MP's column

This is a big year for UK fishing and on Wednesday next week fishing industry representatives including from Newlyn gather in Westminster to discuss the key considerations that must be addressed for the industry as we leave the EU and the Commons Fisheries Policy. The event is organised by the National Federation of Fisherman’s Organisations (NFFO) and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), who between them represent the fishing industry in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Securing the right UK future Fisheries Policy is no mean feat but I have every confidence that, if we listen carefully to the industry, we can revive coastal communities across the country. The NFFO and SFF are working together to provide a voice for fishermen and lead policy change for the benefit of the whole of the UK fishing industry and you cannot underestimate how helpful this voice is to MPs who represent coastal communities.

The world’s largest wildlife survey takes place once again this weekend. The Big Garden Birdwatch by the RSPB has captured real-time information regarding Great Britain’s bird population for more than 40 years and helped to nurture an interest in our natural environment for hundreds of thousands of people. This year’s event takes place on 25, 26 and 27 January 2020. We are asked to spend just one hour watching and recording the birds in their garden or local green space before sending the results to the RSPB. You can register at https://www.rspb.org.uk. A survey of this kind helps us to fully understand what is happening to native species and in a year when Parliament will be drafting new legislation to manage our environment, our agriculture and our fisheries we need to understand how to better protect and enhance nature. I am also looking forward to an event as part of the popular ‘Show The Love’ campaign taking place on Saturday, 15th February in Marazion with the RSPB and WI. This event involves coffee and a beach clean and I know everyone is welcome.

A reminder that this Saturday (25th) at Helston Bowling Club ‪10am is the first of three Big Thank You events for volunteers and community organisations in and around Helston. On Saturday, 1st February this is repeated at Hope Church ‪at 10am for volunteers and community organisations in and around Penzance and on ‪Saturday, 8th February at the Salvation Army 10am for volunteers and community organisations in and around St Ives. This year we are inviting voluntary groups to host a stand explaining how people can volunteer and these events are open to all existing volunteers and anyone planning to get involved. Come along and find out how! 

Tomorrow (Friday) I am at Helston Central Methodist Church from 8.30 until 10am for anyone who wishes to raise something that requires my help. On Friday 31st January I’ll be at the British Legion in St Ives at 5.30pm for an hour for anyone who wants to raise any idea or concern. For future ‘drop-ins’ please go to derek.thomas.org