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Devolution within Cornwall

Cornwall Council commits to the principles of Localism and Devolution

Localism and Devolution are key elements of the Council Business Plan 2018-2022.

Devolution's purpose is to help sustain locally-led service delivery.

We work to; enable and empower local councils and community groups to play an active role in local decision making.

Through devolution, we are able to provide greater opportunities to communities to have more say and influence over their local area.

Find out more about the Councils vision for localism and devolution below.
Localism in Cornwall - The Power of Community

Devolution can take several forms, including; the transfer of assets, agreements and services.

Opportunities for local influence and involvement through devolution include:

  • Joint delivery/service enhancement
  • Agency and management agreements/Licenses and sponsorship
  • Delegation of service delivery/ transfer of a property or open space

Cornwall’s many towns and villages are all different and so, a 'one size fits all' approach does not work.

Devolution requires different approaches from service providers.

Devolution starts with a conversation with your local Councillor or your Community Link Officer.

Case studies

Cornwall Council transferred ownership of Killacourt Open Space to Newquay Town Council. This allows the Town Council to secure more funding for this loved and well used community space. It also ensures that future developments are community led.

Hayle Town Council reclaimed responsibility for managing four open spaces:

  • King George V Memorial Walk
  • Plantation Walk
  • Millpond
  • the Recreation Ground

Before the handover, CORMAC carried out refurbishments to the parks and gardens, on behalf of Cornwall Council. This ensured they were in good condition and an asset the town council and community could take pride in. Works included:

  • repairing the children’s play area
  • resurfacing the tennis courts
  • repairing the surrounding fencing

This project placed decision making in local hands. Allowing Hayle to make best fit improvements.

Saltmill Park is a significant green space for Saltash. The 17 acre site includes:

  • a meeting space and training centre
  • skate park
  • BMX track
  • art trail
  • nature zone
  • all weather pitch
  • pavilion

Cornwall Council granted a 30-year lease to Groundwork South to manage the facility. Over 40,000 adults and 47,000 young people have used the facilities. Groundwork now runs the sports facilities and skatepark and reinvests any generated surplus back into the site. The aspiration is to create a sustainable open space used by the community of Saltash.

In March 2017, Cornwall Council transferred the ownership of Dracaena Park to Falmouth Town Council. This also included the sports pitches surrounding the Dracaena Centre.

The ground lease for the Dracaena Centre within the park, was transferred to the independent charity run by a board of trustees.

The Dracaena Centre works in partnership with Falmouth Town Council and over 40 local clubs and providers. The centre delivers a range of:

  • sports
  • leisure
  • well-being
  • education and
  • youth services

Falmouth Town Council previously partnered with the Dracaena Centre to devolve youth services. This transfer will further enhance those partnership links.

Ahead of the transfer, Falmouth Town Council took over the grounds maintenance for the park in April 2016. Since then, both the playing surfaces and surrounding areas have improved. The devolution of the park will allow Falmouth Town Council to attract funding for future improvements.

Squires Field, the only green open space in Fowey, was transferred to Fowey Town Council in April 2016. The facility includes a

  • recreation field
  • community centre
  • pavilion

It also includes a building that was originally owned by Restormel Borough Council and used by the bowling club. The building was transferred to Cornwall Council in 2009. The site attracts increased interest in its use from several local community groups.

Cornwall Council transferred the management of Coronation Park in Helston to South Kerrier Alliance (SKA) in February 2017.

The devolution included the:

  • park
  • lake
  • events square and café - with an existing tenant
  • river Cober
  • the former cattle market car park

The new agreement for the events square included the public toilets and the landlord role for the boat and cycle hire franchise.

The agreement involved an investment plan which included part-funding from Cornwall Council, SKA and Helston Downsland Trust. This allowed investment in the site and safeguarded the future of the popular community area.

Boscawen Park in Truro was transferred to Truro City Council in April 2016. The park included a:

  • play area
  • cricket and football pitches
  • playing field
  • adult outdoor gym equipment
  • tennis courts
  • parking

The City Council managed the park under a long lease and wanted the community facilities managed and serviced locally. This would allow for more local accountability, control and direction. In partnership with the Friends of Boscawen Park, they helped to secure significant funds to overhaul the play area in 2015.

Truro City Council has a strong track record of working with Cornwall Council to deliver localism, devolution, and frontline services.

The ownership of the Wooden Waves Skate Park in Newqay transferred to Newquay Town Council. It secured the future of Cornwall’s biggest outdoor skate park for Newquay’s local communities.

Newquay Town Council already maintains the skate park. The devolution of the park provided the Town Council with more control locally. It allowed them to manage the park as well as attract funding for future improvements. The town council has ambitious plans to develop the site into a first rate concrete skate park.  Purpose built for people with different levels of ability.

East End playing fields was transferred to Redruth Town Council in May 2016. This allowed the town council to manage the areas as well attract funding for future improvements.

Redruth Town Council has ambitions to keep the existing small play area and develop the site into a:

  • skate park
  • cycle track and
  • multi-use games area

This would result in community access to a multidimensional facility, linking with nearby Gweal-an-Top Adventure Play Area.

18 Belle Vue Road, Saltash is a medium-sized brick town house in Saltash town centre. Saltash Gateway Community Interest Company (CIC) arranged a two year lease with Cornwall Council with the intention to buy at the end of the lease period. The building serves as a headquarters for the CIC, which operates many projects across Saltash.

Cornwall Council transferred ownership of the St Day Clock Tower and War Memorial Building to St Day Parish Council in 2014. There was tremendous public support for the project. The Parish Council raised over £100k for renovations. This secured the historic and well-loved building for residents and future generations. St Day Parish Council, in partnership with The Day-Light Group, held a grand finale event in May 2016 to celebrate the completion of the works.

The Friends of Jubilee Pool Community Benefit Society received ownership of Jubilee Pool. The pool has been an iconic feature of the Penzance seafront for 80 years.

The Friends of Jubilee Pool manage the pool via Jubilee Pool Penzance Ltd, a new Community Benefit Society. Jubilee Pool Penzance Ltd operates the pool on the community’s behalf.  It ensures it is an affordable amenity for everyone. The Community Benefit Society Board consists of the:

  • Cornwall Councillor Divisional Member
  • a Town Councillor
  • representatives from the Friends of the Jubilee Pool and community leaders

The Friends of Jubilee Pool are working with Cornwall Council and local stakeholders on the next stage of the devolution process.


Cornwall Council transferred four car parks and a small amenity area to Calstock Parish Council:

  • Chapel Street, Gunnislake
  • School Lane
  • Harrowbarrow
  • Calstock Station and Quay car parks

They were transferred to the parish council under a 99 year lease. This was agreed under Cornwall Council’s ‘localism and devolution’ scheme, for the benefit of local residents. This secures their future use for the local parish communities.

St Just

St Just Parochial Church Council received ownership of the St Just in Roseland car park in February 2017. It serves visitors to the Church as well as local visitors who use it as a start point for some fantastic local walks. All money collected in the honesty box pays for its upkeep and used locally.

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