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'Labour has nothing to offer Cornwall' say Lib Dems

July 3, 2014 3:45 PM

Local Liberal Democrat MPs and Parliamentary candidates have slammed Labour for continuing to ignore Cornwall in their plans to devolve powers to areas outside London.

Labour yesterday published plans to devolve powers to 'combined authorities' which would group city councils together with surrounding areas.

In contrast, Liberal Democrats want to see more money and decisions taken by local people in Cornwall through a Cornish Assembly.

North Cornwall's Lib Dem MP Dan Rogerson said:

"Labour's plans for 'combined authorities' sound like their failed South West Regional Assembly by another name.

"The South West Assembly meant that important local schemes like upgrading the A30 at Temple were stalled as they had to compete with projects in other places that didn't have the same priorities as Cornwall.

"In Coalition Government, Liberal Democrats have scrapped the South West Assembly and have instead made sure that more money and decisions about how to spend it are taken locally by organisations like the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership who can focus on what is best for Cornwall."

Simon Rix, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Truro and Falmouth said:

"Liberal Democrats recognise that more self-determination would be good for the countryside in Cornwall, for the NHS in Cornwall, and for jobs in Cornwall. We want a greener, healthier, wealthier Cornwall and an Assembly for Cornwall could help us achieve these things."

The Cornish Liberal Democrat politicians also said that they were not surprised at Labour's failure to offer meaningful devolution of powers to Cornwall.

In 2013 Labour released a list of their target constituencies that they would try and win at the 2015 General Election - none were in Cornwall. Labour party leader Ed Miliband also seemed to suggest that he didn't want MPs in Cornwall when he wrote in November that Labour was only working in communities 'from Dundee to Plymouth'.

> MP for Mid Cornwall, Stephen Gilbert commented:
>
> "For well over thirty years it's been the Liberal Democrats standing up for the hard working families in Cornwall. Labour know they can't win here and everyone in Cornwall knows that a vote for Labour will just help the Conservatives win as it always does."