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Devolution within Cornwall

Cornwall Council is committed to the principles of Localism and Devolution

Recognised by the Council as a key component of the Council Business Plan 2018-2022, localism and devolution's primary purpose is to help sustain locally-led service delivery at a time of unprecedented budget challenges for local government. Our aim is to enable and empower local people, town and parish councils and the voluntary and community sector to play an active role in making decisions that affect them and in delivering what their community needs.Cornwall’s many towns and villages are all different and therefore need different approaches from services providers – a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work. A positive and productive relationship between Cornwall Council and the town and parish councils is vital to the successful local governance of Cornwall.

Devolution can take several forms, ranging from devolved local management arrangements, to the freehold transfer of a property or open space, through to full devolution of the responsibility for a service. We are working with many communities to deliver Devolution, and are keen to work with more, local bodies and groups to develop proposals which provide opportunities for local influence and involvement. 

Cornwall Council adopted 'A Framework for Town and Parish Councils and Community groups to have an increased role in service delivery' in May 2014, with a review agreed by Members in April 2015. Subsequent work with the Council’s Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee in October 2017 has examined and supported a review of the devolution work programme, based on criteria to allow the large number of proposals to be prioritised.  Officers are now working on the delivery of that programme with many local councils and community groups. You can read about the Council's vision for localism and devolution, within Cornwall, in the document: Localism and Devolution - A fresh approach.

If your organisation is considering how Devolution of a Council asset or service could benefit your community we recommend you read about how the Council can help Devolution happen. The starting point for any discussion about a local proposal can be via your Cornwall Councillor and /or your Community Link Officer who will liaise with the Cornwall Councillor to explore what opportunities might exist. The Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Council’s work on devolution proposals, working with local councils and community groups is Councillor Edwina Hannaford.

Many assets and services have already been successfully devolved to town and parish councils and community organisations. You can read about some of them on our completed devolution projects page.

To see an interactive map showing the spread of devolution projects across the county please visit our Devolution heat map page

Cornwall Council is already working with lots of communities to deliver Devolution. If your organisation is considering how Devolution of a Council asset or service could benefit your community we recommend you read about how the Council can help Devolution happen.  

Once you know what you would like to achieve you may want to find out how other communities have been involved by reading or watching our Devolution Case Studies.

The devolution work programme is now prioritised and delivered in accordance with criteria that was considered by the Council’s Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee in October 2017. A number of projects that were already started prior to the October 2017 meeting have continued to receive resource to conclude them however.  This was undertaken to prevent abortive work on existing projects.

The criteria against which projects are scored can be viewed in Prioritisation Proposals Appendix 1, which was subject to a Scruitiny Report in October 2017.

The prioritised work list, scored against the criteria.  The list is in scored order, highest score first and reflects the order in which devolution proposals will now be assigned resources to deliver them.

Please note that some projects are being led by property colleagues and are included for completeness so therefore may not be scored under this programme.  A number of proposals are still being scoped and therefore are awaiting a score.

If you feel that your proposal is not yet listed and possibly should be, please contact you Community Link Officer to discuss whether it should be included here.

The list orders proposals in terms of their score and therefore gives an indication of where in the queue it sits.  The Council is delivering in the order of 20-30 proposals a year at the present time, based on the scale and complexity of those projects.

Once work starts on a proposal, your Community Link Officer will work closely with you to co-design a timeline for delivery.

We have developed a range of Guides and Checklists to support organisations to develop devolution projects and proposals.

Our Resources and Advice page has links to a wealth of additional information, resources and funding advice that our partners may find useful.

You may also find Training and Capacity Building will support you in your aims to develop your devolution project.

The Localism Act 2011 introduced the Community Right to Bid. It enables certain groups to nominate local land or buildings to be included in the list of assets of community value.

As well as devolving services and assets to local councils, groups and organisations within Cornwall, Cornwall Council is also having powers devolved to Cornwall from London.

Cornwall also has a Cornwall Devolution Deal agreed with the Government in July 2015 for devolution to Cornwall from London,which gives Cornwall greater powers over public sector funding. Cornwall is the first authority to agree a devolution deal with the Government, which was agreed following the submission of the successful Case for Cornwall.