Devolution Deal concerns
Published: 07 January 2023
Luxulyan Parish Council encourages everyone to decide whether
the drastic change to the way Cornwall makes its decisions is worth the money
and control offered by Government in the devolution deal. — Then everyone can respond
to the consultation (ending 17 Feb).
Luxulyan Parish Council has called a Parish Meeting Tues,
31st January, 7.00 pm, at the Memorial Institute to discuss concerns about
the changes to the governance of Cornwall – if Cornwall Council votes to have
Directly Elected Mayor. Government has stipulated that only with a Directly
Elected Mayor will the Devolution Deal be offered (as it stands now).
There are two particular concerns that Cornwall Council has
not highlighted. The
first is about the concentration of power in the Mayor:
From: House of Commons Library, Devolution to local
government in England, Feb 2022, Section 5.1:- “elected mayors have
differing degrees of power over different matters. In most areas, they will
have an effective veto over decisions made by the combined authority.”
From: Cornwall Devolution Deal, Section 26:- “any
amendment to a budget, plan or strategy proposed by the directly elected mayor
and cabinet (following the statutory objection process) [ will ] require a
two-thirds vote of full council to pass the amendment.”
The power to set the agenda and the power to veto make the
Directly Elected Mayor a unique and strong executive power. In governments with
such a strong executive there are usually two legislative bodies to balance
this power. The one elected body of Cornwall Council would be very weak in
comparison with the Directly Elected Mayor. The Deal brings more control to
Cornwall in some areas, but that power and control will be concentrated in a single
person and their unelected hand-picked cabinet.
The second concern: There is no legislation that allows for
the removal of an unsuitable Directly Elected Mayor.
More information at letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/bigdeal and
you can answer the Consultation Questionnaire there.