MPs Column

Last September Town and Parish Council Clerks and I joined forces to host a conference to reflect the increasing role these hands-on councils have. We discussed improving communication, policing, and plastic free initiatives etc. As we plan this year’s conference an enthusiastic suggestion has been to discuss and produce a toolkit to help town and parish councils take a lead towards making their area carbon free. The conference is open to elected representatives of each town and parish and their clerks and takes place on September 25th. Communities are already leading the way and I was delighted to receive an email from volunteers connected to The Centre of Pendeen informing me of their free events about sustainability in their area.  

The events, under the title ‘Sustainable Pendeen’, will help local residents to learn more, and make decisions about what we can do, as individuals and families, to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Their first event, on Saturday, 24 August from 10.30am to 4pm, is about electric vehicles. There will be electric cars and bicycles to see, passenger rides, films, presentations, experts to talk to, information and ideas, children’s quiz and refreshments throughout the day. It sounds really exciting and completely practical!

Suggestion number 6 as we develop a carbon free Cornwall: Commit to actively supporting and resourcing well thought-out evidence-based carbon-free plans from town and parish councils, making real money available to enable councils to cut harmful emissions and dedicate land for nature recovery.

Like most of my Conservative colleagues I want to see Brexit delivered and a new relationship of trade and cooperation with the EU agreed quickly.

However, given that the Prime Minister has announced she is standing aside, it looks unlikely that she will attempt to bring a new version of the Withdrawal Agreement to Parliament before a new leader is selected. Should this occur, I would question the wisdom and fairness of trapping a successor in this way.

As this Westminster tale unfolds I continue to drive local priorities including meeting on Friday with Southwest Water and local representatives in Mousehole to look at next steps for reducing flood risk and replacing further parts of the foul drainage system and with Highways England and local residents in Crowlas to explore the most effective method to improve safety on the crossroads.

Small business owners have to be some of the most inspiring people I meet. Despite all the barriers that face them, largely created by forces outside of their control, they get up each day to do what they can to earn a living and keep others in work. So often I hear that they take home less than their employees. This was reiterated when I met with members of the Porthleven Business Forum. The topics for debate included our complicated tax system that makes competing with big businesses and foreign business difficult, the need to promote our local produce and products more effectively and the costs associated with the desire to be greener.