Success to report! More money for Sub Postmasters, money to cut bus fares and money to develop modern NHS services in modern hospitals. Avid readers of this column will remember that earlier in the year I called on Cornwall Council to reduce carbon emissions by committing to the ‘straightforward objective of ensuring that rural Cornwall enjoys a bus service that enable people to get to and from work and undertake journeys that modern life determines for a price that is affordable’. A good public transport service will cut car journeys, address isolation and connect communities. Working closely with council officials and Sarah Newton MP has led to the announcement of a £23.5m funding package over the next four years for a “Reduced Bus Fares” pilot to support the Council’s ongoing commitment to improving bus and rail for its residents. This is great news and evidence of our combined commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.
Many will remember the campaign to ensure post office branches have a viable future in West Cornwall. I’m grateful to the large number of people who supported my campaign and continue to do so. One of our demands was to achieve higher payments for sub-postmasters for handling banking transactions and I’m pleased that, from the start of October, Post Office Ltd has increased the payment that postmasters will get for handling deposits – typically about three times what they previously received. Please use your local post office to do your banking when possible. It has a direct impact on their viability.
We expect our NHS staff to deliver modern treatments and healthcare in buildings that were designed for a very different era. Following the announcement of up to £450m to rebuild or upgrade hospital buildings in Cornwall over the weekend we have the very real opportunity to design a health service that, through the use of the latest equipment and technology, can reduce a patient’s need to travel to the centre and can ensure diagnosis and treatment can be quicker and more effective. I spent Friday on St Mary’s on Scilly with Council representatives, NHS Managers and Commissioners considering a single strategy for a new model of care, estate and workforce for community health, adult social care, urgent care and primary care. In modern day life, when something is up with our health and wellbeing, we should be able to go to a single point of reference to see the right person, find out what is wrong and receive the treatment or advice that is needed. As far as is practicably possible this is what we are attempting to achieve on Scilly and we should consider replicating this model across the Duchy.
Please don’t forget the Great Western Dog Walk this Saturday, 5th October. The event raises cash for brain tumour support and brain tumour research. Registration starts at noon, at Folly Field, Marazion, the fun dog show starts at 1pm and the walk from Marazion to Penzance at 3pm, ending with pasties, refreshments and doggy good bags at Penzance Gallery.