Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Why should Cornish votes be worth less?

After strong criticism from the Conservative Group and having already burned up about £10,000, the 'no money' Council has agreed not to spend a six figure sum of Cornwall's money on a hopeless legal battle to fight sharing an MP with Devon.

However, it will still press on to attend meetings of the Boundary Commission in Devon and Cornwall next week to complain about this. Unfortunately, this is also a waste of Cornwall's money as the Boundary Commission has already explained to the Council.  The Boundary Commission has no power to address this issue.

To continue to protest about this, the Council needs to decide whether it is better to have only 5 rather than 6 MPs representing our interests at Westminster. This would make a Cornish vote worth about 17% less than votes in English counties, never mind other parts of the UK.

This is the plan the Council has currently been working on. Has it got a mandate to do this? It could also have some pretty strange effects on constituency borders within Cornwall.

Or, does it tell the Government that it cannot reduce the cost of politics by cutting MPs from 650 to 600, so that Cornwall can keep 6 MPs? Has it a mandate for what would only be a short term fix for Cornwall?

Would it be better to use the political influence of Cornish MPs to campaign for more money (or powers) for Cornwall rather than pleading a special case that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (total voters about 394,000) should have 6 MPs when we are only 1600 voters over the limit for 5?

So far, perhaps recognising the difficulty, the Council has not discussed it with the people of Cornwall. Consequently the Council has no mandate but is just having a general shout – at the wrong people; because The Boundary Commission has no power to address this issue.

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