Helston was my town as a young person. It is only natural that I feel at home. Some TLC and an ambitious vision is needed if we are to enjoy a healthy town centre attracting visitors and local businesses and providing the shops and amenities we wants.
Recently, this concern has been voiced on social media. As part of some on-going work with the Mayor, Gillian Geer, and other community leaders, I'm pulling together some events to identify your greatest concerns and seek ways to ensure a vibrant and popular town centre. This work complements other work that is being progressed and I've been invited to run similar initiatives in St Ives and St Just. With the support of the Mayor, I will be hosting business drop-in events so that owners can raise concerns or ideas they have.
Residents can also attend drop-in events in January and February to give their perspective. A public meeting will follow, bringing together residents, the police and other service providers to discuss what support you require for your community. Finally, across West Cornwall I am hosting Big Thank You events to demonstrate my appreciation for the tireless work of volunteers within our community. I was privileged and entertained on Saturday to present a host of medals for the young gymnasts at Swallows of Helston and like many groups, the club survives because of the dedication and support of scores of volunteers.
We recently learned of local bank closures. Early this year, after concerted effort from MPs, including myself, the Post Office secured an agreement with the main banks to provide more banking services on behalf of customers. I'm asking how effective these extended services are in practice and welcome your feedback, both positive or otherwise. I've previously referred to the proposed closure of St Martin-in-Meneage School. Representatives of the action group working to save the school and I recently met with the Deputy Regional Schools' Commissioner to discuss the concerns of the village as the school has served their area for over 130 years. The commitment and care their community is encouraging and impressive - something to be proud of.