George presses Government on Cornwall’s right to manage its own funding

Posted on: 29th January 2015

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, has welcomed the £11.3million expansion of the Cornwall and Isles of Scillies Growth Deal, but, speaking in the Commons today, pressed Government Ministers to allow Cornwall to manage its own funding.

It is estimated that this funding could create 5000 new jobs and has the potential to generate a further £160million investment.  Included in the Growth Deal expansion are projects to take Cornwall to over 99% fibre broadband connected and to create a lounge and changing facilities at Penzance railway station.  However, the funding announcement is marred by the disclosure that Tory Ministers have reneged on an agreement that European funding in Cornwall can be managed locally.

Mr George has been a long term campaigner on improvements to the Night Riviera Service and has previously petitioned the House of Commons on the issue.  Speaking in the House of Commons today, Mr George welcomed the investment but asked a further question to Government Ministers to press for Cornwall to be given the power to follow through its investments.

Mr George said, “It is fantastic news for West Cornwall that facilities will be improved at Penzance railway station and that there will be a much needed boost to telecommunications in the area.  However, it will be difficult to rejuvenate the Cornish economy if we’re being micromanaged from Whitehall.

“There’s no better way to discourage initiative and creativity than to have to go cap in hand to a bunch of bean counters in Whitehall every time you want to shift a paper clip in Cornwall. Eric Pickles especially has abjectly failed and seriously let Cornwall down. This will seriously hamper Cornwall’s ability to get the economy flying.”