Friday, 28 October 2011

Cornwall signs up to 'resolutely European' future

I've been interested to read all the comments made by members of Cornwall Council's Conservative group regarding the vote in the House of Commons last Monday on an EU referendum. Two of the commenters were Cabinet Member Steve Double and Deputy Conservative Group Leader Scott Mann.

Of course local councillors have no power to force such a referendum. What Cornwall Council does have, of course, is the power to argue a case in the organisations it is a member of. One such is the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions. The annual conference of this body was attended in Denmark by Cornwall Cabinet Member Carolyn Rule. Far from arguing the case for repatriation of powers, the final communique - to which presumably Carolyn subscribed - talks of a 'resolutely European' future. It says:
"the Conference is concerned about the persistent lack of trust and solidarity between the States of the European Union. A number of encouraging steps forward have of course been made over the past few months: creation of the European financial stabilisation mechanism and its durable transformation into a European Financial Stabilisation Facility are examples to the credit of the Eurozone leaders. This is welcomed by the CPMR"
and then
"As supporters of a resolutely European future which is the only way to ensure a strong role in the global interplay of the 21st century, the peripheral maritime Regions have made European solidarity a focus of their reflections."
The communique also mentions other subjects, including how different authorities have dealt with the worldwide financial crisis. On that subject, the CPMR states:
"the CPMR wishes to draw attention to the detrimental short- and long-term effects of the spiral of austerity into which some States have currently launched themselves"
That would be some states and Cornwall. And
"On a social level, the member Regions are unhappy with the swingeing cuts made in social policies that as a direct result are crippling and impoverishing whole groups of populations."
Such as homeless people and those in danger of becoming homeless who have seen a 40% cut in the supporting people fund in Cornwall, perhaps?

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