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University of Cornwall News

29th January 1998

The following article appeared in today's The Cornishman:

University: Comments 'wild and irresponsible'

By Joyce Channon
Chief Reporter

TIMOTHY James, the man behind the bid to sink Penzance as the site for the Cornwall University, has had his comments "rubbished" by Exeter University's Vice-Chancellor, Sir Ceoffrey Holland.

Commenting on Mr. James' letter in last week's Cornishman, Sir Geoffrey says : "Mr. James' assertions become ever more wild and irresponsible. It is time your readers had some facts.

"Firstly, the petition. In the course of several meetings with the Millennium Commission they never once commented on the Penwith petition in the terms Mr. James ascribes to them. What they did say was that letters of support for our project far out-weighed those against. Moreover, it would not be surprising if many young people did sign the petition, since the project will dramatically improve their opportunities and prospects.


"So far as the choice of Trereife is concerned, your readers will recall Exeter University invited proposals from all over Cornwall and examined 48 resulting suggestions, including four from Kerrier. The unanimous recommendation of our Steering Group, with its majority of members from within Cornwall, was for Trereife and that was the unanimous decision of our University Council."

Sir Geoffrey continued: "Mr. James is unwilling to face the fact that Camborne School of Mines must relocate and that is has no secure future in Cornwall unless it does so. Its present building was designed for about 100 undergraduates on one course. There are now three times that many, on 16 courses, including postgraduates. Moreover, CSM is now becoming a world-class research institution. For that it needs world-class laboratories and workshops, which at present it does not have. As CSM is an integral part of Exeter university, it is for our University Council, and no-one else's to decide where it should relocate. The Council's choice has been made. It is Trereife.

"According to Mr. James our proposals 'by definition have lost Cornwall £100 million in lost funding.' Utter rubbish. There is no crock of gold labelled '£100 million for Cornwall.' Cornwall has to fight every inch of the way to secure funding for any project. That is what we have been doing on Cornwall's behalf. Nothing we have done or are doing has stopped others from doing the same for their projects. Nothing that has happened has deprived any other project of a penny. It is much more likely that it is the activities of Mr. James and his friends that are standing in Cornwall's Way.

"Finally, Mr. James suggests a relocation of CSM to Penzance 'would lose Penwith taxpayers £1 million'. Rubbish again. Trereife is Exeter University's choice for its campus for all its activities in Cornwall, not for CSM alone, just as Pool and Cornwall College are Plymouth University's base. Exeter's campus will bring jobs and a large cash injection into the local economy. CSM alone will bring £12 million every year - not a bad return on Penwith's investment. But it will be much more besides - a magnet for inward investment and a resource without equal in Cornwall to help existing firms and individuals to grow their enterprises.

Copyright © Cornish Weekly Newspapers Ltd 1998

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