Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly need to develop a clear story about the future they want to see post Brexit by listening to all parts of the community and then ensuring that the Duchy’s voice is heard locally, nationally and globally to deliver this future for One and All.
This was the clear message from 50 leaders of key organisations from across Cornwall who attended the second Brexit Summit, led by Council Leader John Pollard and the Bishop of St Germans the Right Reverend Chris Goldsmith, with support from members of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Futures Group, held at the Royal Cornwall Showground at Wadebridge on Thursday.
Opening the Summit Bishop Chris said it was vital that everyone worked together to focus on the common good for people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and that this meant listening to what the public and local communities had to say.
“We need to show that we are listening to the voices and opinions of others and then make sure that their priorities and their concerns are included in our discussions “ he said. “This is about partnership and listening – if we do this properly then we will discover what One and All means for our community”.
John Pollard said they needed to make sure that the actions being proposed were relevant to the lives of local people. “It is the next steps which are the most important now” he said. “We need to make sure that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly take full advantage of the opportunities which leaving the EU will provide at the same time as dealing with any risks in a positive way.
“We know that Cornwall is leading the country in preparing for a Post Brexit future and our task now is to ensure that we work together to agree clear actions to deliver what Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly need as we go forward”.
The programme for the Summit included an update on the work of the Futures Group, which was set up after the first Brexit Summit held last July to develop a proposal to the Government for a post-Brexit economic investment programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and the launch of the Catalyst for Change report produced by the Futures Group.
Formally launching the report Cornwall Council’s Chief Executive Kate Kennally said “We want to create a Cornwall and Isles of Scilly where our proposals for improving the lives of People and Places and increasing our Prosperity are working for One and All.
“We know we are facing a period of ambiguity and uncertainty and that we do not have all the answers at this point. However, if we carry on working together with the same energy and enthusiasm as we have shown over the past seven months, then we will create the catalyst for change and develop the future we all want to see”.
The report, which sets out the implications, risks and opportunities of Brexit for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, includes evidence from the eight roundtable discussions held with leading figures from the business, voluntary and public sector to gain an understanding of the potential risks and opportunities of Brexit for key sectors such as tourism, fishing, employment, energy, farming, innovation and higher education over the past few months.
The Summit also included a series of workshops looking at proposals to mitigate the risks and grasp the opportunities relating to the specific themes of “People” – Community Cohesion, (led by Ian Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum); “People” – Skills and Migration ( led by Stuart Roden, Executive Committee Member of the Cornwall Association of Local Councils); “Place” (led by Matthew Thomson. Chief Executive of Fifteen Cornwall and Co-Chair of the Local Nature Partnership Board) and “Prosperity” (led by Sandra Rothwell , Chief Executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership and Kim Conchie, Chief Executive of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce).
Each of the workshops then identified three key actions to be taken forward :
These included :
People – Community Cohesion :
- Listening to and engaging with local residents and communities
- Identifying and addressing the latent tension in some communities
- Developing a “ bottom up “ approach focusing on local communities to improving the lives of individuals
People – Skills and Migration :
- Generating high quality data on the current workforce in Cornwall, including migrant workers
- Modelling the needs of the local economy, including identifying skills gaps and the needs of young people
- Developing a plan which meets the needs of the economy in the short, medium and long term, develops better links between industry and education and engages with the most disadvantaged people in the community.
- Developing a strong “ story” which reflects the values and culture of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and ensure that it is better told locally, nationally and internationally
- Creating the right institutional arrangements to enable Cornwall to take on the powers needed to protect and grow the environment.’
- Focusing on potential risks to the resilience of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to ensure that key infrastructure , such as transport and energy, are protected and improved
- Taking forward the actions in the newly agreed Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Strategic Economic Plan, which focus on productivity, inclusive growth, environmental growth and creativity. To ensure our ambitions are clear – and that we work in partnership and speak with one voice to implement priorities. To maximise investments across the existing EU Programmes to 2020.
- Build on the Strategic Economic Plan ambitions which have a national scale and priority in order to influence the Government’s Industrial Strategy and identify where we want to lead and where we would collaborate with others.
- Work together to develop a clear and distinctive Cornwall and Isles of Scilly brand to promote the most confident and ambitious approach to supporting trade and export, the visitor economy and inward investment
Closing the Summit Kate Kennally said “We need to speak with one voice and be very clear about the future we want for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This Summit is an important next step in this journey and I would like to thank everyone who has taken part.
“This conversation will continue over the coming weeks and months as we take forward the actions which have been identified by the working groups so we can develop our Manifesto to take to the Government”.
A copy of the Catalyst for Change report, together with more information about the Futures Group, is available on the Council’s website – www.cornwall.gov.uk/brexit
( Story by Council Comms )