I recently wrote of the £1m awarded between St Ives and Penzance as a Covid-19 Towns Fund accelerator fund (basically money up front to get on with some urgent priorities whilst we work out the bigger projects for the remaining £48m).
The Government has identified further projects worthy of tax-payers money and to support the recovery locally. This week a further £695,348 was announced as part of the Culture Recovery Fund with money going to Helston Railway, Jubilee Pool, Pendeen Community Heritage and Tresco on Scilly (to support the training opportunities available to overseas students working in Abbey Garden amongst other things).
There is a further £400,000 shared between The Bernard Leach Trust, the Penzance-based Cornwall Theatre Company, Golowan CIC, Museum of Cornish Life at Helston and the Telegraph Museum at Porthcurno. I list these because too often some like you to believe that West Cornwall does not enjoy the interest of central Government which could not be further from the truth. These awards are a credit to each of the recipient organisations and I take great pleasure in representing them.
This week Parliament passed the Agriculture Bill. I hope people will ignore those clamouring to undermine this significant step. The Agriculture Bill is a fantastic piece of legislation which guarantees that the UK will have the highest standards for animal welfare, food standards and environmental protection and to guarantee this, a Trade and Agriculture Commission has been set up to provide advice on maintaining these standards in upcoming trade deals.
To reassure people further the Government has also committed to publish food security reports at least once every three years and, to provide farmers and land managers with the information they require to plan ahead, there is a new requirement to publish Multi-Annual Financial Assistance plans 12 months in advance of a plan coming into force.
We also progressed the UK Fisheries Bill, something that provides the framework that enables Government, regions and the UK fishing fleet to work together for progressively managed, vibrant fisheries in a post CFP landscape. I know as an MP who represents one of the UK’s key fishing ports that south-west fisheries are up for the challenge and keen to get on with it! We have talked about it long enough and after decades of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy we can now determine our own strong and diverse set of sustainability-focused objectives for our country’s rich, mixed fisheries and for the communities that depend upon them.
The work continues to find a satisfactory solution to post office services in Carbis Bay, Porthleven, Newlyn and the Lizard. Covid-19 scuppered meetings I had with Post Offices bosses in these communities in April but I did meet with the Post Office Minister to elicit his help this week and dates are being considered to revive the meetings that were cancelled. Despite the ever evolving coronavirus virus situation (where Cornwall can find some comfort in the fact that our combined efforts have led to the lowest spread of the virus in the UK) work is progressing to ensure a smooth transition to an independent sovereign state on January 1st.