‘Enough is Enough’ must be the message from Cornwall Council

Growth: the word we hear constantly from MP’s and councillors alike. It has become the default word used when politicians endeavour to explain their reasoning for more development, more industry, more housing for more people.  But this emphasis on ‘more’ in a world of finite resources should be replaced with ‘enough’.

The economist Kenneth E. Boulding (1910 – 1993) said:

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist”

He should also have included Cornwall Council and its Local Plan.

Bernard Deacon described the so-called ‘Local’ Plan as ‘developer led’ and ‘fundamentally flawed’ as it is neither ‘Local’, nor is it a ‘Plan’.  “It entirely ignores the cultural dimension of its housing and population-led growth policies. As a result it fails to ensure due care and protection for the Cornish as a national and regional minority group.”

Inward migration: More strain on infrastructure

Indeed. A ‘plan’ that is less about housing to accommodate the growth of the local Cornish population, but rather more about excessive housing targets that are designed to accommodate MORE inward migration to Cornwall that ensures MORE strain is heaped upon the Cornish infrastructure such as hospitals, doctors, A & E, dentists, care homes, roads, car parking – the list goes on. All of which means MORE people chasing the same work that the Cornish people require to survive in one of the poorest areas of the UK and the wider EU.

Cornwall Council is quick to defend its housing targets and places the blame on Westminster, saying that if the housing targets didn’t meet with Westminster’s approval, then Westminster would impose the targets. But remarkably, it’s also just as determined not to support Mebyon Kernow’s campaign for a Cornish Assembly and the autonomy such an Assembly would draw down from Westminster.

The Draft Case for Cornwall ?

“We don’t want the way we spend our money and deliver services to people in Cornwall to be dictated by the Government – we want to make our own decisions. Cornwall has a proud history of standing up and fighting for what it believes in and we are determined to take advantage of this moment and shape our own destiny.”

John Pollard, Leader of Cornwall Council 2014

Anyone reading that statement from Mr Pollard could be forgiven for thinking that this is now the time that Cornwall – like Wales and Scotland, claws back the means of self-government via a law-making Cornish Assembly.  

. . .a form of administration that assures the assimilation of Cornwall will be on-going.

It isn’t and far from it – even during the continual reductions to Cornish services, enforced by cuts in funding by the government.  Reading though the draft document will satisfy Westminster that the words ‘Cornish Assembly’ are steadfastly ignored; just like the fifty thousand signature declaration for a Cornish Assembly was ignored back in 2001.

Unlike Cornish identity, having won the recognition that is now enshrined within the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Cornwall itself will continue to be administered as an ‘English’ county and a form of administration that assures the assimilation of Cornwall will be on-going.

With absolutely no pressure coming from Cornwall Council, the status quo is being maintained.  Any form of devolution – from what is essentially an English government – will be what that government deems is suitable for the people of Cornwall in the same way as it has done for decades – and will maintain Cornwall’s position as one of the poorest areas within the UK that is continually reliant upon EU funding.

Support Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall.

The only party that campaigns for Cornwall to be governed by the people of Cornwall.

The Land’s End? The Great Sale of Cornwall by Bernard Deacon

This book should be required reading for all those who reside in Cornwall whose lives WILL be affected by the policy makers, and how the cultural effect of those policies are marginalising the Cornish people and threatening to destroy the very aspects of Cornishness.

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“This book does three things. First, it outlines how Cornwall’s planners and local elites put the interests of future second home owners and in-migrants before those of current residents.  The economic failure of this policy is outlined and the environmental consequences of growth identified.  The book then moves on to discuss the cultural impact of policies that are marginalising the Cornish people and threatening to destroy aspects of Cornishness.

Ssh, don’t mention the Cornish: The cultural consequences of  endless growth

Second, it pursues the question of why a failed, unsustainable and damaging population-led policy is still being adopted.  It finds that some interests gain financially, others swallow a simple ideology of growth, while in addition central government and an over-reliance on tourism help lock us into a spiral of unsustainability.

Finally, it reveals the democratic deficit that exists in Cornwall, before exploring some potential strategies that could replace a developer-led agenda with democratically-led policies that put Cornwall and its people first.”

. . . policies that are marginalising the Cornish people and threatening to destroy aspects of Cornishness.

Back cover:

Cornwall is for sale. Its coastal communities are sold to second homeowners.  Its scenery is sold to tourists. Its fields are snapped up by developers hungry to profit form the demand to move to Cornwall that tourism fosters. Even its distinctive place names are swamped by the imposition of English names in the new developments.

We remain trapped in an insane spiral of housing and popuation growth that threatens the Cornishness of our land.

The built-up area of Cornwall has doubled since the 1960s. The population has risen by about two thirds. However, as the pressures on its environment, its culture, its communities, its wildlife and its infrastructure reach a tipping point, all that the policy-makers offer is more of the same.

This book spells out how we have not learnt the lessons of the past half century.  We remain trapped in an insane spiral of housing and popuation growth that threatens the Cornishness of our land.  It is a warning plea.  A warning that current policies must change before its too late. And a plea to people to help save our land. It is a book that not only policy-makers but all those who cherish the distinctivness of Cornwal should read and ponder on.

Bernard Deacon was Senior Lecturer in Cornish Studies at the University of Exeter and was one of the authors of Cornwall at the Crossroads, also published by the Cornish Social and Economic Research Group.

London-centric policies continue to have an adverse effect upon the people of Cornwall

Over the last couple of decades, the long fought campaigns by Cornish groups and individuals were rewarded when their ethnicity was finally recognised and afforded the protection by their inclusion within the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

The decision was lauded by media all over the country (followed by the usual derogatory remarks that followed on various online forums / blogs that have become de rigueur when Cornish identity is recognised as anything other than English) and included Cornwall Council leader John Pollard, who was quoted by the BBC as saying the new status would not bring any additional funding or powers to the council or to Cornwall.

Given the time and effort that went into having the Cornish minority afforded protection (due to Westminster’s intransigence) this was an extraordinary statement to have made, and has left many to wonder whether the principles of the FCNM which is a legal document have been fully understood:

‘The Framework Convention is a legally binding instrument under international law, the word “Framework” highlights the scope for member states to translate the Convention’s provisions to their specific country situation through national legislation and appropriate governmental policies.’

Over the years, one of the biggest bones of contention for the Cornish people has been second house ownership, and the overwhelming housing target of 47,500 houses imposed by Westminster and implemented by Cornwall Council.

However, contrary to studies that have shown the housing target of 47,500 was vastly overstated, (another 100,000 incommers) and that a figure of around 30,000 was a more realistic, allowing for the further growth and continuity of the Cornish population, Cornwall Council decided to go ahead.  Which then begged the question, what can be the reasoning for the extra 17,500 houses? An over-centralised government; a government with a “presumption in favour” of development that is turning Cornwall into a developers’ paradise that allows for further inward migration into Cornwall.

Treliske Hospital asks sick people to say away

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The situation will deteriorate further as the building of 17,500 extra houses for more incomers, many of whom will be elderly and will require the use Cornwall’s already over-stressed infrastructure (eg; bed-blocking at Trelisk; Traffic chaos; Over-worked GP’s/Dentists), will also serve to effectively alter the proportions of the population in areas inhabited by Cornish people belonging to a national minority, further restricting the rights and freedoms flowing from the principles as described in Article 16 and enshrined in the present Framework Convention:

Article 16

“The purpose of this article is to protect against measures which change the proportion of the population in areas inhabited by persons belonging to national minorities and are aimed at restricting the rights and freedoms which flow from the present framework Convention.”

Surely article 16, contained in a legal document, gives Cornwall Council the powers to reject Westminster’s housing target for the more sensible lower figure?

It should be noted that The Party for Cornwall – Mebyon Kernow, was 100% supportive of the lower housing target for Cornwall.  And the reason why the party is fully committed in its aims for a law-making Cornish Assembly that will devise policies that are best suited for the people of Cornwall, rather than being controlled by the vastly over-centralised, London based government.

That is surely something the people of Cornwall should consider when arriving at the ballot box on 7th May.

Support The Party for Cornwall – Mebyon Kernow

Urgently required: Those 20,000 Cornishmen to demand once more ‘The reason why!’

Yet another great day for Cornwall’s St Piran that saw the hashtag ‘StPiran’sDay’ trending again on Twitter; more people enjoying the celebrations; the massed flags of St Piran adorning the skyline and of course, the usual singing about those passionate ’20,000 Cornishmen’ we often hear about but never see, and makes us wonder if such Cornishmen still exist – and that’s a concern.  

A  concern because a situation is growing that could see Conservatives taking control of Cornwall in May.  If that were to be the case, it would see Cornwall merged into Devon and become ‘DevonWall” – Cornwall will become even more invisible to Westminster.

Remember that it was only a lover’s tiff between Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg that stopped the erosion of the Cornish border, and ultimately our Cornish identity, in the first place.  Also, the ‘bedroom tax’ would remain firmly in place.

Whatever the usual grandiose claims that eminate from Westminster prior to an election ie; Cornwall will receive more funding; more devolution for Cornwall, the reality is that NOTHING will change the decades of underfunding that ensures Cornwall remains the poorest part of Britain because there is no pressure coming from Cornwall Council that will change the way Westminster deals with the people of Cornwall.

Cornwall is again calling for the passion of those 20,000 Cornishmen and Cornishwomen

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 Mebyon Kernow leader: Richard Cole

Unlike the centuries past, we won’t have to march the 300 miles on London; all that’s required is for us to vote for our local Mebyon Kernow candidate.  Let’s apply the ‘Cornish Hugg’ upon Westminster to exert the pressure required that will alert our political masters of MK’s growing support.

Let’s strive to have MK leader Dick Cole achieve a position where more powers can be demanded for the people of Cornwall via a law making Cornish Assembly; let’s vote a Cornish MP into power, into a position where he or she can state unequivocally that:

“Cornwall demands more powers via a Cornish Assembly, and not because I say so, but because the people of Cornwall will make it so!

Support MK on the 7th of May – vote for your Mebyon Kernow candidate or suffer Cornwall’s further demise; whining about it after the event must not be our option.

Tomorrow is the day that Cornwall celebrates its national hero, St Piran

March 5th is the day the Cornish population across the Duchy and further field, will be celebrating the rising popularity of St Piran’s Day. iu

St Piran’s Trust

It’s amazing how only a couple of decades ago, just seeing the back and white colours of St Piran flags were seen as something of a quirky novelty has now become a major occasion that sees those black and white flags, bunting and rosettes in abundance. At a local rugby derby game in Redruth, St Piran’s flags were flying around around the ground when a man with a group of Welsh supporters was prompted to making a comparison the Welsh St David’s Day:

“St Piran’s Day is where the full-time Cornish patriots take a well earned rest, while the part-time Cornish patriots take up the slack”

It’s a wonder what happens to all that patriotism for the other 364 days the year. Parade-Crowds.c1

(Image from myCornwall magazine)

That patriotism is continued involving a group of people who form the St Piran’s Trust / Trest Sen Peran. A non-profit-making charitable Trust which is committed to the development, protection and good administration of the historic sites on Gear Sands connected with St Piran. The Trust will promote awareness of the cultural, educational, historic and scientific significance of those sites for Cornwall and for Europe.

It was in January 2014, that the long-awaited work to uncover St Piran’s Oratory from the sand dunes at Perranporth is due to start on February 17 – with the launch of the excavation, plus a major fund-raising drive. Following a 15-year-campaign, the St Piran Trust plans to unearth and conserve St Piran’s Oratory, believed to be amongst the oldest Christian buildings on mainland Britain.  The site has been of central importance to Cornish people for over 1,400 years as a place of worship and pilgrimage, and as a focus for cultural expression. Today, many hundreds of people gather at the site annually to mark St Piran’s Day. The saint’s flag (which features in a stained-glass window installed in Westminster Abbey in 1888) – a white cross on a black field, is flown the length and breadth of Cornwall. Since Cornish ethnicity has at last been recognised officially, it is hoped that St Piran’s Day will be the most successful to date.

Gool Peran Lowen!   #HappyStPiran’sDay

April 2014: UK Government finally recognises Cornish ethnicity

Despite the UK Government blocking previous attempts by the Cornish, the UK Government finally recognised Cornish ethnicity in April 2014 by its inclusion within the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM)

The Cornish and Welsh are the oldest peoples on this island and as a proud Welshman I look forward to seeing St Piran’s Flag flying

What is the FCNM?

The Framework Convention is a legally binding instrument under international law, the word “Framework” highlights the scope for member states to translate the Convention’s provisions to their specific country situation through national legislation and appropriate governmental policies.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “This is a great day for the people of Cornwall who have long campaigned for the distinctiveness and identity of the Cornish people to be recognised officially. The Cornish and Welsh are the oldest peoples on this island and as a proud Welshman I look forward to seeing St Piran’s Flag flying with extra Celtic pride on5 March next year.” It means that Cornish people will be afforded the same protections as the Welsh, Scottish and the Irish; with government departments and public bodies required to take Cornwall’s views into account when making decisions.

Market Jew Street Pensans

 

 

 

 

What commitments do states undertake when they ratify the FCNM?

The Framework Convention sets out principles to be respected as well as goals to be achieved by the states, in order to ensure the protection of national minorities, in this case the Cornish people. Parties to the Framework Convention undertake to promote full and effective equality of persons belonging to minorities in all areas of economic, social, political, public and cultural life together with conditions that will allow them to express, preserve and develop their culture, religion, language and traditions. They have to ensure their freedom of assembly, association, expression, thought, conscience, religion and their access to and use of media. The Convention also provides guidelines for their linguistic freedom and rights regarding education.