MP Derek Thomas, with Emily Kent, Cornwall Council’s Head of Economy, Skills and Culture, has formed a new group which aims to investigate how best West Cornwall can bring prosperity to areas of deprivation through Government investment. This follows a meeting between Derek and the Chancellor where Derek stressed the need for Government to ensure the proposed Shared Prosperity Fund (to succeed European Social and Structural Funds) continues to meet the needs of the most deprived communities including West Cornwall. The Chancellor invites contributions from communities to inform the discussions relating to what criteria should be applied to new funding awards via the proposed Shared Prosperity Programme.
The group, comprising around 20 local business people, stakeholders, Cornwall Council officers and elected representatives, share a commitment to ensuring that areas of deprivation are brought out of poverty into a future with well-paid, sustainable jobs with the help of the Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, targeting the areas that need it most and using the funds effectively.
18 May, 2018: Derek meets Emily Kent to discuss the proposed group.
13 July, 2018: Inaugural meeting of the West Cornwall Jobs and Growth group is held at Penzance’s St John’s Hall. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liz Truss MP, is the first guest and gives a Government perspective on Shared Prosperity as well as asking the group for further information on how the group feels that Government can help address deprivation in West Cornwall.
12 October, 2018: Group meets to discuss High Street vitality and the barriers to growth in the area; issues raised included the difficulties involved in bringing redundant High Street buildings back into use, the over-valuation of High Street buildings, the importance of a shared community vision and the challenge of attracting sufficient skilled staff to West Cornwall.
2 November, 2018: Derek meets a sub-group to finalise the group’s submission to the West Cornwall.
19 December, 2018: Submission posted to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Meetings occur every 3 months.