CORNISH COULD GET A VOICE IN CENSUS


THE Cornish could be recognised in the 2021 Census if the latest efforts by Cornwall Council are successful.

Last week Cornwall Council Deputy Leader Julian German, Cornwall councillors and council officers met senior officers from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in Truro to discuss the inclusion of tick boxes for the Cornish and Cornish language on the Census.

In March the Council of Europe made a specific recommendation to the ONS saying it should ‘take the necessary measures to include the possibility to self-identify as Cornish, through a tick-box in the next census.’

In the last census in 2011, the Cornish did not have the option to tick a box like the Welsh, Scottish, Irish and Northern Irish and could only write Cornish under the ‘other’ option.

Cllr German said the meeting was an important milestone: ‘We believe this will provide a more accurate reflection of the number of Cornish in Cornwall and across the UK.

‘An accurate count of Cornish language speakers is a key factor in influencing funding and devolution – this is key to helping us get a better deal and more funding for Cornish people and culture.’

Although no promise has been made from the ONS, the Office reaffirmed a commitment to support ethnic groups across the UK.

The meeting is the latest push to gain more recognition for the Cornish and comes three years after the UK Government gave Cornish the same status as other Celtic communities the Scots, Welsh and Irish.

This recognition by the UK government within the Framework Convention is not affected by Brexit.

In 2016, the government cut yearly funding of £150,000 Cornwall had received in support of the Cornish language, after it was recognised under the Charter for Regional and Minority Languages in 2003.

In February, the Government announced a one-off payment of £100,000 over two years to support Cornish culture and heritage, including the language.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.