Friday, 2 January 2009

New Year Message

In my traditional New Year message to party members, supporters and the people of Cornwall, I challenged one and all to “make sure that the voice of Cornwall is heard loud and clear in 2009.”

In the main part of the statement I focussed on the economic problems facing our communities, as follows:

“It is clear that Cornish communities face difficult times ahead. The economic downturn is already badly affecting thousands of families and this is likely to only get worse in the next few months. As a nation, in these testing times, we must work together to protect and support local businesses and offer real help to those struggling to make ends meet.

“Central government has already acknowledged that the economic downturn will hit ‘peripheral’ areas like Cornwall the hardest. Recent reports that Cornwall’s GVA (economic performance) is only 63% of the UK average and that full-time Cornish wages are only 75% of the UK average further demonstrate that Cornwall’s weaker economy could struggle during the recession.

“It is vital that Cornwall is heard loud and clear in 2009. We must fight to make sure that government expenditure is not focussed on the South East of England and in large cities, but that Cornwall gets its fair share."

I also looked ahead to the elections to the new single tier councila and called on the people of Cornwall to support MK candidates who would be guaranteed to put the interests of Cornish communities first. as follows:

“The undemocratic imposition of a unitary council on Cornwall has led directly to an unhealthy rise in cynicism towards politics and the work of local councils.

“Mebyon Kernow has played its part in backing the people of Cornwall in their opposition to the new council. Sadly, both central government and the Liberal Democrat-run County Council refused to listen to Cornish communities.

“In 2009, MK’s priority will be to work like never before to make sure that pro-active and dedicated pro-Cornwall councillors are elected to the single tier council to make it work as best it can.

“Join us and help us build that strong alternative to the London-centred political parties. Work with us to make a real difference to our local communities.”

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