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Tuesday, 11 December, 2001, 16:57 GMT
Blair gets Cornish assembly call
Tony Blair at Polgooth Post Office, Cornwall
Tony Blair is being asked to allow a Cornish assembly
About 50,000 declarations calling for a Cornish assembly are being handed to Downing Street.

The call for a regional version of the Scottish and Welsh "parliaments" has been signed by 10% of Cornwall's electorate.

They want a greater say in how Cornwall is governed, with an assembly enabling the "right democratic priorities to be set for the county".

The declarations were due to be handed to Downing Street on Wednesday by the leader of the Cornish Constitutional Convention.

The group was formed to 18 months ago to campaign for an assembly - Senedh Kernow in the Cornish language.

Cornish Constitutional Convention logo
Campaigners have adopted St Piran's flag
Convention chairman Bert Biscoe said the declarations were "the biggest single expression of public support for regional devolution.

"Mr Blair has said devolution will only occur where there is public support."

Cornwall was a "distinctive" region, he said.

"People say that Cornwall is too small - all the evidence shows that size is immaterial."

He pointed to a 700m regeneration programme paid for from Europe as evidence of the county's stature.

Scottish leader

"A region is not determined by size, but by its ability to be successful," said Mr Biscoe.

Last month, Scottish deputy first minister Jim Wallace was invited to address the annual meeting of the Cornish Constitutional Convention in Bodmin.

Liberal Democrats in Cornwall backed the call for an assembly, but the county's Labour party decided against it.

The campaign for an assembly was launched on St Piran's day 2000.

Bert Biscoe, convention chairman
"We feel that we have a very distinctive profile in economic terms"

See also:

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Cornwall seeks mine history honour
07 Aug 99 | From Our Own Correspondent
From Cornwall to Mexico
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