On September 16th I was promised a visit by the Environment Minister to meet with farmers impacted by the SSSI designation in West Penwith. This was during a debate I secured in the Commons as I hold grave concerns, not about the need for this special protection for the moors, but by the method and behaviour of Natural England in the process of designation at the time and sadly since. This visit took place on Friday and Minister Robbie Moore met a large number of farmers around a kitchen table to hear first-hand exactly what took place and how the process could be improved. Natural England behave as if farmers are the problem. In reality, there would not be a site worth designating if the farmers had not carefully managed the environment and supported the biodiversity over generations. There are questions that still need to be answered in relation to what farmers can and can’t do on their land and Robbie agreed to get the bottom of these issues. I’ll continue to work to get a very much improved relationship between farmers and Natural England.
It was good to welcome the PM to West Cornwall on Thursday. The Government is making childcare freely available to working parents and this relies on preschools having the staff, facilities and revenue to meet the additional demand. I took Rishi to Nancledra Preschool as I’ve been working with the manager in the past year to understand how challenging it is to recruit and retain the staff needed. Nancledra, like many preschools in West Cornwall is popular with parents and in demand. It was helpful for the PM to get a feel for the quality of the childcare provided and to see some of the challenges rural preschool providers face. As parents, we are extremely fortunate to have such good provision in West Cornwall, the support preschools can provide helps to give our children the very best start. As far as I’m concerned, anything I can do to help ease the pressure on preschool providers is time well spent and I was glad that Rishi accepted my invitation.
Next week I’m hosting MP ‘drop-ins’ in Helston, Penzance and St Ives. On Thursday 22nd I’m at Light and Life Church in Helston at 8.30am for an hour and at Ruan Minor Village Hall Market at 10am for an hour. At noon I’m serving coffee for a more informal chat at Breage Village Hall. At 4pm I’ll be at the YMCA Penzance for an ‘drop-in’ and again at 7.45pm I’ll be at the British Legion, St Ives. During the course of the year I try to get to most villages for these ‘drop-ins’ as they give the opportunity for people to raise any question, concern or idea, without having to travel to the nearest town - however, if you miss these, I host at least monthly traditional MP surgery appointments in each of the main towns across West Cornwall. In early March I’ll also be on Scilly for the same purpose. Further details are available - email@example.com.