The Government and Cornwall Council have negotiated a proposed Devolution Deal, as you now all know.
If it is accepted, Government would give additional powers and funding to Cornwall Council, plus more funding and more control over the decision-making that affects Cornwall’s residents and businesses.
The Government has set an important condition: if Cornwall Council is to receive more powers and funding, it needs to change the way the Council is governed, from the current system of a Council Leader, elected by the 87 Cornwall Councillors every year, to a Mayor directly elected by the people of Cornwall every four years.
No change, no deal, it seems.
The Government says:
The devolution deal transfers new powers and a £360 million investment fund over 30 years to Cornwall Council, to deliver on the region’s priorities.
The deal is subject to local consultation, and a council resolution to change the governance model to the directly elected mayor and cabinet executive governance model. The transfer of new functions will require secondary legislation, requiring local consent and parliamentary approval. The deal envisages the election of a mayor for Cornwall in May 2024.
This deal builds on the previous 2015 devolution deal for Cornwall and is the next step to deepening devolution for the region. The deal unlocks the benefits of devolution for the ~570,000 people living in Cornwall. In addition to the £360 million investment fund over 30 years, the deal includes £8.7 million to support the building of new homes on brownfield land, and up to £10 million for housing and heritage-led regeneration.
On the doubters’ side, however, it is said that £12million per annum is a drop in the ocean 1% of Cornwall’s budget (i.e.,not enough money) and that the terms of the deal are weak, such as in the area of planning/transfer of decision-making powers. The council faces a shortfall of £63m in its budget for the next year.
There are also a couple of information/consultation events locally (Bude & Launceston)
06 February 2023
The Falcon Hotel, Bude, 6.30pm
Venue: The Falcon Hotel – Function Room, Breakwater Road, Bude EX23 8SD
07 February 2023
Launceston Town Hall, 6.30pm
Venue: Main Hall, Launceston Town Hall, Western Rd, Launceston, PL15 7AR