A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall

‘A Fair and Just Future for Cornwall’ brings together 21 key stakeholders from across business, faith and the voluntary sector, all of whom articulate their own particular vision of a better future for Cornwall as we emerge from lockdown. There is no attempt to find a common agenda and each author is speaking from their own perspective or the perspective of the communities they represent or serve.

You can download the report here

We are at a turning point. The decisions we take now will frame the direction we go on. The purpose of this report is to ensure that as we emerge from lockdown, Cornwall has a voice over its own future.  It has been sent with a covering letter to all 6 Cornwall MPs, all group leaders of the 120 elected councillors and the chief executive Kate Kennally urging them to listen to the diverse range of voices  before taking important decisions. A press release was also issued on Friday and we know that on Monday, BBC radio interviewed two of the contributors.

The lead organisation is Cornwall Independent Poverty Forum and until now its focus has largely been on poverty issues, as its name implies. However the pandemic has changed everything and has forced CIPF to step outside its normal boundary of action and reach out to other groups and organisations – hence this wide ranging report.

It’s very easy for reports such as these to be ‘parked’. They make a brief media splash, our leaders and elected representatives nod their heads in agreement, make  positive noises,  a letter is sent to the local press and  everyone moves on.

We do not want this to happen. Firstly we are asking for a considered response from our MPs as well as council leaders and all contributors will meet in three months time to compare notes and to share any responses we have had from MPs and elected councillors.

Secondly we want to trigger a much wider conversation. What is Transition Falmouth’s response to this report? What kind of future do they want for Falmouth? If we look at the devolution agenda, how can this be brought right down to town and village level so that a Town council, a residents association and local community groups can have the rights, powers and resources to shape their own future and have a say in the  decisions that matter to them? And how does all this dovetail with the huge challenge we face as global warming gathers pace? The report is there to help trigger new thinking and a positive vision in answer to the question “what kind of future do we want for ourselves, our families and the community we live in?” The answer doesn’t have to respond to the report, it just has to come from you.

All responses will be carefully collated and fed back to all 21 contributors. It will also be forwarded to  our MPs and council leaders. The time frame for this is 3 months when contributors will meet with the Bishop of Truro to discuss next steps.  We want this report to be a landmark by which to chart the direction we take and the progress we make in bringing about a fairer, more inclusive, more sustainable future for Cornwall.

Gavin Barker

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