Guernsey government may be model for Cornwall

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A researcher plans to visit Guernsey as part of work to see if the island's system of government could be adapted to work in Cornwall.

Jane Howells has been commissioned by Cornwall councillor, Bert Biscoe, and will be meeting Guernsey politicians and lawmakers in September.

Mrs Howells said: "It's obviously self-contained governance and seems to work extremely well.

"We hope our research will find out if anything can be applied to Cornwall."

The research comes while the UK government's localism bill is being prepared, which will allow governance to be adapted more specifically to the areas in which they operate.

'Benefits its population'

Mrs Howells said: "In Guernsey this is something you've really been working at, developed your laws and enhanced your laws over centuries now.

"We want to see how it works in Guernsey and what elements could be adapted in Cornwall, what we can learn about how you approach things in a slightly less complex way."

Asked if people in the county wanted more autonomy she said: "I think it's necessary and Cornwall is ready for that, very few decisions are actually made in Cornwall at the moment and there's a general feeling that we do need to be making our decisions rather more.

"We are so specific here, which is why we do want to look into somewhere like Guernsey that really does, and has been doing for centuries, work in a way that benefits its population."

The former Cornwall county council commissioned a Mori poll in 2003 which showed 55% of Cornish people were in favour of a democratically-elected, fully devolved regional assembly for Cornwall.

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