Queen’s Speech “fails Cornwall”

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The Queen’s Speech contained none of the key measures necessary to help residents in Cornwall, according to the Duchy’s five-strong team of Liberal Democrat MPs.

Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, called for the speech to be scrapped earlier this week, and for a programme of political reform to replace it.

The team of local MPs say today’s speech was nothing more than a disappointing ‘shadow’ of the package needed to solve key problems in Cornwall. They have proposed three Bills which, they believe, should have been included. These are:

  • Government of Cornwall Bill – to devolve power from London to a Cornish Assembly
  • Planning (Second Homes Control) Bill – to give communities and councils control over the number of second homes in their area
  • Water Charges (Equalisation) Bill – to stop sky-high water bills in the South West, and make sure the whole country pays its fair share for maintaining the coastline

Commenting, North Cornwall’s MP, Dan Rogerson, said: “Most of the legislation in this Queen’s Speech will never reach the statute book.

“But even if it does, Labour Ministers have again failed Cornwall on the key measures that would set them apart from the Conservative legacy here.

“We should use these final seventy days to undertake the comprehensive programme of reform Nick Clegg has set out to give power back to the people.

“There should be radical devolution of power to Cornwall, and to other areas of the country that want it. And there ought to be time for straightforward legislation to control the proliferation of second homes, and bring in fair water charging.

“These issues are urgent.”

Andrew George, MP for the west Cornwall constituency of St Ives and the Isles of Scilly added: “Parliament is in campaigning mode. Although much has been achieved in recent years, the Government should accept that Cornwall has a right to a fair settlement from Westminster.”