MP's Column

On Friday I had the great privilege of taking part in Mounts Bay Academy's mountain fundraising challenge. Over two days students, staff, parents and family climbed the school climbing wall to raise money for Community Action Nepal, following the devastation of the recent earthquake. A thousand climbs were needed to match the height of Mount Everest. Forgive me for saying this was the highest point of my day!

Earlier in the day I went on a walk-a-bout in St Ives with the Mayor Linda Taylor. As the new MP I am taking time to meet with community representatives asking them what three priorities their community has that I can help with. I also met with the Mayor of Penzance asking the same question. We discussed the options for a breakwater, the Coinagehall Street site and Jubilee Pool. Some very good work has been done to develop people's ideas and I am convinced that we can now see some of these ideas become reality.

The integration of health and social care is a priority for me and I met with the Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group on Friday and with Dr Francis Old on Saturday. Dr Old takes a leadership role for West Cornwall within the KCCG and has developed some new work with his colleagues with the aim of reducing unplanned hospital admissions for patients in the South Kerrier locality. This work is supported by the Prime Minister's Challenge Fund. I also visited Helston Community Hospital during their Memorial Day Commemorations.

Further activities for me included May Pole Dancing at Breage Summer Fete and watching Zorbs at Mawgan Feast!

The highlight of my week in Westminster has to be the comprehensive support the Government received from MP's for the EU Referendum Bill. Over 75% of MP's voted in favour of an in/out referendum on UK membership of the EU before the end of 2017. The question on the Ballot papers will be, 'Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?'. I voted for the bill and was glad to. The British people deserve a say on our EU membership.


Derek Thomas

Member of Parliament for St Ives