Creating a carbon-free Cornwall, tackling the housing crisis, offering children the best start in life, and putting sustainability at the heart of all we do have been laid out as priorities by the leader of Cornwall Council at a meeting of the full authority yesterday.

Cllr Linda Taylor gave the annual ‘State of Cornwall in the National Context’ speech to the council at County Hall in Truro.

The speech looked back at the events of the past year and focussed on the authority’s priorities for the years ahead.

Reflecting on past 12 months, Cllr Taylor spoke of her gratitude to everyone who stepped forward to help during the Covid pandemic.

She said: “On behalf of Cornwall Council, I would once again like to acknowledge and commend the substantial efforts made by the public, private and voluntary sector organisations, and the army of volunteers, that helped deliver an unprecedented response to support the people of Cornwall.”

The leader also set out some key priorities for the new administration, which has been in place since May’s election.

She said: “And so, I want to turn now to our ambitions for Cornwall in this new era – and start by thanking the people of Cornwall for listening to what we set out in our plan’s and choosing this administration to deliver.

“We are determined to create a carbon zero Cornwall where everyone can start well, live well and age well.”

She added: “As well documented, the pandemic has dramatically impacted the housing market, with house prices and rental values both increasing by over 15% since March 2020. With 576 households already in temporary accommodation, there are a unique set of circumstances at play in Cornwall which is creating a housing crisis that requires everyone in the chamber to help tackle.

“We want every child to have the best start in life, full of opportunities for a bright future here in Cornwall. Thousands of children got involved in the G7, from young Cornish reporters at the international media centre through to the Youth 7 Summit in Carbis Bay, an approach Government wants Glasgow to follow for COP26. Our commitment is to be ambitious for each and every one of Cornwall’s children.”

Cllr Taylor summed up, stating: “Central to all these ambitions is our pledge to support communities to thrive, so people look after each other and Cornwall ultimately becomes more sustainable for current and, more importantly, future generations.”

Yesterday’s meeting also saw a discussion on the council’s financial position, and a commitment to continue work on possible boundary changes for town and parish councils.

You can watch a full recording of the meeting back here.