MPs urge more power for Cornwall

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Cornwall’s Liberal Democrat MPs are calling for cross party and cross community support for a new five year programme for Cornwall.

They are launching an initial checklist of policy objectives in advance of the Government’s Queen’s Speech next week, but wish to consult more widely on the programme and how it should develop over the term of the Liberal Democrat/Conservative Government.

Dan Rogerson, Stephen Gilbert and Andrew George are calling for Cornwall to be “ahead of the queue for investment in renewable technology – to be ahead of the game on green policy and to be acknowledged as the ‘Green Peninsula’ within the United Kingdom”.

They also call for more power for Cornwall to determine its housing priorities, its economic development and to have more say on health planning.

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Green jobs, fast broadband, planning controls on out-of-town supermarkets, building up the University for Cornwall, a new stadium for Cornwall and an enhanced recognition of Cornwall’s cultural distinctiveness are also matters they say they will seek to advance in the coming five years.

Before the General Election, the Conservatives pledged a dedicated Minister for Cornwall, but West Cornwall MP Andrew George does not appear to be holding his breath. He said: “I doubt we’ll get it and, in any case, it would be better to give more powers to Cornwall than to maintain a dependency culture of Cornwall micromanaged from Whitehall.

“We acknowledge that the Government must get the deficit under control, but that should not stop Cornwall from galvanising itself, retaining its ambitions and arguing for fair treatment.”