Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Newspaper column 11 May 2016 - Cornish language funding

In recent weeks there has been a lot of rumour and conjecture about the decision to cut funding for the Cornish language by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

As a Cornishman born and bred I am very appreciative of our rich history, culture and heritage all of which combine to make our Cornish identity so special and unique in England.

The decision to not provide funding for the Cornish language from central government was a ministerial decision made by the DCLG in response to a bid made by Cornwall Council.

My own position is that I was not involved in the bid, neither supporting nor objecting to it. As far as I am aware, only two Cornish MPs were involved. Nor was there a vote in Parliament on this decision, which was made by the Minister and their department.

It is my understanding that the main reason behind the decision to turn down Cornwall Council’s bid for £150,000 to support the Cornish language was that the DCLG believes Cornwall Council should make a decision as to whether they should make it a priority to fund it from the £1.7 billion core spending power Cornwall Council has available, in part due to the Government’s Cornish devolution deal, over the next four years.

Following the Ministerial decision, I have been considering my position as to whether to make representations on the failed bid back to the DCLG or not. In order to inform my thinking on this I have contacted Cornwall Council and asked them to confirm how exactly how they spent the previous funding made available to them, £650,000 over four years. Sadly as of writing this column Cornwall Council have been as yet unable to provide me with all of the information I need on this.
I think it only fair that Cornwall Council be given a chance to show exactly how they have acted in the best interests of the majority of the people of Cornwall in spending the money previously given to them. Once they have provided this information then I will make a decision as on to how to act next.

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