Give us your Duchy: locals demand Charles' £728m Cornish estate
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Wed Oct 17 01:22:37 BST 2012
Give us your Duchy: demand for Charles' £728m Cornish estate
Should all 53,000-hectares be handed to local people? Charlie Cooper reports
Charlie Cooper - Saturday 29 September 2012
Anti-royalists will descend on Cornwall today to
rally support for a campaign to abolish the Duchy
of Cornwall, Prince Charles' £728m land and property portfolio.
Campaigners want the 53,000-hectare estate, most
of which lies in the south-west, to be handed
over to local people to boost the rural economy.
The protest comes amid growing disquiet in the
region that the Duchy may be putting its own
financial interests before those of the community.
The Duchy of Cornwall, which provides an income
for the Prince, his sons and the Duchess of
Cambridge, owns land in 23 counties and made a profit of £18m last year.
In June, it pushed through a plan to build one
hundred houses and a Waitrose store on quality
farmland east of Truro. Local councillor, Bert
Biscoe, said the development marked the beginning
of "the battle for Cornwall's land." He said:
"Charles does not accept his constitutional
responsibilities to Cornwall, he just wants the
money. He says 'stand up for rural life and the
farmer', and then builds a supermarket and a
hundred houses on good quality farmland."
The £40m Truro East District Centre received
planning permission earlier this year. More than
250 letters of objection were written by local
residents who feared that the development would
become "another Poundbury" a reference to the
"experimental" town near Dorchester, built to
Prince Charles' own architectural specifications.
The Duchy's origins lie deep in England's
medieval past. Created in 1337 by Edward III to
provide an income for his son, the Black Prince,
[Just after the exposure of the Knights Templar &
around the time of the creation of the notorious
Order Of The Garter - ed.] it has propped up
heirs to the throne ever since. The charter that
created the Duchy remains a controversial
document for Cornish nationalists, who interpret
it as a piece of political manoeuvring to keep
unruly Cornish landowners within the English fold.
Republic, whose ultimate goal is the abolition of
the monarchy, are launching the campaign at a
public meeting in Truro. "This land is the
property of the Crown, which means it belongs to
the nation," said Graham Smith, Republic's
campaign manager. "The Duchy has to be got rid of
as an institution. It could be gifted to the
people of Cornwall." Mr Smith is expecting a warm
reception in Truro, where a republican "summit"
will be held in the local library this afternoon.
Mr Smith said the campaign was not about "the
independence or status of Cornwall", but part of
"a wider campaign to curtail Charles' interference and influence in politics."
In recent years the Duchy has angered residents
of the Isles of Scilly by driving up the rents on
the islands, Mr Smith said. The Duchy states on
its website that it is working with housing
associations on the islands to provide 18 new affordable homes.
A spokesman for the Duchy of Cornwall declined to
comment on Republic's campaign for the estate's
demise. When asked about the fairness of the
Duchy's funding model, the spokesman said their
accounts were "transparent and black and white".
According to the Duchy's website, the Duke
"chooses to use a large proportion of the income
from the Duchy to meet the cost of his public and
charitable work. The Duchy also funds the public,
charitable and private activities of the Duchess
of Cornwall and Princes William and Harry."
"The Duchy has been run like this since 1337 and
I don't think we'll be saying anymore than that," a spokesman said.
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"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered
that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that
shall not be made known. What I tell you in
darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye
hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27
Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend.
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