MP's column

As of Monday last week electric vehicle home charging points are required by law to include smart technology which can encourage cheaper, off-peak charging and match the demand when there is surplus energy produced. On Tuesday the Environment Audit Committee, of which I am a member, met with Mike Thompson from the Committee on Climate Change. He believes the Government could and should bring forward the ban of new sales of diesel and petrol cars to 2030 and that this would reduce the total cost of purchasing and running a car by £7 billion to car owners compared to the cost of buying and running a diesel/petrol or electric car today. Moving to a low carbon economy does not necessarily need to increase the cost of living.

Everyone who regularly travels along the A30 through Crowlas or uses the adjacent road network is invited to put forward their view on how the roads should be made safer for pedestrians, drivers and other road users. This can be done using the simple feedback form I’ve widely distributed. Alternatively, you can email your suggestions to me. These will be considered as part of the work taking place right now by Highways England, their chosen civil engineers and officers from Cornwall Council who are charged by the Department for Transport (who have allocated significant sums) to improve the safety of this road network. I am hosting an event with Ludgvan School where local residents can discuss these issues in person with Highways England and Cornwall Council tomorrow (Friday).

Cornish Colleagues and I met with the senior leadership team of Cornwall Council on Friday as is our custom every quarter. We discussed a number of important issues including how, as a county, we position ourselves to benefit from the Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, the successor to EU support for less developed regions. As the 11th suggestion to achieve a Carbon-Free Cornwall my plea to council officers is that they commit absolutely to only seek finance from this fund for investment that clearly demonstrates low carbon outcomes. This is completely in keeping with the recommendations of the Committee for Climate Change and as such would be attractive to Government decision-makers. The recommendations are very clear about the need for research and development in low carbon technologies, the need for a dramatic increase in skills development and recognises that distribution of energy, the built environment and transportation needs to be done very differently. Each of which offers a real opportunity for Cornwall. An assessment that measures the contribution towards a carbon-free Cornwall impact should be a central part of every project considered for investment.

It was my absolute delight to visit St Ives Junior School, Mullion Secondary School, Mounts Bay Academy (during their Eco Fair) and Parc Eglos (as part of the Great Get Together). Every school is doing some fantastic work in relation to caring for and promoting our environment and the level of knowledge our children have is a credit to the teaching staff.