Skip to main content

Local Government (Cornwall)

Volume 467: debated on Wednesday 7 November 2007

The Petition of residents of Caradon District, Cornwall,

Declares that we are concerned about the lack of consultation over proposed local government reorganisation in Cornwall.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Minister for Local Government and Community Cohesion to consult with all Cornish residents to ask if they want a single Council for Cornwall under the South West Regional Assembly.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Ann Winterton, 25 June 2007.] [P000045]

Observation from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:

Following an Invitation to Councils in October 2006 to come forward with proposals for a single-tier of local government in their areas, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced on 25 July 2007 that she is minded to allow 9 proposals to proceed towards implementation.

The Secretary of State was minded to allow Cornwall County Council's proposal for a single unitary council for Cornwall to proceed as she judged it to have met all of the five criteria as specified in the original Invitation to Councils.

The Government short-listed 16 of the original 26 unitary proposals in March 2007 and these were subject to a twelve week consultation, which ran until 22 June 2007. Although the Department formally consulted key partners and stakeholders, it was open to anyone to make representations about the proposals and all representations were considered during the assessment process.

In addition, the democratically elected local authorities were able to seek the views of local people on their proposals by any means (including referendums, citizens juries, user panels and opinion polls as they saw fit). The weight attached to a local referendum in the assessment process depended on how far it was judged to accurately reflect informed local opinion. This included whether the question could be easily understood by voters and the steps taken to provide voters with a balanced and full explanation of the complex issues.

Final decisions will be taken on which unitary proposals will be implemented, having regard to all relevant information, if and when the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill is enacted.