Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Cornwall needs funding for its national language

Earlier today, I was interviewed by ITV Westcountry about the seeming refusal of central government to fund the Cornish Language Partnership after the present funding arrangements end on 31st March 2015.

It is beyond belief that central government can recognise the Cornish as a national minority and then refuse to financially support Cornwall’s national language.

A statement from the unitary authority was published today. It was short, blunt and sums up the situation. It was as follows:

“At this moment, the Government has said it will not fund the Cornish Language beyond the current programme which ends on 31 March 2015. We have written to them to express our concerns about this situation and have confirmed that unless funding can be identified we will be forced to close the MAGA office. We are currently in negotiation with the Government on this matter and expect a response imminently. As a consequence of this funding uncertainty staff in the Cornish Language team are currently in a process of consultation around the future of their posts but we have tried to wait until the last possible moment to take further action.”

I know that Nick Clegg will be in Cornwall (electioneering) on St Piran’s Day and I was among those who had hoped that he would be arriving with news of an investment package for the Cornish language. But I understand, from local journalists, that he has issued a press statement in advance of Thursday about the Lib Dem brand of … devolution.

I do sincerely hope that the Deputy Prime Minister will still be able to announce something positive for the Cornish language on our national saint’s day.

2 comments:

Stuart Brown said...

All comes down to priorities, one assumes. So ask the following question: To what other use will you put the money that would otherwise be used to support the Cornish Language? ... and what are the criteria that are being used to demonstrate the relative priorities of these two alternatives?

craig weatherhill said...

Yes, priorities....while the Cornish language is, at present, being denied the sum of £150,000 (a pittance in the overall scheme of things), £500,000 of public money is to be spent so that Police Commissioner Tony Hogg can relocate his office. There is something very wrong with political perception of "priority".