Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall today (St Piran’s Day) launched a consultation document entitled “Towards a National Assembly of Cornwall.”
MK has a manifesto commitment to the creation of a National Assembly of Cornwall, with powers broadly equivalent to the present Scottish Parliament, and the document sets out what greater self-government could mean for Cornwall.
A National Assembly of Cornwall would not be independent of the UK - it would be an integral and empowered part of the governance of the United Kingdom. And MK believes that it would control the majority of the public sector in Cornwall including the National Health Service, all aspects of education, a wide range of public bodies and local government.
The launch event, compered by Cornwall Councillor Loveday Jenkin, was addressed by Cllr Rob Simmons (prospective parliamentary candidate for St Ives), Cllr Stephen Richardson (prospective parliamentary candidate for Truro and Falmouth) and Cllr Andrew Long (joint Deputy Leader of MK).
Cllr Rob Simmons opened the proceedings with a speech that summarised previous and ongoing efforts to win greater power for Cornwall. In particular, he focused on the 50,000 individually signed declarations for a Cornish Assembly, which were collected in 2000-2001. He said:
“I was proud to be part of a dedicated band of energetic volunteers who achieved the amazing feat of collecting over 50,000 signatures supporting a Cornish Assembly. I don’t believe there has been a more unifying political issue in modern times. Even campaigns against the hated Devonwall constituency and the ‘Pasty Tax’ didn’t have this kind of reach and influence in Cornwall.”
Cllr Stephen Richardson meanwhile emphasised that “Towards a National Assembly of Cornwall” was a consultation document. He said:
“We want to hear from anyone who believes, like us, that Cornwall should have enhanced powers to take democratic decisions on the matters that affect us all. We recognise that there are groups and individuals that may believe in Cornish self-government, but who think differently to us about exactly what we should be aiming for and how we should achieve it.
“Let’s talk about our ideas and yours. Let’s see where there is a consensus and where we can work towards achieving one. Let’s talk about what Cornwall deserves and how we can present that both to the people of Cornwall and politicians in London.”
Cllr Andrew Long meanwhile described 2014 as the year of self-determination. He told the assembled media:
“The time is now here for us to press again to allow the people of Cornwall to decide their future. The campaign for a Cornish Assembly is on the road throughout this year, to towns and villages across Cornwall. During 2014, the campaign team will be taking the roadshow to fairs and festivals across Cornwall from Penzance to Polperro, and Camborne to Callington, to meet the public face to face, and to gain support for the campaign.”
The consultation document can be downloaded here
and the consultation period is open until 30th June 2014.