Cornwall's MPs lobby to avoid project spending cuts


Cornwall's MPs are lobbying ministers ahead of the Budget over projects which could be scrapped under spending cuts.

Among the schemes axed already in the county is the £1.2m Future Jobs Fund.

Liberal Democrat St Ives MP Andrew George said he was campaigning to make sure funds for a new £44m ferry link to the Isles of Scilly were not lost.

Camborne and Redruth Conservative MP George Eustice is concerned about the rebuilding or refurbishment of six schools in the county.

'Poor value'

England's councils must save £1.1bn as the government tries to cut the UK's deficit by £5.7bn this financial year.

Many councils are waiting for the emergency Budget on 22 June before they will reveal their plans, but some schemes have already been affected.

The Future Jobs Fund had been hailed a success in the county, with recent initiatives including providing employment for 200 young people aged between 18 and 24 in March to work on six-month environmental projects.

The idea was to give them skills and work experience, but the government said it was poor value for money.

'Working around cuts'

Six secondary schools in the county are due to be rebuilt or refurbished under the Building Schools for the Future scheme.

The South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) is also having to consider multimillion-pound savings.

The agency manages many big schemes in the county, including the £42m Wave Hub which is to help deliver energy generated from the sea. It is expected to start delivering power to the National Grid in 2011.

Director of the RDA Theo Liejser said the government would decide how much the agency would lose, which been estimated at up to £24m in Cornwall, and the agency "would have to work around that".

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