We live in highly uncertain times. The economy remains on a precipice, with opinion divided as to which way it will fall.
The Government is rightfully taking aggressive action to reduce the national deficit, but will £6.2 billion of public spending cuts be a case of too much, too soon? And what affect will this have on Cornwall, which relies on the public sector more heavily than most regions?
It brings about fresh fears over the Convergence programme. Will Government cutbacks jeopardise match funding?
And what of the RDA itself, which administers the Convergence programme? The Government has announced plans to replace the RDAs with Local Enterprise Partnerships, which “may take the form of existing RDAs in areas where they are popular”. Confusion reigns.
Confusion also surrounds David Cameron’s proposals for a Minister for Cornwall. Since taking the keys to number 10, we have heard little more of this pledge. Hertford MP Mark Prisk previously held the dubious title of Shadow Minister for Cornwall, but has now joined the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Are these plans now dead in the water?
Away from the political scene, Sutton Harbour Holdings announced this week that it is to sell Air Southwest. Air Southwest has long been a strong supporter of Newquay Airport, operating more than half the number of flights in and out of Cornwall, both in and out of season, providing an essential service for the region’s business community.
While Air Southwest is being sold as a going concern, there is going to be a natural fear and uncertainty as to what the strategy of its new owners will be.
As I said, we live in highly uncertain times.