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MK condemns European Funding delay which could cost East Cornwall jobs
Mebyon Kernow Councillor Andrew Long has condemned Central Government for the 18 month delay in setting up the new European funding stream across Cornwall which could have real job implications for the South East.

Cllr Long, who represents Callington on Cornwall Council and is the Propsective Parliamentary Candidate for South East Cornwall was talking after it was announced that the new European Funding scheme will only begin to operate on non-contentious bids from March 2015, some 18 months later than planned.

“We have now been advised that the delays to the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund Operational Programme have totalled 18 months and the blame for this lies firmly at the door of the Government in London.  Their delay in submission of the operational programme to the European Commission has but Cornwall in general and the South East in particular at a massive disadvantage when it comes to vital funding to create economic activity.  Whereas the devolved governments in Wales and Scotland have moved forward and are ready to go with their development programme, the delays from London, apparently because they had problems amongst Councils in the North, has meant that we will now have a big gap between the old scheme ending and the new programme starting.” Said Cllr Long.

“It seems that the blocking point for the EU is that Central Government does not like regions like Cornwall having control over the spending and this archaic view has damaged the Cornish economy on more than one occasion.  The South East of Cornwall relies a lot on small business and these cannot now access any funding for months and this can only damage their future plans.  Our area already has the lowest GVA in Cornwall, and Cornwall has the lowest in the UK so these delays are simply not accessible.” He added.

Cornwall Council are currently working with the Local Enterprise Partnership to assess the impact of the delays across Cornwall.  Both have signed an urgent letter to the Government asking for a speedy conclusion to the issue to allow them to begin the process of aiding economic development for the next five years. Meanwhile Scotland and Wales are well underway with their programme and managing the finances locally.
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Published on 12th January 2015.

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