Don’t be surprised if you’ve heard the sound of popping champagne bottles from the Cornwall Council leadership bunker in recent weeks. For it seems that at least one of their policies is working. At the end of June the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its latest internal migration statistics. These tell us how many people move between each local authority in the UK. It revealed the shocking news that net in-migration to Cornwall in 2016-17 was up to 7,092, equivalent to a town the size of Wadebridge.
Just four years ago in 2012-13 it was 3,087, but numbers have steadily risen since and are now at levels not seen for almost two decades. It’s no coincidence that this more than doubling of the in-migration rate has been accompanied by a 35% growth in the number of speculative houses being built in Cornwall. But I forget, in Cornwall Council’s dream world these are all being sold or rented to ‘local residents’, who then walk or cycle to work and the shops.
Strangely, this news seems not to have been reported by our fearless local media. Even if it had they’d have probably have spun this unsustainable growth as a great success story.
The only slight hope is that the ONS has got it wrong again. In the 2000s their statisticians exaggerated migration to Cornwall. But we won’t know until the next Census. In the meantime, expect Cornwall Council and central government to carry on merrily wreaking havoc on our communities, our Cornishness and our environment.