Report To The Gorsedd Council On Developments
In The Cornish Language Domain
February 04, 2006
Since I last reported in October, the main developments have been as follows:
- The Cornish Language Partnership has now agreed its final Terms of Reference (copy attached). The Partnership Agreement document is currently with the legal department of Cornwall Council and should be ready for distribution shortly.
- Teer ha Tavaz applied verbally at the meeting on 10 November to join the partnership. A subsequent letter of application together with an information sheet submitted to the December 14 meeting showed that the organisation was neither open nor democratic. In its own words, “Teer ha Tavaz has no elected membership and no membership that may be applied for. The Director is responsible for policy, publication and all matters concerning the Cornish language. The positions of Director and Secretary are permanent and non-elective. Members who have agreed to serve as Officers do so on the understanding that if at any time they disagree irreconcilably with the Director’s policies they shall step down.” It was unanimously agreed that Teer ha Tavaz should not be accepted as a member of the Partnership.
- The application for funding under Objective 1 has been successful and an announcement in the press will be made shortly. This means that the advertising of the position of Cornish Language Development Manager can go ahead.
- The Partnership has decided that its meetings will in future be open to observers. All administrative details will be published on the Cornish language page of the CCC website until a new site is established for the Partnership itself.
- The report on the Tremough conference “Towards a Cornish Future” has been published—copies available from Jenefer Lowe, County Hall.
- The Cornish Subcommittee of EBLUL organised a symposium on EU funding for minority languages at Kresenn Kernow, Redruth, on 26 November. Davyth Hicks, an officer with Eurolang, travelled from Brussels (incidentally getting stuck in the snow at Dobwalls) and gave a full account of the various European programmes. I think we all found the presentation complex and rather opaque. However, Davyth agreed that the whole system is loaded against smaller languages. At least 50% co-funding is now required, bigger projects stand the best chance of success, participants from at least 3 member-states are required. So, it can take a year of hard work to produce a proposal which stands virtually no chance of success. Eurolang is lobbying for a fairer system and we should be lobbying our MEPs on the same lines.
- The Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts (‘Comex’: a Hungarian chairman, a Norwegian and a Welshman, with a secretary from Strasbourg) visited Cornwall for the first time on 8 December (in January 2003 we had to go to Cardiff to see them) to assess the implementation of the European Charter. Representatives of Gorsedd Kernow, Kesva an Taves Kernewek, Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek, Cossel an Tavas Kernewek and the Institute of Cornish Studies were given 1¼ hours — 0915 to 1030 — to address the committee and answer some of their questions. The Gorsedd submission is attached and the other bodies argued along similar lines.
There was some concern that Agan Tavas had requested and were granted a private meeting with Comex at 0830-0915, but I have not heard what was the reason for this. I think it is important that we keep our eye on the ball and do not allow ourselves to be distracted by such happenings.
The next meeting of the Partnership will be on the 20 February and the biennial general meeting of the Cornish Subcommittee of EBLUL will take place on 2 March.
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