Cornwall Council opposes constituency boundary changes

Cornwall Council has rejected proposals to change constituency boundaries and join with Devon, claiming the plans are ‘inequitable and unlawful’.

The news comes after the government recently announced proposals to change the borders of parliamentary constituencies in order to create ‘fewer and more equal sized constituencies’.

The planned changes have been introduced under the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, and will reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600.

If accepted, the plans will see the Cornish towns of Launceston and Bude joined together with Bideford in Devon creating a new constituency crossing the historic border between Cornwall and Devon.

After a meeting regarding the ‘Devonwall’ plans last May, John Pollard, the leader of Cornwall Council, commented: “We believe there is a serious legal and constitutional conflict between the provisions of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 (‘the Act’) , which requires MP’s to represent the same number of electors, and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities,”

“The government’s recognition of the Cornish as a national minority under the Framework Convention in 2014 came after the Act came into force and we are arguing that the Act needs amending to address this conflict.”

Pollard has once again reiterated his viewpoint in a letter to the minister for the constitution, Chris Skidmore: “There are cultural, legal, geographic and political reasons to maintain our border in terms of Parliamentary representation.”

He urged: “We must work with the community to co-ordinate the opposition to this proposal.”

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