Cornwall

Cornish language-use council plan unanimously backed

Image caption Any new road signs in Cornwall are in both English and Cornish

Staff at Cornwall Council will now be encouraged to greet callers in Cornish.

The council will train staff and wants to see the Celtic language used in documents and ultimately spoken "in pubs and on street corners".

The council's cabinet voted unanimously to back plans, which first emerged last month.

Promotion of the language, previously pronounced "extinct", is funded by an annual government grant of £150,000 along with £30,000 from the council.

Now though, the Cornish Language Plan will "encourage use of Cornish greetings" by reception staff, call centre staff and officers.

Porthcurno beach Image copyright Adam Gibbard/VisitCornwall
Image caption Cornwall Council hopes its initiative will help lead to the Cornish language being used by people around the county

Julian German, the council's cabinet member for economy and culture, said: "We want to hear the language spoken around Cornwall - on street corners and in the pub as part of everyday life."

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Media captionJulia Wass, BBC Radio Cornwall, "it's quite an enjoyable language to speak"

Some Cornish will be used on the Cornwall Council website but "without interfering in any way with clear communication".

The council estimates that between 300 and 400 people are fluent speakers who use Cornish regularly, while around 5,000 have very simple conversational ability.

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Endangered languages?

Image caption Cornish speakers meet at a pub to practice their language skills

At the meeting on Tuesday, Conservative councillor Fiona Ferguson asked to clarify the amount of money spent on promoting the language.

Liberal Democrat member Jeremy Rowe said: "The threat to public services doesn't come from the Cornish language it comes from the Chancellor's spending review."

The council will now lobby the government for a five-year funding plan.

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