Cornwall Council cabinet members have confirmed that a proposed Level 3 Cornwall Devolution Deal, that includes the requirement for a directly-elected mayor, will not be pursued.

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However, even getting to the point of having negotiated the deal has enabled the council to secure and retain £7m for affordable housing schemes, £3m for seven heritage projects, and a £1 million investment in Cornwall’s natural capital.

Furthermore, the government’s draft Media Bill, published last week, delivers on the Level 3 Deal proposal of including Cornish in the list of recognised regional or minority languages. 

The council will instead pursue a Level 2 deal that seeks to retain as many of the elements of the Level 3 deal as possible. But the government has made it clear that it will exclude the £360m Cornwall Investment Fund and the £8.7m to deliver affordable housing on brownfield land.

Council leader Linda Taylor, from St Ives, said: “As a cabinet, we have always believed that devolution of powers and investment from government is vital for the future prosperity of Cornwall. This is why we are so proud to have been asked last year to negotiate a further devolution deal with government.  

“We held a ten-week consultation where we heard from thousands of residents, businesses, and stakeholders from across Cornwall, and have listened carefully to their views. Whilst there is considerable support for the proposed Level 3 Cornwall Devolution Deal, especially from our young people, businesses, and strategic partners, who have all seen the benefit for the future of Cornwall, there is also significant concern about the requirement to move to a directly elected mayor.

“In order to deliver on our commitment to the people of Cornwall that we will always listen, it is with the greatest regret that I and my Cabinet colleagues have agreed not to accept a deal that includes that requirement. 

“This cannot be the end for devolution in Cornwall. Indeed, as a cabinet, we remain committed to having more decisions about Cornwall being made locally.”