KERNOW: More council staff get Saint Piran’s day holiday

The St Piran’s Day campaign run by the Kernow Branch of the Celtic League has once more proved successful as more Councils throughout Cornwall opt to give their staff a day off in 2010 in celebration of Cornwall’s patron saint.

The campaign – initially started by the League over five years ago – has culminated in eight town councils and Cornwall’s only City Council voting to give their employees an annual day off work to celebrate St Piran’s day on 5th March. This year, two more town Councils – Camelford and Redruth – voted in favour of giving their staff a day off work, following the yearly letter from the branch to Cornish Councils. In the letter, the branch argued that:

“By making 5th March an annual holiday for your staff you will be showing the public that you support the distinctiveness of Cornwall and are prepared to celebrate this increasingly important event in Cornwall’s cultural calendar.”

Last month the branch were also informed by St Ives Council that it had voted in favour of the issue last year, bringing the number of Councils celebrating this increasingly important day in the Cornish cultural calendar up to seven. Then the Town Clerk at Camelford Council wrote to the branch to say that they too had voted in favour of giving their staff a day off and then earlier this week Redruth Council also voted in favour of the proposal, bringing the number of Councils up to nine. In addition to the town councils the branch also wrote to Cornwall Council asking them to follow suit and all of the main political parties in Cornwall asking whether their stance on the issue had altered from last year. The branch is still waiting for Cornwall Council to respond to their letter and of all the political parties, only Mebyon Kernow –the party for Cornwall responded, saying that they were very much in favour of making St Piran’s day a public holiday throughout the nation.

Below lists the Cornish councils whose staff will celebrate St Piran’s day this year:

Bodmin Town Council
Penzance Town Council
Truro City Council
Hayle Town Council
St Columb Major Town Council
St Blaise Town Council
St Ives Town Council
Camelford Town Council
Redruth Town Council

Kernow Branch Secretary, Mike Chappell, said:

“It is a fantastic opportunity for Council staff to be able to participate in the St Piran’s Day celebrations that are taking place throughout the length and breadth of Cornwall. In giving their staff a day off Councils are demonstrating that they are prepared to embrace Cornish difference and to celebrate Cornish cultural diversity full heartedly. I would like to say a big thank you to the Councillors who have voted to make this more of a special day for all concerned and have taken a lead on the issue.”

“Also if any other council in Cornwall has voted previously in favour of this proposal, the branch would like to hear from you, so that we can help promote and publicise your undertaking further.”

Mike Chappell has recently been in close communication with Redruth Town Council and other organisations to introduce a St Piran’s day celebration in the town in 2011. He has submitted a report to Redruth Council about his ideas, which has been formally accepted and applauded in the press.