Commenting on news that Cornwall Council has agreed to work on a dual Economic Partnership arrangement both with Devon and (for day-to-day purposes) with the Isles of Scilly, West Cornwall and Scilly MP Andrew George has warned that Cornwall should “remember the lessons of recent history, stand on its own two feet and avoid being strait jacketed by others.”
George said: “Cornwall has achieved more in economic development terms in the last decade since it achieved separation from Devon and secured Objective 1 – now Convergence – status than it had in the decades before, when it followed the “Devonwall” agenda.
“Don’t get me wrong. Cornwall should always seek to work in partnership with others whether in Plymouth or Portsmouth, Devon or Devizes, Torbay or Taunton, on an issue-by-issue and project-by-project basis. But we mustn’t lose control to others. Cornwall and Scilly do best when we stand on our own two feet. We do worse when we become dependent upon others.
“All economic development executive functions should be based in Cornwall. Partnership arrangements with other areas with a shared interest – including places which share the same rail line or maritime connection – can be sought, when needed. We can and should work together in partnership with others on a project-by-project and a case-by-case basis. We don’t need to set up more wasteful organisations, talking shops or bureaucratic functions purely for the sake of it.
“We also don’t need to join with others purely to ‘gain clout in the corridors of power’. Where we have a shared interest with others we should demonstrate that shared interest. Other than that we should stand on our own two feet.”