Select Committee on Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Written Evidence

Memorandum by Jane Howells (RG 30)


  I understand the ODPM Committee is due to discuss issues relating to regional government and I should like to submit a number of points to underline how essential it would be to proceed with devolution in Cornwall.

  1.  Cornwall is different. Cornwall is not a standard "English county". There are considerable differences with regard to ethnicity, history, culture, geography etc and social stresses and economic difficulties continue to be generated while the current situation of non-differentiation is maintained.

  2.  At this point, with further Objective One funding about to come through, Cornwall needs to manage its own regeneration and to be given the responsibility which will create the confidence which is lacking at the moment. Cornwall is very capable of developing a rounded economy based on experience and localised decision making which will help it move away from a debilitating tourist economy, increasingly the model dictated to Cornwall by central government.

  3. A  Cornish Assembly or equivalent will counteract the perception of peripherality, thus reducing the number of talented youngsters leaving Cornwall.

  4.  Positive and socially beneficial aspects specific to Cornwall such as culture, history, language etc can be developed without the current obstructions to the benefit of the majority of residents.

  There is great potential in Cornwall for increasing the economic and social wellbeing of the population by devolving power to a Cornish level. Furthermore there is a positive desire for this devolution from the grass roots up, along with the knowledge that Cornwall will always be different and can never be successfully fitted into the average "English county" framework.

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