Blog: New school garden and loneliness

Over the weekend I was glad to visit St Mary's C of E School to open their new garden. Mums, dads, teachers, governors and children have spent their Saturday mornings clearing an area and creating this space in the playground. I know the staff are very grateful for their help and also to RGB who provided the materials. It is such a good use of space and an ideal place for children to chat and take a break.

Following this I chaired a further meeting to establish what progress is being made to make the A30 much safer for road-users and local residents. Highways England, Cornwall Council, Ludgvan and St Erth Parish, Penzance Town Council and George Eustice' office were all represented and I was pleased with the unanimous commitment to ensuring safety works, including traffic lights at the crossroads, are carried out at the earliest opportunity. I was also pleased with the unanimous commitment to pursue the possibility of a dual carriageway right through to Newtown Roundabout. It was good to hear that Cornwall Council and Highways England see this as an equal priority to improving the A38 between Bodmin and Plymouth. This is significant progress from when we first revived the campaign to dual the A30 in 2015 where there was little support for a St Erth to Newtown dual-carriageway outside of West Cornwall.

Scores of volunteers give time for others on a regular basis and over the weekend my office organised events in St Ives, Penzance and Helston to share appreciation for all they do and to understand what more must be done to address loneliness and isolation, an issue that concerns many of us. It was good to see so many volunteers attend and the many organisations represented. Week in, week out, activities take place across West Cornwall and I'm keen to work to ensure people know what is available to them and how they can enjoy company and conversation. In March I am bringing a number of people together (all who have previously raised a concern with me) to look at what further practical things we can do to help address loneliness and isolation. You would be very welcome. Please contact my office for more details.

Many will be aware by now that businesses, residents and representatives are coming together in Helston to discuss any concerns and ideas they have with the intention of identifying a few important priorities that can be addressed to encourage the local economy and celebrate Helston as a historic and vibrant centre. On Friday I host my next in a series of drop-in events for business owners at Mustard Seed and a similar drop-in for residents at Helston Central Methodist Church on Saturday, 24th February. Also on Friday I meet once again with local farmers to hear what action they require of Government and with Domiciliary Care Providers to continue to work with them to improve the way we care for people at home.