Archive for the ‘devolution’ Category

The Cornish countryside is disappearing at an alarming rate. Our landscapes are being degraded and urbanised and the character of our towns and villages is changing forever. Tranquility, the environment and our heritage are ruthlessly ignored. Our young people are finding it more and more difficult to find an affordable home yet, meanwhile, housing continues to be sold off as second ‘homes’. Our hospitals and schools cannot cope and our roads are ever more congested. Unfortunately, Cornwall Council seems determined to ramp up housing and population growth even more.
There has to be a better way. But to change the actions of the Council, we have to change the actions of the Councillors.

We will be calling on candidates seeking election to Cornwall Council in May 2017 to sign up to the four pledges of a Charter for Cornwall.

* reduce Cornwall Council’s excessive housing targets and put local needs first
* restore social rented housing and increase genuinely affordable housing
* reduce the number of second homes
* support the devolution of strategic planning to Cornwall
We will then see who best to vote for to obtain a council more committed to Cornwall, its countryside and its culture.
For more see: www.charterforcornwall.com

You can help:

a) share this message as widely as possible.

b) suggest any amendments to the principles or pledges. The final wording won’t be decided until the next phase of the campaign in early February.

c) support the Charter for Cornwall by getting in touch with us and leaving your email address on our contact form.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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Northern Weekly Salvo 219 | Paul Salveson: A radical Northern regionalism should work with like-minded progressives in Scotland, Wales and the English regions. It should build contacts with radical regionalists elsewhere across Europe and maintain the flame of a ‘Europe of the Regions’. There is the political space in the North to do it, given Labour’s total lack of interest in democratic regionalism, the low profile of the Lib Dems and the Greens apparent shift away from espousing real devolution. Is a new political formation the way to achieve it? I’m not so sure…there is support for democratic regionalism within Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, the small regionalist parties and lots of non-aligned people who are pro-democracy, pro-Europe, socially progressive and anti-statist. The Hannah Mitchell Foundation, as a non-aligned radical regionalist force, is well placed to bring that progressive regionalist alliance together. So watch this space.
Paul Salvesion asks: Is London the problem? | Chartist Magazine: But we need to look beyond short-term political expediency, even if it is a principled expediency. The UK is falling apart and it will never be the same again. The choice is between a narrow, intolerant ‘Little England’ (dragging along an increasingly reluctant Wales and hostile to Scotland and Ireland) or a progressive Federal Britain with a resurgent Scotland and Wales, Ireland (north and south) working as equals with London, Cornwall and the English regions. We must agree a new settlement which re-balances these isles in a way that ensures each flourishes in a mutually-supportive federation, which isn’t afraid of playing an active part in the world beyond our shores – which must include Europe, but go further. Progressive politics in Britain has much to learn from neighbourhood-based community politics in the USA, but also in Africa, south America and Kurdistan (amongst many other places).
 I like this from our partners in Yorkshire First. Could we rustle up something similar for Cornwall?  Although, I must say, I’d be tempted to replace the UK parliament with a Cornish one and stop there.

More here from the website Democracy Matters: Regional Assemblies
I quite often get slightly tetchy emails from Cornish activists accusing me of ‘ignoring’ Cornwall’s claims to self-government. Quite honestly it’s up to the Cornish to determine what they want, e.g. a Cornish Assembly or be part of a wider South-West region, which is anathema to quite a few of the Cornish devolutionaries. But is it anathema to Cornish people as a whole? I don’t know. Cornwall already has a single local government unit, which personally I think is absolutely crazy. What happened to local government? Penzance is a long way from Liskeard, however, delightful the train journey. I’d say it was self-evident that ‘Cornwall’ should have an identity, but – like other parts of Britain – we’ve gone much too far in centralising local government to the extent it has become meaningless. The Bodmins, Falmouths, Truros and Penzances are sizeable towns which should have some political voice. That could be strengthened ‘town councils’ or something else. 
Having one single unit of governance for all Cornwall doesn’t strike me as very democratic and would horrify any German, Norwegian, French or Italian. So, coming back to the original proposition: how small can you go for ‘regional’ government (accepting Kernow’s claim to nationality, you know what I mean – were not talking independence). The population is just over half a million (and growing quite rapidly). That puts it on a par with the smallest German land – Bremen, with 661,000. So yes it’s small and you could – within a very un-British co-ordinated approach to regional devolution – include a devolved Cornwall within a larger ‘South-West’ but it gets a bit messy, doesn’t it? So if the Cornish want their own assembly, let them have it. It might not have quite the same powers as a bigger multi-million region but it shouldn’t be about one size fitting all.
The above in an extract from Paul Salveson’s Illustrated Weekly Salvo 171
Former Labour councillor, Paul Salveson is one of the driving forces behind the Hannah Mitchell Foundation and Yorkshire First‘s candidate for the Colne Vally.

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