• April 4, 2011

A Councillor’s motion calling on Cornwall Council to debate asking the (UK) government to create a public holiday on St Piran’s day was refused yesterday.

Chair of Cornwall Council, Cllr. Pat Rowe, said that the debate would not go ahead because of `resource implications’, leaving one of the supporters of the motion `bemused’. The motion was proposed by Liberal Democrat Councillor Anne Kerridge, following the publication of a government While Paper issued earlier
this month. The White Paper – an authorative government report that can be used to help to solve a problem – aims to consult on a proposal to allow a public holiday on either April 23, for St George’s Day, or on October 21 to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. However in Cornwall Cllr. Kerridge rightly pointed out this month that:

“There’s no reason to impose a one-size-fits-all bank holiday solution” adding that “many countries have different holidays on different days in different regions.”

Cllr. Kerridge said that:

“St George’s Day or Trafalgar are irrelevancies here compared to our pride in Cornwall and our national saint.”

Supporter of the motion Cllr. Rowe said:

“Cornwall was incensed to have lost its integrity now that parliamentary constituency boundaries are being redrawn. The Government owes us one, and a small compensation would be the creation of a St Piran’s Day holiday.”

Even though the White Paper suggests making St George’s Day a public holiday in England, it also points out in parenthesis that this will be St David’s Day in Wales, but no comment is made regarding St Piran’s Day in Cornwall. Scotland already celebrate their national saint day on 30th November (St Andrews) with a
puiblic holiday.

The proposed Cornwall Council motion read:

“Cornwall Council notes the recent government white paper on changing bank holidays and instructs the chief executive to respond that any change in Cornwall should lead to the creation of a public holiday on St Piran’s Day to reflect our unique cultural heritage.”

The Kernow Branch of the Celtic League has been a long time campaigner for making St Piran’s Day ( 5th March) a public holiday in Cornwall and have written once again to all town councils in Cornwall this year asking them to consider making the day a holiday for their staff. This year the Branch also created the
first online Cornwall Council petition calling for the Council to make St Piran’s day a public holiday. The aim of the petition is to raise 5000 signatures by early next year, which according to the Council’s own rules, will compel a full debate to be had on the issue.


White paper:




This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


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