It seems Cornwall is missing the chance to get clarification of the law on the rights of second home owners to vote in Cornish elections.
Back on 2nd July, the Electoral Review Panel discussed the issue and was told that the law on voting entitlement is very unclear. Although the information provided by the Electoral Commission suggests that you cannot use a purely recreational second home to get entitlement to vote, it seems that the actual law is not so clear.
And so the Panel agreed that the Council should write to the Deputy Prime Minister asking him to clarify the law. My personal belief is that second home ownership should not allow entitlement to vote, but even if the Government disagrees with this view we need clarification. Clarification would need to come in the form of an amendment to the law.
You would have thought that the best avenue for doing this would be the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill which had its second reading yesterday. But Cornwall Council has failed to send the letter despite having had more than 9 weeks to do so. And so the chance for the Government to consider the issue and put forward its own amendment has been lost.
Why has Cornwall Council failed to write the promised letter? Apparently, it's because they did not want a letter arriving before Parliament returned to work on the basis that it might get lost or ignored during the summer. We are now promised that the letter will be written within the next 7 days.
If we are to get clarification then it will almost certainly have to wait until another elections bill is promoted in Parliament. The trouble is that, on average, these only come forward every four years or so.