Cornwall Council Leader Adam Paynter has delivered a rallying call for Cornwall to be ambitious for itself and its people and claim its place on the national and international stage.

Delivering his first State of Cornwall in the National Context speech at yesterday’s Council meeting, Councillor Paynter said: “In a world such as this it would be easy to shrink away from responsibility, looking passively at the events of the wider world. But I believe that now, more than ever, is the time for leadership; the time for putting Cornwall firmly on the map in the consciousness not only of people in these islands but beyond; the time to create a vision for our people that provides opportunity for one and all.”

He talked about the fight to secure new powers for the residents of Cornwall through New Frontiers, the proposal agreed by all partners on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board for changing the region’s economy to bring an additional £ 2billion and create 20,000 new jobs by 2030, and the Council’s ‘Fairer Funding’ campaign.

Cllr Paynter said: “Working closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership on which I sit, Cornwall is now attracting national and international interest in its world class areas such as creative and digital industries, and is ambitious in emerging areas such as space technologies with its Spaceport bid. This Council has also levered in European funding to support low carbon projects including the UK’s first deep geothermal project, enabling energy to be generated from hot rocks.

“We need to grow our strengths in global industries like renewable energy, creative and digital technologies, and build on our mining heritage to exploit our lithium resources to develop batteries for electric vehicles.”

He called upon fellow Councillors to help make Cornwall Council the best it can possibly be as it works with partners, under its double devolution programme, to give local control over more community facilities.

“Devolution at all levels is as much a philosophy as it is a programme. I want power and services to reside at the level that best serves our residents; whether this is control of a library or powers devolved from Whitehall,” he said.