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Julia hails 'once in a generation opportunity'

September 29, 2014 11:33 PM

Julia Goldsworthy Lib Dem prospective MP for Camborne Redruth and Hayle has described the prospect of a Cornish Assembly as a "once in a generation opportunity to give the people of Cornwall the stronger voice that they need and deserve."

Julia Goldsworthy addresses Lib Dem activists gathered to discuss plans for a Cornish Assembly

Julia Goldsworthy discusses plans for a Cornish assembly with Lib Dem activists in Bodmin

At a meeting of Lib Dem activists in Bodmin, former North Cornwall MP and Lib Dem Political Reform spokesman Lord (Paul) Tyler described how Liberal Democrats locally and nationally could bring law-making powers to Cornwall.

The meeting was called following a "no" vote in the Scottish Independence referendum, which has prompted a wider debate about devolution across the UK. Lib Dems in Cornwall want to make the most of this opportunity by drawing down more powers from Westminster so that decisions can be made much closer to the people they affect.

The discussion was led by Cornwall's 3 Parliamentary candidates - Julia Goldsworthy (Camborne, Redruth and Hayle), Phil Hutty (South East Cornwall) and Simon Rix (Truro and Falmouth), after Cornwall's MPs were recalled to parliament to vote on action against ISIS in Iraq.

National Liberal Democrat party policy already supports devolving powers to a law-making Cornish Assembly, recognising Cornwall's "historical, cultural and linguistic claim to autonomy". Under the Lib Dem plans, it would be up to local people to decide and negotiate exactly which law-making powers would be transferred from Westminster and Whitehall to the new Assembly for Cornwall.

The Lib Dems' Cornish devolution policy is also part of the party's "Pre Manifesto" that will be debated at their party conference next week, and which is set to form the party's national manifesto for the next General Election in May 2015.

A further meeting will be called later in the Autumn, so that party members have the opportunity to debate and agree the finalised plans.

Speaking after the meeting, Julia Goldsworthy said:

"Since the days of David Penhaligon, Liberal Democrats have been fighting for a fair deal for Cornwall - but too often our needs have been either overlooked or misunderstood by Westminster. It's time that changed for good.

"I want to see real devolution from London - and from Cornwall to our towns and parishes too - so that important decisions can be made closer to the people that are affected them. It will mean better and more accountable decisions that will benefit everyone who lives here and uses our public services.

"We have a once in a generation opportunity to give people the stronger voice we need and deserve, without the extra bureaucracy and cost that the naysayers claim. With Labour and Conservatives in opposition to a Cornish Assembly, only the Liberal Democrats will 'let Cornwall decide'."

North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson added:

"Friday's meeting was the next step in our campaign to set up a Cornish Assembly. I hope that we can work with people from across the Duchy to find a workable solution to allow decisions to be taken in Cornwall and in the best interests of Cornwall through a law-making Assembly."