Monday, 1 March 2010

A Commission for Cornwall

This morning, as one of the four group leaders on Cornwall Council, I took part in a Radio Cornwall debate which focussed on the implications of expected cuts in central government funding to local councils. Such cuts could obviously lead to job losses and reductions in services.

I used the opportunity of the debate to remind everyone that Cornwall has been under-funded for many years and we receive less money for our schools, hospitals and public services than elsewhere in the UK.

I called for a Commission to investigate the full extent of this Government under-funding of Cornwall, just as the recent Holtham Commission (organised by the Welsh Assembly) found that Wales is under-funded by £300 million a year.

Now must be the time to demand that Cornwall receives its fair share of expenditure, which will help us cope with the difficult economic times that lie ahead.

I would hope that all political parties would support this call for a Commission into the under-funding of Cornwall. It is also my hope that the main London parties would agree to abide by the findings of such a review and guarantee Cornish communities their fair share of future spending.


Jude said...

Hi Dick, every where I look in Cornwall (even out of my window as I am writing, overlooking the site for a new playground) I see where this Labour government is investing money.

This government made sure that Cornwall got Objective 1 and Convergence money, the national minimum wage (as opposed to the regional minimum the Lib Dems wanted), the university, the wave hub, the medical school, the dental school, Truro College, Pool School, School of the Future in Camborne and scores more projects, including waste disposal and Penzance Harbour.

Funding for schools, NHS and local councils has also increased way above inflation, recognising the underfunding of previous Tory governments in the 1980s and 1990s - I am sure you remember what it was like here in Cornwall as well as I do.

The point is that perhaps it would be a good idea to stop throwing rocks at your friends long enough to have a proper discussion.

Dick Cole said...

Hello Jude

I stand by my comments. I believe that there to be a great disparity of expenditure across the United Kingdom in many different ways. I would hope that the prospect of a Commission to investigate this would be welcomed by all in Cornwall.

One further thing. I have seen your press release about the Council budget which states that "the job cuts proposed at Cornwall Council are the choice of the Tory, Independent and Mebyon Kernow alliance, not the result of a cut in government funding ..."

Please do not misrepresent MK. It is a Conservative-Independent administration at County Hall and MK is not part of it. We actually opposed the budget.



Steve Richardson said...

Hey Jude,

Am I correct in thinking Objective 1 and Convergence money is funding that Cornwall is entitled to. Surely getting this was as a result of the government simply doing its job rather than anything above and beyond the call of duty.

Secondly, isn't the point that Dick is making is that Cornwall (as usual) seems to be receiving less funding relative to other parts of Britain.

If labour want to tax and spend then wouldn't it be fair to spend equally? Do you welcome the suggested commission or do you fear that it might show that labour favours some places over others?

John said...

great information sharing.
- St Austell

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