If you live in the parishes of Truro and Kenwyn, on 10th November please vote in the referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan. The parish councillors, supported by Roger Gazzard and Robert Lacey, have worked hard, over several years, on this plan, engaging with local people and organisations. I have seen at first hand how useful the process has been in sharing information and building partnerships. This plan is important as it will help shape the future of our community for years to come.
Our democracy depends on informed and active citizens and I firmly believe that Neighbourhood Planning strengthens our democracy. I share the team’s frustrations with the process and have used my experience with this plan to make recommendations to Ministers for improvements to Neighbourhood Planning.
Our democracy also depends on an independent judiciary. Last week, following the ruling of the Court of Appeal about whether Parliament must approve the triggering of Article 50 to start the process of leaving the EU, I was dismayed by the attacks on the judges that made the ruling. While Parliament is sovereign it is the judiciary that upholds the laws. Our freedom depends on the checks and balances in our constitution. To undermine the judiciary performing its job is to undermine our democracy.
Many people stopped me in the street last weekend to ask me about Bexit. When I voted for the Bill to hold the Referendum I accepted that I would honour the result. If, on appeal, the Supreme Court agrees that MPs must vote on Article 50 then I will vote for it to be triggered. This is just the start of the process. It has always been clear that the final terms of our departure and our future relationship with the EU would have to be decided by Parliament.