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Last Updated:  Saturday, 1 March, 2003, 13:53 GMT
Prescott pressed on assembly poll
Cornwall generic
A poll revealed 72% in favour of a referendum
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is being urged to hold a referendum in Cornwall over the make up of a regional assembly.

In a historic move, Cornwall county councillors voted for Mr Prescott to canvass the public, asking two questions.

One would be to gauge opinion on a South West assembly, the other would be based solely on a Cornwall assembly.

Councillors debated the subject for two hours at a special meeting and voted 47 for and two against.

Do you want an independent Cornwall?

The move followed a MORI telephone poll commissioned by the county council in six Cornish districts which revealed 72% in favour of holding a referendum on the issue.

More than 50,000 people have petitioned for a referendum to be held on the establishment of a devolved assembly for Cornwall.

But Mr Prescott has rejected Cornish assembly calls in the past, stating there can only be referendums on the government's current regional set-up, with its seven-county South West.

Last year the county council backed an elected regional assembly, "but not necessarily one" using the same boundary as a seven-county South West.

Cornish Constitutional Convention chairman Bert Biscoe, said: "We have too many councils, too much duplication.

"We need to improve the scope and powers of government focused on Cornwall.

"That is why we need a Cornish Assembly."

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