Cornwall Council's Cabinet committee is holding an extraordinary meeting this afternoon to discuss the new proposed level two devolution deal announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement last week.
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.
Today's meeting will start at 2.30pm in the Trelawny Room at County Hall (Lys Kernow) in Truro, and is open to the public.
You can follow proceedings via the live blog below:
2.15pm: This afternoon's meeting will start at 2.30pm.
2.30pm: Today's meeting is now underway.
2.31pm: The are no apologies for absence
2.32pm: There are no public questions
2.32pm: The only item for discussion today is the proposed level 2 devolution deal, which is being introduced by the Leader of Cornwall Council, Cllr Linda Taylor.
2.33pm: Cllr Taylor tells the meeting that this is the best possible deal that requires no change to the way Cornwall is governed. She says they have maintained many of the best elements of the level three deal which was rejected earlier this year.
2.34pm: The meeting is paused due to an issue with the sound on the webcast livestream
2.38pm: The meeting is adjourned until 2.45pm
2.45pm: We are back underway. Cllr Taylor welcomes the fact that the deal includes getting a voice on the British-Irish Council. She tells the Cabinet that it is just a first step towards getting stronger protection for the Cornish language.
2.50pm: Cllr Taylor has now invited Cllr John Keeling, chairman of the CASSOC scrutiny committee to speak after his committee met yesterday to discuss the report.
2.53pm: Cllr Louis Gardner is now speaking, and welcoming the economic impact of the deal, especially with the ability to drive forwards skills development thanks to the devolved adult education sector.
2.58pm: Cabinet member Cllr Carol Mould has welcomed not only the new deal, but also the £10 million that was secured during the negotiations for the original level three deal.
2.59pm: Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, cabinet member for Education, says she is delighted to see the autonomy over adult education is in the deal.
3.04pm: Cllr Andrew Virr and Cllr David Harris have both spoken in favour of the deal.
3.11pm: Cllr Martyn Alvey, protfolio holder with responsibility for the environment, welcomes the retention of protection for Cornish Hedges, as well as the recognition of Cornwall's work in leading the fight against the Climate Emergency.
3.13pm: Cllr Olly Monk admits he is disappointed the level three deal was dropped, but welcomes the new deal.
3.14pm: The Leader opens the meeting to councillors for questions.
3.20pm: Cllr Worth asks if there could be more emphasis placed on the section on the Tamar tolls in the deal.
3.21pm: Cllr Pears, portfolio holder for transport, says it is difficult to address in this document due to that nature of the way the bridge is partly owned by Plymouth City Council, so while the issue is important, it is not in the remit of this deal.
3.23pm: Cllr Dick Cole, leader of the Mebyon Kernow Group on Cornwall Council, welcomes the cultural elements of the deal, and thanks everyone for their efforts. He asks if the wording could be strengthened to further protect the Cornish language. Cllr Taylor says she is happy to accept his suggestion, and that they will work with him to do so.
3.27pm: Cllr Cole also welcomes the call for cross-party work on the White Paper, and welcomes the language used in the document regarding developing Cornwall in the future.
3.29pm: The recommendations are carried unanimously.