Sunday, 26 July 2015 15:57

Rural first as Cornwall gains new powers

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural first as Cornwall gains new powers

CORNWALL has become the first rural authority in England to secure new powers to control local services.

Under the terms of the "devolution deal", Cornwall will have greater powers over areas of public spending currently controlled by London.

It gives Cornwall council powers for franchising and improving bus services in the area – the first rural unitary authority to gain this power.

It also gives the Local Enterprise Partnership more say on boosting local skills levels.

In addition, the council will be able to select the projects and work with partners on initiatives it wants to see benefiting from millions of pounds of inward investment funding.

The deal will make it easier for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership to integrate national and local business support services to help local firms grow.

It will enable Cornwall council and the council of the Isles of Scilly to work with local health organisations on a plan for integrating health and social care services

Prime Minister David Cameron and Communities Secretary Greg Clark travelled to Cornwall to support the signing of the formal agreement.

Mr Cameron said: "At the heart of this one nation government is the belief that everyone, no matter what their background or where they're from, has the opportunity to get on in life.

"This devolution deal marks a major shift for the people who live and work in Cornwall – putting power in their hands and giving them the tools to take charge and make the most of the fantastic potential that Cornwall holds."

The deal follows a Case for Cornwall campaign lead by Cornwall Council which put the case for power to be transferred to the local authority from Westminster.

Council leader John Pollard said: "This Devolution Deal is brilliant news for Cornwall."

By creating a Case for Cornwall which was strong and realistic, the county had received a positive response from the government when it came to devolving powers, he added.

"Cornwall is, therefore, the first rural authority in the country to be given a devolution deal," said Mr Pollard. "This gives Cornwall greater powers over public sector funding ".

The local authority would now be working with partners to develop an integrated health and social care system and deliver significant economic growth for the county.

This would see enhanced business support, greater access to employment and training opportunities, a much improved public transport network and more efficient use of public sector buildings.

The agreement to devolve central funding on local transport would deliver around £50m to create a more integrated public transport system.

This would include smart ticketing – and fares and timetables for combined travel between bus, rail and ferry services.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Anne Boosey)

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    The fact that Cornwall council has got more control over some spending sounds excellent, but in fact strikes a certain degree of disquiet. Localism in Cornwall means County Council, not local parish or town councils, the latest round of cuts to social services has been draconian to users of that service, and the news that they are taking over the health service as well makes me very anxious. If the changes in planning is anything to go by, we are in for a very hard time.
    Dont get old or ill!

    from Fowey PL23, UK

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