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Mebyon Kernow announces thirty pledges for local election campaign
Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has published thirty pledges on behalf of their candidates standing in the Cornwall Council and town & parish council elections.

The thirty pledges are as follows:

Provide a strong voice for one and all

Mebyon Kernow believes that councillors should serve the best interests of their communities, but local government is increasingly becoming little more than an agency of central government, imposing London-centric decrees onto the people of Cornwall.

MK councillors will:
• Fight for the best interests of Cornish communities as we have no political masters in Westminster to please.
• Strive to be passionate and hard-working champions for our local areas and for Cornwall as a whole.
• Listen to the ordinary people of Cornwall, speak up for you and give you a voice.

Fight for fair funding for Cornwall

Cornwall has had a raw deal from Westminster for many years. Our vital public services have received less funding than other parts of the United Kingdom.

MK councillors will:
• Campaign for an appropriate level of funding for local government, hospitals and social care, schools and our vital public services.
• Push for increased investment to build a more decentralised National Health Service for Cornwall, with enhanced health provision spread across the whole of Cornwall.
• Promote the setting up of a Commission to investigate the full extent of the Government under-funding of Cornwall and its communities.

Boost the Cornish economy

Cornwall’s economic performance continues to lag behind that of the rest of the United Kingdom, with a GDP that is below 75% of the UK average. MK is committed to measures to boost the Cornish economy, create new jobs and help people to build a better future for themselves and their families.

MK councillors will:
• Challenge Cornwall Council to develop a long-term strategy for a sustainable and equitable economy to deliver prosperity for Cornwall and its people.
• Lobby central government to ensure significant investment to combat Cornwall’s low economic performance.
• Campaign for greater support for Cornwall’s traditional industries including farming, fishing and mining.

Demand control over planning

The planning system is broken and has made Cornwall a “developers’ paradise,” where the views of local communities are routinely ignored. Mebyon Kernow is campaigning for full control over all aspects of planning and planning policy to be devolved to Cornwall.

MK councillors will:
• Promote well-balanced planning policies which protect the Cornish countryside, while allowing appropriate developments that meet the needs of local communities.
• Press for a lower and more sustainable housing target, with development geared to principally meet local needs.
• Push for planning restrictions to stop and then reverse the spread of second homes.

Fight for proper local-needs housing

Mebyon Kernow believes that local families have a fundamental right to good quality housing, both for purchase and rent, in their own communities and at a price that is truly affordable.

MK councillors will:
• Campaign for a local-needs housing policy that will provide genuinely affordable homes rather than schemes that just make large profits for developers.
• Prioritise the delivery of proper council houses through the local authority, and genuinely affordable homes through registered providers and community land trusts.
• Continue to challenge central government to prioritise social rent properties, rather than more expensive “affordable rent” homes.

Protect and improve public services

The savage austerity cuts over the last decade have had a devastating impact on public services in Cornwall, while the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic could impact adversely on central government funding for local government, the NHS, policing, schools and many services.

MK councillors will:
• Work to end damaging central government cuts, and to demand appropriate financial support to invest in Cornish society after the pandemic.
• Oppose the privatisation of the National Health Service and other public services.
• Oppose the centralisation of services out of Cornwall into bodies stretching across the Government’s SW region or its “Great SW” area.

Safeguard and invest in local facilities

Local government and the wider public sector continue to be under severe pressure, due to constraints from central government. As a result, communities are seeing a loss or reduction in local service provision.

MK councillors will:
• Act to safeguard council and community assets and services such as public buildings, playing fields, open spaces and libraries, which are vital to local towns and villages.
• Pressure central government to invest in the local Post Office network and reverse the closure and / or downgrading of local branches.
• Push for greater parity in how the unitary authority spends its money across the various parts of Cornwall.

Protect the less-well-off and the vulnerable

Mebyon Kernow is committed to a just and fair society, in which we combat poverty and social deprivation, and tackle ills such as in-work poverty, low wages and poor housing.

MK councillors will:
• Champion efforts to provide decent public services to support one and all – including the young, the elderly, the sick, those suffering from mental health issues, the less-well-off and those in need of work.
• Prioritise programmes and initiatives which seek to protect and enhance the living standards for those in need.
• Seek an end to the inequitable council tax and its replacement with a fairer form of local taxation that impacts less on the less-well-off.

Protect and enhance the environment

Cornwall and the wider world face a range of serious environmental threats, and Mebyon Kernow understands these issues need to be tackled at local as well as worldwide levels.

MK councillors will:
• Promote initiatives to reduce greenhouse emissions and develop a truly sustainable and decentralised net-zero-carbon economy, with greater resilience in terms of food production, energy, supply networks, and an integrated public transport system.
• Push for a zero-waste strategy, which invests in the radical reduction of waste and increased re-use and recycling.
• Campaign to defend Cornwall’s green fields and historic landscapes from inappropriate and unsustainable development.

Win greater recognition for Cornwall

Mebyon Kernow exists to secure greater recognition for the historic nation of Cornwall and the rights of all its people.

MK councillors will:
• Campaign to ensure that the safeguards guaranteed through the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are properly enacted in Cornwall and by central government.
• Work hard to protect Cornwall’s unique identity, its language, traditions and its distinct constitutional position.
• Continue to lead the campaign for greater self-government for Cornwall through the creation of a National Assembly or parliament.
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Published on 30th April 2021.

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