Let the Boundary Commission Know What You Think about Devonwall
Review of Proposed Changes to Cornwall’s Border The Boundary Commission is undertaking a Review of the proposed changes to constituency boundaries, including the proposed Devonwall merger that removes the Cornish border for parliamentary purposes, and they say “we would like your views on our initial proposals.”
These initial proposals from the Commission are:
“We have proposed one constituency that contains electors from both Cornwall and Devon, which crosses the boundary in the north of the two counties, combining the towns of Bude and Bideford.”
This consultation of the proposed changes is open for written submission of views until 5th December 2011.
Address for letters:
Boundary Commission for England,
35 Great Smith Street,
London SW1P 3BQ
Telephone: 020 7276 1102
Email address for representations: email@example.com
Please send in your views to the Boundary Commission by the 5th December.
The Boundary Commission will also hold a Public Hearing in Truro in November.
Public Hearing in Truro 10th – 11th November
Please do your utmost to attend the Public Hearing, and explain to the Boundary Commission why a Devonwall constituency is unacceptable:
The Hearing will be held at:
- · Alverton Manor Hotel, Tregolls Road, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1ZQ
- · Date: 10 Nov 2011 to 11 Nov 2011
- · Time: Day 1: 11:00 – 20:00 Day 2: 09:00 – 17:00
To speak at the Hearing, please register here
Or telephone: 020 7276 1102 for more information.
You may find these points below useful in letters and representations to the Boundary Commission:
1.Cornwall is set apart by its unique history.
2. Cornwall has a distinct peripheral geography.
3. Cornwall is culturally distinctive
4. Cornwall retains a very strong community culture, bonded by a strong sense of nation.
5. Constitutional difference as the Duchy of Cornwall- The continuing constitutional powers, privileges and duties of the Duke of Cornwall in relation to Cornwall are clear evidence of Cornwall’s continuing and active distinction.
6. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly made the successful case – only a year ago – that it was a ‘functional economic area’ to gain Local Enterprise Partnership status.
7. Other arrangements that recognise the distinctiveness of Cornwall include:
- Local government boundaries (Cornwall Council and Town and Parish Councils)
- Diocesan boundary
- Primary Care Trust boundary,
- The Cornish Gorsedd
- The structures of a great many voluntary and charitable organisations
- Many types of funding allocations.
- BBC Radio Cornwall
- Local Education Authority
8.Legal protection for the Cornish Language. The Cornish Language is protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which amongst its provisions states that:
- 7.1 In respect of regional or minority languages, within the territories in which such languages are used and according to the situation of each language, the Parties shall base their policies, legislation and practice on the following objectives and principles:
- b. the respect of the geographical area of each regional or minority language in order to ensure that existing or new administrative divisions do not constitute an obstacle to the promotion of the regional or minority language in question;
9. Cornish National Identity, Cornish Ethnicity and the Cornish Language have been sanctioned by Parliament as part of the Census process and designated a specific code for Census purposes by the ONS. The recognition of a National Identity by definition implies the recognition of a national boundary.
10.Legally protected status – European Union ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ of Cornish foods – Cornish clotted cream and Cornish pasties (and Cornish sardines in the application process) are a confirmed recognition of territorial distinctiveness.
11. An artificial ‘Devonwall’ construction is anathema to the Cornish community, and has been in the past economically, socially and culturally damaging.
12. Little economic interaction between the Cornish and Devon sides of the border: the 2001 Census shows that only 1.6% of the people of the former North Cornwall district work in the Torridge District Council area, or that 98.4% of people don’t.
13. This is the website for Torridge District Council: http://www.torridge.gov.uk/index.aspxarticleid=1
14. The Boundary Commission should operate within a plus or minus five percent of the set electoral quota, although the precedent for anomalies in the framework within which the Boundary Commission is operating has been set. Currently the exceptions to the minimum electorate requirement are:
- · The island constituencies of Orkney and Shetland and Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles)
- · Two constituencies for the Isle of Wight. (This is an increase in number of constituencies from the single constituency that exists at present.)
- · Constituencies covering more than 12,000 km2. (Of the current constituencies, this would only apply to the Highland constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber.)
However, very strong cases are already being made for reversals to proposed new changes in other constituencies (like, for example, Mersey Banks). Cornwall is not alone in reacting strongly to imposed boundary changes in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act.
The final configuration of boundaries still needs to be approved by Parliament – this will take place in 2013.