Here’s a letter sent to the Local Government Boundary Commission. Until an answer to these questions is received we shouldn’t be distracted by arguing about ward boundaries.
Electoral review of Cornwall Council
In relation to the above review, on your website I can find no justification for the proposed reduction of 29% in the level of democratic representation on Cornwall Council. In your letter of 13 June to the Council’s Chief Executive you merely assert that a council size of 87 is the ‘most appropriate’ but provide no rationale for this decision. Given its lack of precedent this is entirely unacceptable. Moreover, I can find no answer anywhere on your website to two key questions I posed in my original submission. I’ll restate them here.
a) Why is Cornwall being treated in such a manifestly different manner from Durham UA, the most comparable authority? in its review of Durham UA in 2012 the LGBCE concluded that 126 councillors would still be required in order to provide ‘efficient and convenient local government’. It then rejected local calls to reduce the Council’s size to 85 members. (Incidentally, this decision leaves the people of Durham, the population of which is 29,000 lower than Cornwall, with a councillor for every 4,125 inhabitants, a better level even that Cornwall’s current 4,467 and much superior to the one councillor per 6,315 being proposed by the Commission.)
b) Why is Cornwall being singled out for this unprecedented reduction in its level of democratic representation, one not seen previously anywhere in England?
Until a satisfactory response to these questions is received it would clearly be premature to discuss the technicalities of ward boundaries. Therefore I attach my previous submission about Council size, while awaiting explicit answers to the above two questions.
I look forward to your reply,