarys, it is simply a lie.

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Post by truru » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:25 pm

Clickable and updated links:
CDC Consultation response new link:
http://devon-cornwall-libdems&.....__mps.html;show – not working

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