Protest Against Cabinet Driving through Elected Mayor Proposal

Posted on: 3rd December 2022

St Just Town Council passed a resolution several months ago supporting the view that, if as part of the Devolution Deal for Cornwall, Cornwall Council is looking to change how we are Governed by bringing in an all powerful Mayor for Cornwall then it should be residents of Cornwall not a few Councillors (some of whom might fancy the well paid job) who decide that, through referendum. So, when a protest was being organised at County Hall to ensure Councillors knew that when considering the issue of whether to allow for a referendum, I decided to go. After consulting out Town Clerk and Town Councillors, the view was I could attend as your Mayor.

Me, in my capacity of Mayor of St Just, attending protest asking that residents not Councillors decide whether we have a Mayor of Cornwall

Once I knew I was going as Mayor, I wrote to the organisers to suggest they wrote to other Town Mayor’s where their Council has supported the view that there should be a referendum if Cornwall Council are considering bringing in an election for Mayor for Cornwall in 2024, ahead of Councillor elections in 2025; they did that so several of us turned up in our Mayor chains.

Protest at County Hall on 29 November 2022

My personal view is that an elected Mayor would put too much power for decision making in 1 person’s hands and, no matter how well intentioned that 1 person might be, that can never be a good idea. That elected Mayor would pick the Cabinet Members so, likely would pick them from their party, even if across Cornwall that was not the biggest group of Councillors elected. Elections of people across a big area, so the whole of Cornwall for this Mayoral role, typically have a low % of people voting and, history shows, through Police and Crime Commissioner elections, this favours Conservative candidates so, Cornwall would risk becoming a 1 party controlled Duchy.

Map showing Political Party of Police and Crime Commissioners elected in 2021; blue = Conservative