Secret ballots will no longer be used as part of the decision-making process at Cornwall Council following a vote today.

 The change in procedures was ratified at a meeting of the Full Council at County Hall in Truro.

Until today, if enough Councillors requested it, the authority could conduct a vote of councillors via a ballot, where the results would be announced, but no information on how individuals voted would be revealed.

The move to end the practice had been recommended by the Constitution and Governance Committee on the grounds of making democracy more transparent.

A suggestion to retain secret ballots for the election on individuals to positions such as committee chairman roles was put forward but rejected by the council.

The meeting also saw a debate on a motion calling for ‘more meaningful devolution’ for Cornwall rejected by 38 votes to 36, with one abstention.

A second motion, calling for support for a national Climate and Ecology Bill, was given support, with 32 votes for, 14 against and 18 abstentions.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Linda Taylor, leader of Cornwall Council, said: “I am pleased by the decision to end the ability to hold secret ballots.

“We are elected as councillors to represent our constituents, and I cannot see how we can be doing that when they are unable to see how we have voted on any particular issue.“I have always said that we would be a listening council, accountable to our residents, and this is a clear demonstration of our determination to be exactly that.

 “It was also good to hear such passionate debate on the two motions from across the chamber today.  They are two of the key issues facing Cornwall as we go forwards, and to hear such reasonable discussions was a credit to all those taking part.”