June 18, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

New proposed Cornwall devolution deal announced

A proposed new devolution deal for Cornwall focused on skills, green energy, and Cornish culture has been announced by the Chancellor during his Autumn Statement this afternoon.

The level two deal has been negotiated following the decision not to pursue a level three deal, which would have required the introduction of a directly elected mayor for Cornwall.

The new deal has been negotiated with the Council’s priority outcomes at its heart, with a focus on making Cornwall a brilliant place to be a child and grow up, and creating a thriving and sustainable Cornwall.

The proposed deal includes:

  • Skills: Government will fully devolve the adult education budget from 2025, giving the Council control over how best to support adult learners, so we can make sure people have the right skills for the new industries developing in Cornwall, including those in the net zero economy.
  • Green energy: The creation of a Cornwall Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW) Commission to bring clean energy to the shores of Cornwall and elsewhere quicker, enabling Cornwall to contribute to the delivery of the UK’s targets for renewable generation.
  • Cornish culture: The deal means Cornwall Council will be able to attend meetings of the British-Irish Council alongside the UK Government as an advisor on matters relating to the Cornish language. It also includes a further £500,000 to support Cornish distinctiveness and the Cornish language.

Cllr Linda Taylor, leader of Cornwall Council, said: “This level two deal is the very best we could have hoped for after the decision in April not to pursue the level three deal due to the requirement for a directly elected Mayor.

“It devolves decision making for adult education from Whitehall to Cornwall, so that working with businesses and skills providers we can make sure that Cornwall has got the skills it needs for the future.

“The deal also provides with a fantastic opportunity to shape national policy in respect of floating offshore wind power with further pledges to work together to develop our net zero commitment.

“I am also delighted by the support shown for the Cornish language.  This recognition of our distinctiveness is supported by £500,000 funding and comes now with a voice on the British-Irish Council something which we have been pushing for from Government for some time.

“However, we remain ambitious for more, and we want to set out those ambitions for dialogue with future governments through the creation of a new Cornwall White Paper.

“We want this paper to be developed as a cross-party effort, ensuring all voices are heard as we develop our proposals.

“No one knows more about what Cornwall needs to succeed than the people who live here, and I look forward to working with everyone to create a plan to ensure the best possible outcome for us; One and All.”

The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “I am delighted to agree this Level 2 devolution deal with Cornwall, to bring more funding and powers out of Whitehall and directly into the hands of Cornish communities.

“Cornwall is a beautiful area with a rich history and a vibrant culture of creativity and innovation. This deal will help Cornwall to champion its heritage, create more opportunities for its residents and unleash its economic potential.”

Read the Deal (on gov.uk)

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