Skip to main content
Undemocratic, disengaging, insulting,
stupid and unsympathetic,
five reasons why Devonwall is a bad idea

There are many reasons why a Devonwall constituency is a bad idea. It’s tempting to list 1074 for this is the number of years since the Cornish border was established (in 936AD) , this would certainly be possible. However for the sake of your sanity and mine the number of objections to Devonwall can be summed up in five reasons. I know there are many more and I haven’t included for example the historical and cultural significance of the Tamar, Cornwall’s constitutional position and the fact that the Cornish like the Welsh, Scottish and English deserve equal political respect under law. I feel these subjects have been ably covered by other writers on their blogs. Anyway my five are perhaps a little procedural and dry but here they are.

1. Firstly and most importantly, the decision to create a Parliamentary Cross- Tamar constituency is wholly undemocratic. The move is opposed by Cornwall’s six Members of Parliament (both the 3 Liberal Democrat and the 3 Conservative), Cornwall Council has voted unanimously against and in addition a large proportion of town and parish councils are opposed. Democratically elected officials from across the Duchy and from all of the political parties do not want a Cross-Tamar MP at the next parliament. There is no desire for a Devonwall constituency in Cornwall.

2. There has been no public consultation about this move, even as the bill is passing through parliament, the public have still not been told if the proposed Devonwall constituency will join West Devon to North Cornwall or Plymouth to South East Cornwall. Before the coalition government came to power all boundary changes were open to public consultation, not anymore. The public simply have no avenue of official interaction with the government over this matter, thus a public rally has been organised.

3. The plans for a Devonwall constituency are part of the plans for reducing the number of MPs which in turn is part of the reform of the electoral system (the AV referendum). So Cornwall stands to lose its political integrity and millennia old border as a footnote to another issue. However insulting this is, it also means that Liberal Democrat MPs in Cornwall will be whipped into voting for electoral reform and forsaking their own beliefs and those of their constituents. 

4. The most prescient practical reason for opposing the Cross-Tamar is the extra unnecessary work for both the MP and local authorities. Again before the Coalition came to power, great attempts were made to keep constituencies within administrative divisions, not anymore. Say for example if the constituency straddles Plymouth and South East Cornwall, the MP will have to liaise with Cornwall Council, Devon County Council and Plymouth City Council, as well as town and parish councils. This would lead to a lot of unnecessary work for both the MP and the Councils, making everyone’s job harder, much more inefficient and reduce the effectiveness of all involved.

5. Although there are historical, cultural and political arguments to be made for keeping ‘Cornwall Whole’ these have so far been ignored by Nick Clegg and the coaliton government.. This is a great shame for there have been special dispensations made to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on similar grounds. In the case of our Celtic cousins the strict new rules on constituency size have been waived in favour of common sense. So if there can be exceptions elsewhere in the Celtic nations, why not Celtic Cornwall?

I have listed below some links for those of you that might be interested in reading more/ getting involved:
Keep Cornwall Whole site, including details of the rallies on the 8th, 9th and 10th October.
This campaign is being considered by 38 degrees, please vote for it here.
The Cornish Republican's blog which provides an overview of the subject.

Popular posts from this blog

The 3 actions Penzance Town Centre needs from Cornwall Council

My name is Rob Simmons and I'm a candidate for Penzance East in this Thursdays Cornwall Council election and these are my 3 priorities for our town centre:  1 Action on reducing Parking Fees  2 Action on unfair business rates 3 Action on empty shops and buildings.  I firmly believe that Cornwall Council ought to do more to support Penzance Town Centre and these 3 changes would be a massive leap forward.

1.Action on Parking Fees, Penzance has some of the highest parking fees in Cornwall, we all know that it puts people off coming to town and crucially shoppers from staying for longer periods. With out of town retail parks popping up everywhere and the lure and convenience of the internet our town centre needs help. Cornwall Council must do it's part in supporting the town centre. Penzance needs a Cornwall Councillor that will lobby to change this and find a solution that benefits us and stops CC seeing Penzance as a way of making money. We need to see a major overhaul of parking…

A breath of fresh air at Penzance Town Council

The election has certainly rung a great many changes at Penzance Town Council. There are now 12 brand new councillors (although Simon Reed has been on the council before). Between retirements and not getting re-elected not a single mayor that served between 2013-2017 is now on the council and only 1 that served as deputy mayor in that time are still on the council. A number of former mayors, deputy mayors and chairs and vice chairs of committees are also no longer with the council. Or to put it another way many of the active town councillors that formed the approach and policies of the town council in the past are no longer there pulling the strings.

When I was first elected back in 2013 there was a feeling that (long overdue) change had been brought to the council, that those new people elected had brought change. That was the feeling with 8 new councillors elected and 12 of the existing councillors being re-elected. This time around there are 12 new councillors and only 8 from befo…

Some of my work for Penzance or why I'd be an effective Cornwall Councilor

This blog intends to illustrate some of my work for Penzance and to show the kind of issues I have supported and argued against, over the last few years. In this time of great political turmoil and with Brexit looming large on the horizon, it is more important than ever to have representatives that will stand up for issues, knows how to campaign effectively and gets things done. There are 2 sections below; 1 being an effective councillor and 2 standing up for local issues, these are the reasons why I think I am a very credible Cornwall Council candidate and why with a greater platform I could be more effective in making things happen. This is only a glimpse of my work for Penzance East, please read some of  my older posts for more and as always any questions or comments find me on twitter @cernyw or drop me an email robscornishblog@gmail.com.

Being an effective councillor:

I was elected onto Penzance Town Council back in 2013, when I also stood for Cornwall Council for Penzance East. I…