25 March 2013
Once again I have come across the Cornish nationalist nonsense that the 1888 Act establishing county councils did not apply to Cornwall until a year later, after other counties, because it was recognised that Cornwall was constitutionally different from the other counties. This time it fluttered on twitter.
I disproved this in item 13 of Aristotle’s teeth but let me recap.
The Local Government Act 1888 received royal assent in August 1888. It created county councils (and county borough, rural district, and urban district councils) in England and Wales. However, its provisions did not come into force for any area until 1889. Such a gap between royal assent and coming into force is not at all unusual in parliamentary Acts. The Act provided for the first elections of all the county councils councils from January 1889 (section 103). After the first elections there were to be provisional councils until the members came into full office in April 1889 (section 109), except in London for which the date was March. There was no special delay in applying the Act to Cornwall. Cornwall county council was created at exactly the same time and with the same powers as the others and came into being at the same time as others (except London as noted).
The first elections to the new Cornwall county council were on 24 January 1889, the same day as the first elections to the new Durham and Norfolk county councils for example.
You can read the original Act here.
In Aristotle’s teeth I briefly discuss several nationalist claims and misapprehensions in history.
Section 49 of the 1888 Act made separate provision for the local government of the Isles of Scilly and their council was set up in 1890.