Unite is calling on the government to reform its local funding formula to ensure that Cornwall and other tourist hotspots are better able to cope with peak holiday periods.
Unite is further calling on the government to undertake a long overdue infrastructure improvements in the county.
Unite has made its intervention after Visit Cornwall, the county’s tourist board, warned at the weekend of ‘overcrowding’.
In particular Unite believes that the government must urgently examine the local government and health funding formulas which are based on how many people permanently live in an area.
The funding formula currently fails to take into account the demands on local services from tourism. In areas such as Cornwall and the Lake District the size of the population doubles during peak holiday times.
Particular infrastructure projects that Unite believes are needed to overcome the problems currently faced by Cornwall during the holiday season include: fast tracking the building of the A30 into a dual carriageway and the St Austell link road, a new electrified inland rail line, an increase of beds, staff and capacity in local hospitals and a major social housebuilding programme so that local workers aren’t priced out of living in the county.
“Tourism is a key part of the Cornish economy and there is no suggestion that tourists are unwelcome or a nuisance,” said Unite regional officer Deborah Hopkins.
“However the government needs to radically overhaul local government funding so that councils are given specific funding to ensure that local services are able to cope when the population doubles during the holiday season.
“Cornwall must no longer be treated as the poor forgotten relative when it comes to infrastructure investment,” she added. “Our crumbling roads and creaking railways simply cannot cope with the demand.
“Cornwall is crying out for a social housing building programme providing homes that local workers can afford to live in.
“For a balanced all year round economy with well-paid and highly skilled staff working in successful companies, we need an infrastructure that works for everyone.
“Cornwall has several world class leading light engineering factories whose businesses are damaged if deliveries and supplies cannot get through.
“It is essential to remember that while traffic congestion is annoying for tourists it is also damaging the health of the rest of the Cornish economy and adversely affects the lives of local residents.”