Cornwall 'could get county-wide elected mayor'

Cornwall could have a directly elected mayor governing the county under proposals being considered by the unitary council.

An elected mayor would have many cabinet responsibilities.

Councillors in favour claim it would give people more confidence in their local authority and a chance for their "voices to be heard".

The move is being considered as part a process of reviewing how the authority can be improved.

The Localism Act 2011 allows local authorities to review how they are structured, giving communities and local government greater powers and freedom from central government.

The decision would involve scrapping the Conservative-Independent coalition-led council leader and cabinet system.

Voted for by local people, elected mayors are responsible for the day-to-day running of local services, making executive decisions.

They also provide political leadership for the council and the community and carry out the local authority's policies.

'Localism lost'

Independent councillor Andrew Wallis said: "What we are trying to look at is what is the best form of governance for Cornwall and how people have confidence in the local authority and how they can take part.

"It's vitally important that people feel their voice actually counts."

Former Mayor of Truro Councillor Rob Nolan said he was against the idea.

Mr Nolan said: "If we focus it all on one person we lose localism, we centralise it all and that's not what Cornwall is about.

"Cornwall's too big a place, it's too long, you can't have someone based in Truro and look after Launceston, it's too far away.

"Similarly for Penzance, they all have very different interests and they need their own champions and they have all got mayors who go out and do that."

Mr Nolan said to "merge it all under one mayor, takes away their champions".

The review is set to continue over the next few months with a report planned to go to full council in October.

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