Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Cornwall under-recognised in New Year Honours list

The New Year Honours were announced last night and there are just three names on the list from Cornwall. In comparison, there are 28 from Devon. The three that are there are thoroughly well deserved, but why were the talents and dedication of so many others overlooked?

On the list is Jill Carr, who is HT director for Pendennis shipyards, which has produced one of the best (and most popular) apprenticeship schemes in the country. Her MBE is testament to the company's commitment to educating and training young people.

Two people who receive BEMs are Bob Bulgin, chair of RNLI's Port Isaac branch, and Ken Radford, who established the People and Gardens scheme for those with learning disabilities at Eden Project. Congratulations to both of those too.

Also listed (misleadingly) in the Cornwall section are three who work for the Duchy of Cornwall Estate or personal household of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. But given that all are based up country, I don't see how they are attributed to Cornwall except by a computer search engine. Perhaps they are there to give the appearance of a fairer distribution.

I am sure that the 28 Devon honours are well deserved, and there will be those who say that the honours system is outdated or wrong in principle anyway. But for so long as it exists, there should be a fairer distribution across the whole of the UK. There is more that those of us in Cornwall can be doing by nominating deserving people. But the honours system itself must ensure that there is a fair distribution and that areas of the country are not overlooked.

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