The Grand Bard of Gorsedh Kernow has written to the Council expressing his “extreme concern” about the lack of recognition of the importance of Cornish culture in the Council’s budget plans and proposals and says locals are getting overlooked in favour of tourists.
Grand Bard Merv Davey says there is an absence of any mention of the civic and cultural identity of Cornwall in the draft Budget and Business plan.
The full draft of the letter is below. In it Dr Davey says the lack of any recognition of the considerable work already carried out by cultural organisations, volunteers and council officials is ‘disloyal’. He points out there is no resource allocated to support implementation of Cornish National Minority status, nor the Cornish Language. “Notwithstanding the dispute with Central government over funding, Kernewek has a place within the Council’s business plan” says Bardh Meur.
“Gorsedh Kernow urges Cornwall Council to make direct reference to and address these key cultural issues in the Business and Budget plan”
Exposure to culture is a ‘key factor’ of a healthy balanced lifestyle says the Grand Bard but the local population can be overlooked in favour of just promoting culture to tourists. “This issue is also of fundamental relevance and importance to the residential population of Cornwall who would be forgiven for thinking that Cornwall Council’s attention is often too heavily focused on the well-being of tourists rather than the majority of their council tax payers.”
Letter from Bardh Meur Kernow to Cornwall Council
Cornwall Council Budget and Business Plan Consultation December 2017
Thank you for your invitation to the Budget and Business Plan briefing sessions which were useful and informative. Gorsedh Kernow will be social networking the website links you have provided to facilitate the consultation and will encourage people to make their own contributions.
Gorsedh Kernow represents civic and cultural identity in Cornwall and we are concerned at the absence of any mention of these in the Budget and Business plan. We recognise that the Council faces a very serious challenge in meeting the budget targets for the next five years and that the business plan reflects this. Gorsedh Kernow would nevertheless remind the Council that respecting, promoting and capitalising on Cornwall’s distinct cultural identity is also part of the Council’s business.
Gorsedh Kernow would identify the following key issues which should be addressed by the Business and Budget plan:
Cornish National Minority Status / heritage: The FCNM recognition of Cornish National Minority Status has a powerful and positive impact upon the heritage and tourist sectors. This is recognised in section 44 and 45 of the Cornwall Devolution Deal. The Council should be clear in the business plan about how it is supporting the development of both tangible and intangible heritage. Gorsedh Kernow is aware that both Cornwall Council officers and elected members work extremely effectively with voluntary organisations in the development of this sector. It seems disloyal not to recognise this in the business plan.
Cornish National Minority Status / internationalism: as well as offering protection to the Cornish minority group this focuses on the development of the cultures of national minorities and fostering contacts and collaborations between them. The business plan should include the Council’s commitment here and identify the resources that will be made available for this.
Census development: resources need to be identified that will actively and positively support the Census development and the commissioning of consequent tables and data that will strengthen Cornwall’s case across a range of needs.
World Heritage Site: this is a key asset for a globally connected Cornwall in the wake of Brexit which offers both overseas promotion and collaboration with the Cornish Diaspora. For example, the Cornish mining region in South Australia is poised for World Heritage site recognition and the council needs to be committed in its business plan to exploring the commercial and cultural opportunities this offers.
The Cornish Language: Kernewek is protected under the Council of Europe’s charter for regional and minority languages and in reality this responsibility is increasingly falling to Cornwall Council. The survival and rekindling of Kernewek is a matter for international acclaim for Cornwall. The promotional opportunities of Cornwall having its own distinctive language are also being taken advantage of by the tourist and leisure industries. Notwithstanding the dispute with Central government over funding, Kernewek has a place within the Council’s business plan.
Culture and Well Being: the importance of work / life balance is universally recognised within employment and health care. Culture and environment are key factors in helping people to achieve this balance and therefore the key to sustainability. This issue is also of fundamental relevance and importance to the residential population of Cornwall who would be forgiven for thinking that Cornwall Council’s attention is often too heavily focused on the well-being of tourists rather than the majority of their council tax payers.
Real Cornish Culture: Gorsedh Kernow urges the Council to acknowledge real Cornish culture, rather than just culture in Cornwall, as a positive identifier for this distinct part of Great Britain, which sits well within the current boundary west of the Tamar, rather than a wider homogenous so-called “Great South West”. Cornwall’s unique tangible and intangible culture is the envy of many and is unmatched elsewhere in the rest of Great Britain and beyond.
Gorsedh Kernow urges Cornwall Council to make direct reference to and address these key cultural issues in the Business and Budget plan.
Dr Merv Davey, Grand Bard, Gorsedh Kernow
Photo: Bardh Meur Merv Davey stands by a tree decorated by children from Mevagissey school.
A series of public consultations about Cornwall Council’s budget proposals is now complete but if you wish to send in comments you can still do so:
Full information about this can be found via the link http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/have-your-say/cornwall-council-budget-engagement-2017/
Through the online survey which is open until Friday 29th December 2017 and can be found via the link https://surveyanyplace.com/s/ccbudget112017b?m=c
– by email to email@example.com by Friday 29th December 2017
– by post – download the form from http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/media/29980398/survey-paper-copy.pdf and return it, by 29 December 2017, by post to: Cornwall Council, Have Your Say – budget consultation, Room 4S, Lys Kernow/County Hall, Treyew Road, Truro, TR1 3AY.