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190722 | ‘I’m the Minister for Cornwall’.. er no you are not

 


‘I’m the Minister for Cornwall’.. er no you are not


On his recent trip to Cornwall to announce cultural funding, Lord Bourne introduced himself as the “Minister for Cornwall”

 

If you were unaware that the government has elevated Cornwall’s interests to ministerial level or did not know we had a ‘Minister for Cornwall’ – it’s because no such title exists.

Lord Bourne addresses the recent National Minority conference in Falmouth

Previously Leader of the Welsh Conservative Party and Member of the National Assembly for Wales, Bourne is, at least a minister of state at the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

His responsibiltiies are listed on the government’s website gov.uk as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Faith and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales.

But his biography on the official parliament website makes no mention of Cornwall or his responsibilities for safeguarding our culture and language.

The Cornish Embassy Tick Box bus- “Who am I?”

Bourne was given the brief to respond to the recognition of national minority status, given to the Cornish in 2014.

But apart from a couple of funding announcements (totaling a measly £300k over three years), very little is heard of our supposed ‘Minister’.

Today the MCHLG told us “To clarify, Lord Bourne has not been formally given the title of Minister for Cornwall, however he is the Minister with responsibility for Cornish culture and heritage alongside the rest of his portfolio”.

But in this audio clip, you can hear how he introduces himself as “Lord Bourne, Minister for Cornwall“:

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We asked Council leader Julian German if he thought having a genuine Minister for Cornwall would be a good idea. He said

“What Cornwall really needs is a Government that will work with us to unlock the considerable potential of our communities through a meaningful devolution deal, backed by a fair funding settlement that will close the inequality gap”

Cornwall Council Leader Julian German

Loveday Jenkin of Mebyn Kernow responded “It’s about time that Cornwall was treated properly as a constituent nation of the British Isles.

We deserve not just a minister but proper devolved powers to a Cornish Assembly”

Mebyon Kernow Councillor Loveday Jenkin

After his three day visit, Lord Bourne told a parliamentary committee on devolution last week:

“There are issues relating to Cornwall that are very different from other parts of the country—I had better not say other parts of England because one thing that much of Cornwall is united on is that it is not part of England. There are issues of language and culture; I was down there last week and understand very well their importance. It is very different from metropolitan Britain, and we must not forget those important distinctions.”

The Shadow Minister for Cornwall

In 2007, David Cameron then in Opposition appointed Mark Prisk MP as Shadow Minister for Cornwall, although there wasn’t a government post of Minister for Cornwall for the opposition to shadow.

The Tories said at the time the post was to prove that Cornwall was “at the heart of Conservative thinking”.

However, after the 2010 general election, when Cameron came to power, he did not follow up on his promise and no “Minister for Cornwall” was created and the Labour opposition discontinued the post of “Shadow Minister for Cornwall”.

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