Cornwall Council (Cornish: Konsel Kernow) is the unitary authority for the county of Cornwall in the United Kingdom, not including the Isles of Scilly, which has its own council. The council, and its predecessor Cornwall County Council, has a tradition of large groups of independent councillors, having been controlled by independents in the 1970s and 1980s. Since the 2013 elections, it is run by an Independent-Liberal Democrat coalition.
Cornwall Council provides a wide range of services to more than half a million Cornish residents. In 2014 it had an annual budget of more than £1 billion and was the biggest employer in Cornwall with a staff of 12,429 salaried workers. It is responsible for services including: schools, social services, rubbish collection, roads, planning and more.
|Founded||1 April 2009[a]|
|Preceded by||Cornwall County Council|
Leader of the Council
since January 2016
|Seats||123 (62 needed for a majority)|
Length of term
|4 May 2017|
|4 May 2021|
Before April 2009, Cornwall was administered as a non-metropolitan county by the Cornwall County Council with six districts, Caradon, Carrick, Kerrier, North Cornwall, Penwith, and Restormel (a borough).
The Council of the Isles of Scilly was and still remains a separate unitary authority.
On 5 December 2007, the Government confirmed that Cornwall was one of five councils that would move to unitary status. This was enacted by statutory instrument as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, The changes took effect on 1 April 2009. On that date the six districts and Cornwall County Council were abolished and were replaced by Cornwall Council.
Currently (2017,) the council has 123 councillors, the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is proposing that Cornwall Council should have 87 councillors in future.
On the creation of the new unitary authority it was decided that the name of the new council would be Cornwall Council (Konsel Kernow).
The Council logo features a Cornish chough and the 15 Cornish golden bezants on a black field as used in the arms of the Duchy of Cornwall.
The campaign for Cornish devolution began in 2000 with the founding of the Cornish Constitutional Convention, a cross-party, cross-sector association that campaigns for devolution to Cornwall. In 2009, Liberal Democrat MP Dan Rogerson introduced a bill in parliament seeking to take power from Whitehall and regional quangos and pass it to the new Cornwall Council, with the intention of transforming the new council into an assembly along the lines of National Assembly for Wales. In November 2010, British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested in comments to the local press that his government would "devolve a lot of power to Cornwall - that will go to the Cornish unitary authority." In 2011, the then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he would meet a cross party group, including the six Cornish MPs, to look at whether more powers could be devolved to Cornwall. The subsequent Localism Act 2011 was expected to achieve this but it proved incapable. However, the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 is intended to devolve some powers to Cornwall Council, helping to bring social and care services together, and giving control over bus services and local investment. In July 2015, a Cornwall Devolution Deal was agreed with the Government for devolution to Cornwall from London, which gives Cornwall greater powers over public sector funding. Cornwall was the first authority to agree a devolution deal with the Government. This was agreed following the submission of the successful Case for Cornwall.
Among the services provided by the council is a public library service which consists of a main library in Truro and smaller libraries in towns and some villages throughout Cornwall. There are also the following special libraries: Cornwall Learning Library, Cornish Studies Library, the Education Library Service, and the Performing Arts Library, as well as a mobile library service based at Threemilestone.
Cornwall Council is promoting ten cultural projects as part of a five-year culture strategy. One project is the development of a National Theatre of Cornwall, a collaboration of the Hall for Cornwall, Kneehigh Theatre, Eden Project and Wildworks. Cornwall Council has based its idea on the successful National Theatres of Scotland and Wales.
Another of the projects is the proposed creation of a National Library of Cornwall to resolve inadequacies with the current storage of archives. It is hoped that this will bring some important documents concerning Cornish history back to Cornwall as well as providing better public access to those records already held. Cornwall Council is also involved in the project to build a Stadium for Cornwall.
Cornwall Council backs the campaign for the Cornish to be recognised as a National Minority in the UK. The council's then chief executive Kevin Lavery wrote a letter to the Government in 2010, writing, "Cornwall Council firmly believes that the UK Government should recognise the Cornish as a national minority under the terms of the Framework Convention." Adding that, "Cornwall Council believes that the Government's current restricted interpretation is discriminatory against the Cornish and contradicts the support it gives to Cornish culture and identity through its own departments." Cornwall Council's support was officially reaffirmed as council policy in 2011 with the publication of the Cornish National Minority Report 2, signed and endorsed by the then leaders of every political grouping on the council. The council took an active role in the promotion of the options for registering Cornish ethnicity and national identity on the 2011 UK Census. The Cornish people were finally recognised as a National Minority by the British Government on 24 April 2014 and incorporated into the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities giving the Cornish the same status as the United Kingdom's other Celtic peoples, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.
Since 2008 Cornwall Council and the former county council, together with Cornwall Enterprise, and Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership, have been involved with a Protocol of Cooperation between Cornwall and the Conseil général du Finistère in Brittany. The protocol aims to allow the two regions to work more closely on topics of common interest and engage in a knowledge exchange with the possibility of jointly applying for European funding. Cornwall is also a member of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions, a partnership of European regions, which aims to promote and highlight the value of these regions to Europe. Cornwall comes under the Atlantic Arc Commission sub-division of 30 regions, which has been used to advertise the potential of renewable energy off the Cornish coast to Europe.
A scheme arising from these partnerships is MERiFIC (Marine Energy in Far Peripheral and Island Communities) which seeks to advance the adoption of marine energy across the two regions, including the Isles of Scilly. The project has received £4 million of European funding that will be spent in Cornwall and Brittany.
Cornwall County Council organised an event in Brussels in 2008 to promote various aspects of Cornwall, including the Cornish language, food and drink and showcasing Cornwall's design industry. This was part of the Celtic Connections programme of events put together by the Celtic nations as a showcase for culture in Europe.
Various fact finding missions have been organised by councillors to study how other regions and small nations of Europe govern themselves successfully. Independent councillor, Bert Biscoe, organised a fact finding mission to Guernsey in 2011 to see if the island's system of government could be adapted to work in Cornwall.
Cornwall Council, in partnership with the Eden Project, is bidding to have the world's first Green Investment Bank based in Cornwall. The Council is also working with the NHS and Eden to tackle fuel poverty by creating a Cornwall Together co-op which will buy electricity at lower-than-market prices. No further progress has been made on this since it was originally proposed.
Cornwall Council are servicing nearly 30 long term lender option borrower option loans (LOBOs) totalling £394 million. The council is locked into some of the deals until the year 2078, paying interest at more than double the current market rate.
The composition of Cornwall Council following changes after the 2017 election is:
The cabinet consists of Adam Paynter, the Council Leader, and nine other cabinet members. It consists of 5 Independents and 5 Liberal Democrats.
|Independent||Julian German||Council Leader|
|Liberal Democrat||Adam Paynter||Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources|
|Liberal Democrat||Edwina Hannaford||Neighbourhoods|
|Liberal Democrat||Rob Nolan||Environment and Public Protection|
|Independent||Bob Egerton||Planning and Economy|
|Independent||Sally Hawken||Children and Wellbeing|
|Liberal Democrat||Rob Rotchell||Adults|
|Liberal Democrat||Geoff Brown||Transport|
Elections for the new unitary Cornwall Council were held on 4 June 2009 and there were 123 members elected, replacing the previous 82 councillors on Cornwall County Council and the 249 on the six district councils. The outgoing Cornwall County Council had 48 Liberal Democrat members, nine Conservatives, five Labour, one from the small Liberal Party with the remaining 19 seats held by Independent candidates. Mebyon Kernow had no county councillors, but nine district councillors, before the two-tier system was abolished.
The Lib Dems lost overall control of Cornwall Council to 'no overall control' - this means that no single party has overall control of the new council despite the Conservatives have the largest number of councillors, however they do not have enough for a majority control. The cabinet of the council was therefore formed as a coalition between the Conservatives and the Independent bloc. The Conservatives received 34% of the vote (50 seats), followed by the Liberal Democrats on 28% (38 seats), the Independents on 23% (32 seats) and Mebyon Kernow on 4% (3 seats). The turnout was 41%. Labour, the Green Party, UKIP and the BNP failed to secure any seats in Cornwall.
In June 2011 Liskeard North councillor Jan Powell defected from the Conservatives to join the Liberal Democrats.
In May 2012 two Liberal Democrat councillors left the Liberal Democrat group to join the Independent Group. Chris Pascoe, the councillor for Threemilestone and Gloweth, resigned in protest over the national actions of the Liberal Democrat party and the introduction of the "pasty tax". Graham Walker, councillor for St Austell Bethel, defected in protest over the coalition government's education policies.
In September 2012 another Liberal Democrat councillor resigned from the party. Tamsin Williams, the member for Penzance Central, defected to Mebyon Kernow, having previously been a member of it in the 1990s. She was the second member to defect to Mebyon Kernow since 2009, and her change of allegiance came after "bad decisions made by the London parties." During the same month of September 2012, one Independent councillor, Lisa Dolley, left the council's Independent Group to become an ungrouped independent.
In March 2013 Conservative cabinet member for Looe East, Armand Toms, defected to the Independents over the party's decision to freeze Council Tax rather than increase it.
A total of 5 by-elections were held to Cornwall Council in the 2009-2013 term of office. They are illustrated in the table below.
|St Keverne and Meneage||20 September 2012||Pam Lyne||Independent||Walter Sanger||Conservative||Death|
|Wendron||24 November 2011||Mike Clayton||Independent||Loveday Jenkin||Mebyon Kernow||Resignation|
|Bude North and Stratton||27 October 2011||Nathan Bale||Liberal Democrat||David Parsons||Liberal Democrat||Resignation|
|Camborne North||13 January 2011||Bill Jenkin||Conservative||Jude Robinson||Labour||Resignation|
|St Austell Bay||26 November 2009||Richard Stewart||Conservative||John Oxenham||Liberal Democrat||Resignation|
The Conservatives lost 18 seats, meaning they were no longer the largest group in the Council. A new coalition was formed, between the Independents and the Liberal Democrats.
In February 2016, the Independent councillor for Redruth North, Lisa Dolley, who had been Deputy Leader of the Independent group on the council, defected to the Liberal Democrats. She later left the Liberal Democrats and designated herself as a standalone independent in December of that year.
In December 2016 Hanna Toms, the Labour councillor for Falmouth Penwerris, was expelled from the Labour group after pleading guilty to two counts of benefits fraud before Truro Magistrates Court. She continued to sit as a standalone independent.
A total of 14 by-elections were held to Cornwall Council in the 2013-2017 term of office. They are illustrated in the table below.
|Four Lanes||1 September 2016||Derek Elliot||UKIP||Nathan Billings||Liberal Democrat||Resignation|
|Newlyn and Goonhavern||28 July 2016||Lisa Shuttlewood||Conservative||Maggie Vale||Liberal Democrat||Resignation|
|St Teath and St Breward||14 July 2016||John Lugg||Independent||Dominic Fairman||Liberal Democrat||Resignation|
|Newquay Trevligas||14 July 2016||Mark Hicks||UKIP||Paul Summers||Liberal Democrat||Resignation|
|Menheniot||14 April 2016||Bernie Ellis||Conservative||Phil Seeva||Conservative||Death|
|Wadebridge West||14 April 2016||Scott Mann||Conservative||Karen McHugh||Liberal Democrat||Resignation due to being elected as an MP at the 2015 General Election|
|Launceston Central||14 January 2016||Alex Folkes||Liberal Democrat||Gemma Massey||Liberal Democrat||Resignation due to mental ill health|
|Camborne Pendarves||20 August 2015||Harry Blakeley||UKIP||John Herd||Conservative||Resignation|
|Constantine, Mawnan and Budock||7 May 2015||Neil Hatton||Conservative||John Bastin||Conservative||Resignation|
|Camborne Treswithian||7 May 2015||Viv Lewis||UKIP||Jude Robinson||Labour||Resignation|
|Mevagissey||6 November 2014||Michael Bunney||Labour||James Mustoe||Conservative||Resignation|
|Mabe, Perranarworthal and St Gluvias||17 July 2014||Michael Keogh||UKIP||Reginald Williams||Conservative||Resignation|
|Illogan||10 July 2014||Terry Wilkins||Conservative||David Ekinsmyth||Liberal Democrat||Resignation as a result of his falsely claiming to have an MBE.|
|Wadebridge East||5 September 2013||Collin Brewer||Independent||Steve Knightley||Liberal Democrat||Resignation following a motion of censure|
The Cornwall Council elections were held on the 4th May 2017. The Conservatives increased their seat tally to win a plurality of seats, but the Liberal Democrat/Independent coalition continued with a reduced majority.
The May 2017 election in the Bodmin St Petroc ward was delayed following the death of Liberal Democrat candidate Steve Rogerson and was held on 8 June, remaining vacant in the interim. The subsequent election was won by Liberal Democrat Leigh Frost. A by-election was held in the Falmouth Smithick division on 1 February 2018 following the death of Labour councillor and former Falmouth and Camborne MP Candy Atherton. The by-election was won by Labour's Jayne Kirkham. Grenville and Stratton councillor, Paula Dolphin, resigned from the Liberal Democrats on 20 February 2018, continuing to sit as a standalone Independent. On 1 March 2018 the leader of the Labour group on the council and councillor for Penzance East, Tim Dwelly, resigned from the party, citing internal disputes within the party, particularly in association with Momentum. He will now sit with the Independent group.
Cornwall County Council was established in 1889 and abolished on 31 March 2009. It was succeeded by the unitary authority, Cornwall Council, which incorporated the previous Cornish district councils as well. The Isles of Scilly remained a separate unitary authority.
The following table shows party control of the Cornwall Council and its predecessor Cornwall County Council, following each election since 1973.
|1985||No overall control|
|1989||No overall control|
|1997||No overall control|
|2001||No overall control|
|2009||No overall control|
|2013||No overall control|
|2017||No overall control|
Elections to Cornwall County Council were held on 12 April 1973. This was on the same day as other UK county council elections. The whole council of 79 members was up for election and the council fell under the control of Independents.1977 Cornwall County Council election
Elections to Cornwall County Council were held on 5 May 1977. The whole council of seventy-nine members was up for election and the result was that the Independents, despite losing nine seats, comfortably retained control, winning sixty-four seats. The Conservatives gained eight seats, ending as the second largest political group with thirteen, while Labour remained with only one member, the Ecology Party also won one, and (as in 1973) no one was elected as a representative of the Liberal Party.1981 Cornwall County Council election
Elections to Cornwall County Council were held on 7 May 1981.2001 Cornwall County Council election
The 2001 Cornwall County Council election, was an election for all 79 seats on the council. Cornwall County Council was a county council that covered the majority of the ceremonial county of Cornwall, with the exception of the Isles of Scilly which had an independent local authority. The elections took place concurrently with other local elections across England and Wales. The council remained under no overall control, with the Liberal Democrats as the largest party.2005 Cornwall County Council election
The 2005 Cornwall County Council election took place on 5 May 2005, concurrently with other local elections across England and Wales. It was the first election to take place under new ward boundaries, which increased the number of seats from 79 to 82. Cornwall County Council was a county council that covered the majority of the ceremonial county of Cornwall, with the exception of the Isles of Scilly which had an independent local authority. The Liberal Democrats gained control of the council, which had previously been under no overall control.2009 Cornwall Council election
The Cornwall Council election, 2009, was an election for all 123 seats on the council. Cornwall Council is a unitary authority that covers the majority of the ceremonial county of Cornwall, with the exception of the Isles of Scilly which have an independent local authority. The elections took place concurrently with other local elections across England and Wales as well as the UK component of the elections to the European Parliament. Cornwall had seen its district and county councils abolished, replaced by a single 123-member Cornish unitary authority, for which councillors were elected for a full term.
All locally registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) who were aged 18 or over on Thursday 2 May 2013 were entitled to vote in the local elections. Those who were temporarily away from their ordinary address (for example, away working, on holiday, in student accommodation or in hospital) were also entitled to vote in the local elections, although those who had moved abroad and registered as overseas electors cannot vote in the local elections. It is possible to register to vote at more than one address (such as a university student who had a term-time address and lives at home during holidays) at the discretion of the local Electoral Register Office, but it remains an offence to vote more than once in the same local government election.2013 Cornwall Council election
The Cornwall Council election, 2013, was an election for all 123 seats on the council. Cornwall Council is a unitary authority that covers the majority of the ceremonial county of Cornwall, with the exception of the Isles of Scilly which have an independent local authority. The elections took place concurrently with other local elections across England and Wales.2017 Cornwall Council election
The 2017 Cornwall Council election was held on 4 May 2017 as part of the 2017 local elections in the United Kingdom. 122 councillors were elected from the 121 electoral divisions of Cornwall Council, which returned either one or two councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. Although originally scheduled to take place on the same day, the election in the Bodmin St Petroc ward was countermanded following the death of Liberal Democrat candidate Steve Rogerson and was held on 8 June.Caradon District Council elections
Caradon was a non-metropolitan district in Cornwall, England, UK. It was abolished on 1 April 2009 and replaced by Cornwall Council.Cornish Language Partnership
The Cornish Language Partnership (Cornish: Keskowethyans an Taves Kernewek [kɛskɔˈwɛθjans an ˈtavɛs kɛrˈnɛwɛk], [kɛskɔˈwɛθjɐnz ɐn ˈtævɐzs kərˈnuːɐk]) is a representative body that was set up in Cornwall, England, UK in 2005 to promote and develop the use of the Cornish language. It is a public and voluntary sector partnership and consists of representatives from various Cornish language societies, Cornish cultural and economic organisations and local government in Cornwall. The organisation is part-funded by the European Union's Objective One programme, the United Kingdom government's Department for Communities and Local Government and Cornwall Council.The Partnership is the chief regulator of the Standard Written Form of Cornish, an orthography that was published in 2008 with the intention of uniting the previous conflicting orthographies, and for use on road signs, in official documents, and in school examinations.Cornish people
The Cornish people or Cornish (Cornish: Kernowyon) are a Celtic ethnic group native to, or associated with Cornwall and a recognised national minority in the United Kingdom, which can trace its roots to the ancient Britons who inhabited southern and central Great Britain before the Roman conquest. Many in Cornwall today continue to assert a distinct identity separate from or in addition to English or British identities. Cornish identity has been adopted by migrants into Cornwall, as well as by emigrant and descendant communities from Cornwall, the latter sometimes referred to as the Cornish diaspora. Although not included as an explicit option in the UK census, the numbers of those claiming Cornish ethnic and national identity are officially recognised and recorded.Throughout classical antiquity, the ancient Britons formed a series of tribes, cultures and identities in Great Britain; the Dumnonii and Cornovii were the Celtic tribes who inhabited what was to become Cornwall during the Iron Age, Roman and post-Roman periods. The name Cornwall and its demonym Cornish are derived from the Celtic Cornovii tribe. The Anglo-Saxon invasion and settlement of Britain in the 5th to 6th centuries restricted the Romano-British culture and language gradually into the north and west of Great Britain whilst the inhabitants of southern and eastern Britain became English. The Cornish people, who shared the Brythonic language with the Welsh and Bretons across the sea, were referred to in the Old English language as the "Westwalas" meaning West Welsh. The Battle of Deorham between the Britons and Anglo-Saxons is thought to have resulted in a loss of landlinks with the people of Wales.The Cornish people and their Brythonic Cornish language experienced a process of anglicisation and attrition during the Medieval and early Modern Period. By the 18th century, and following the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Cornish language and identity had faded, largely replaced by the English language (albeit Cornish-influenced West Country dialects and Anglo-Cornish) and/or British identity. A Celtic revival during the early-20th century enabled a cultural self-consciousness in Cornwall that revitalised the Cornish language and roused the Cornish to express a distinctly Celtic heritage. The Cornish language was granted official recognition under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2002, and in 2014 the Cornish people were recognised and afforded protection by the UK Government under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.In the 2011 census, the population of Cornwall, including the Isles of Scilly, was estimated to be 532,300. The Cornish self-government movement has called for greater recognition of Cornish culture, politics and language, and urged that Cornish people be accorded greater status, exemplified by the call for them to be one of the listed ethnic groups in the United Kingdom Census 2011 form.Cornwall Council elections
Cornwall Council in England, UK, was established in 2009 and is elected every four years. From 1973 to 2005 elections were for Cornwall County Council, with the first election for the new unitary Cornwall Council held in June 2009. This election saw 123 members elected, replacing the previous 82 councillors on Cornwall County Council and the 249 on the six district and borough councils (Caradon, Carrick, Kerrier, North Cornwall, Penwith, and Restormel). In June 2013 the Local Government Boundary Commission for England announced a public consultation on its proposal that Cornwall Council should have 87 councillors in future.Dick Cole (politician)
Dick Cole (born 6 April 1968) is a Cornish politician, currently serving as an elected member of Cornwall Council and the leader of the Cornish devolutionist political party, Mebyon Kernow, a role he has held since 1997. He is currently one of the longest serving political leaders in Britain. Cllr Cole was first elected MK leader in 1997. He lives in Fraddon, a village in Mid-Cornwall.North Cornwall District Council elections
North Cornwall was a non-metropolitan district in Cornwall, England. It was abolished on 1 April 2009 and replaced by Cornwall Council.PL postcode area
The PL postcode area, also known as the Plymouth postcode area, is a group of 35 postcode districts in South West England, which are subdivisions of 25 post towns. These postcode districts cover west Devon (including Plymouth, Tavistock, Ivybridge, Yelverton and Lifton) and east Cornwall (including St Austell, Bodmin, Liskeard, Launceston, Looe, Saltash, Torpoint, Callington, Wadebridge, Boscastle, Calstock, Camelford, Delabole, Fowey, Gunnislake, Lostwithiel, Padstow, Par, Port Isaac and Tintagel).Politics of Cornwall
Cornwall is administered as a county of South West England whose politics are influenced by a number of issues that make it distinct from the general political scene in the wider United Kingdom, and the political trends of neighbouring counties. Its position on the geographical periphery of the island of Great Britain is also a factor.
Cornwall shares some of the political issues of the other Celtic nations, in particular Wales, and a notable movement exists seeking greater powers of self-government within the UK, similar to that achieved in Wales. Cornish politics is also defined by its historical relationship between the Liberal Democrats (and formerly the Liberal Party), and the Conservative Party.Sennen
Sennen (Cornish: Sen Senan or Sen Senana) is a coastal civil parish and a village in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. Sennen village is situated approximately eight miles (13 km) west-southwest of Penzance.Sennen parish is bounded by the sea to the west and bordered by the parishes of St Just to the north, St Buryan to the east, St Levan to the south. The Longships, a group of rocky islets situated off Lands End, are also within the parish. The main settlements are Churchtown, Trevescan, Carn Towan, Sennen Cove and Land's End.
For the purposes of local government Sennen elects a parish council every four years. The main local authority is Cornwall Council.Stadium for Cornwall
The Stadium for Cornwall is a proposed multi-purpose stadium in Threemilestone, Cornwall, England. There are no major sports stadia in Cornwall: the largest capacity ground is the Recreation Ground in Camborne. Football club Truro City and rugby union team Cornish Pirates have both advanced plans for a new stadium, with both outfits requiring new facilities if they are to progress in their respective sports. Cornwall Council is developing a business plan for the stadium; although it initially stated any project would have to be privately funded, in April 2018 councillors voted to provide partial funding of £3m towards the estimated total of £14.3m for the project.TR postcode area
The TR postcode area, also known as the Truro postcode area, is a group of 27 postcode districts in England, which are subdivisions of 15 post towns. These postcode districts cover west Cornwall, including Truro, Penzance, Camborne, Falmouth, Hayle, Helston, Marazion, Newquay, Penryn, Perranporth, Redruth, St Agnes, St Columb and St Ives, plus the Isles of Scilly.