12.11.16 Press Release – Grand Bard leads the call for Boundary Commission to protect Cornwall’s identity

“I appreciate that our English neighbours are sometimes unfamiliar with Cornish cultural tradition” said Grand Bard Merv Davey, “so a quick explanation may be necessary.”

Beginning his presentation in Lys Kernow to the Boundary Commission’s two day public consultation, Dr Davey expressed deep concern for the proposed changes to parliamentary constituencies in Cornwall.

“The aim of Gorsedh Kernow is to celebrate and promote Cornwall as a Celtic nation in a civic and cultural capacity. We are very concerned that the proposed Devonwall constituency devalues this identity and submit that Cornwall’s integrity should be maintained by having a coterminous border with the Parliamentary constituency boundaries.”

Pointing out obvious discrepancies in Government policy he maintained that the case for Cornwall to be treated as a discrete entity is based on history, cultural identity and modern democracy.

“Our case is strongly supported by recognition of the Cornish under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities endorsed by the UK Government in 2014 which, I would strongly argue, supercedes the status of the Parliamentary and Voting System and Constituencies Act of 2011.”

Leading the call for 5 Cornish MPs, the Grand Bard insisted that Cornwall was being arbitrarily and unnecessarily dismembered in order to balance the numbers.

“There are no cross-border boundaries recommended for Wales or Scotland,” said Dr Davey, “even though the European Framework Convention affords us the same status as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.”

The Grand Bard went on to express dismay at the response received on the same day from HM Government following the recent petition to restore funding for the Cornish language.

“The Government is in breach of its responsibilities under these international treaties and Gorsedh Kernow urges Cornwall Council to make representations to Government to right this wrong against an ancient nation of the British Isles.”

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Further notes for editors

To read the Grand Bard’s full presentation to the Boundary Commission please see  http://gorsedhkernow.org.uk/wp/?p=488

The initial countrywide Boundary Commission consultation takes place for 12 weeks between 13th September and 6th December 2016.  Initial findings will be published early in 2017 followed by a further 4 week public consultation. The Boundary Commission will review information from the first and second consultations to revise their proposals.  In late 2017/early 2018 a third period of public consultation will take place for 8 weeks for comment on the revised proposals. The final report will be presented to Parliament in September 2018.

The Cornish language community urges the Westminster government to recognise its responsibilities in respect of Cornish under Parts 1 and 2 of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages 2002 and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities 2014.

Discussions with local (Cornish) MPs have emphasised that respect and recognition for and promotion of the Cornish language is a UK State responsibility which has not been devolved to Cornwall Council in its entirety. Unless and until it is devolved to a Cornwall wide governing body with sufficient powers to cover the relevant agencies to ensure respect and promotion of the language at all levels of government the Cornish language community considers that the Government is in breach of their responsibilities under these international treaties.

For further information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact Delia Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, Communications Officer, Gorsedh Kernow,

email  communications@gorsedhkernow.org.uk

or visit our website www.gorsedhkernow.org.uk

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