A total of £400,000 has been awarded across three local and valued organisations as part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund in West Cornwall. At March’s Budget, the Chancellor announced the additional £300 million to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund. This extra funding, together with other cultural support such as separate additional Covid support funding for our fifteen national museums and galleries, means that the Government’s total support package for culture during the pandemic is now approaching £2 billion. I’m delighted that Pendeen Community Heritage, Newlyn Art Gallery Ltd and Incandescence Production Company LTD have been successful in securing these funds. As the year unfolds I’m confident that these and the many other organisations and companies in heritage and culture will be in demand and can flourish. This fund and other grants has enabled them to ‘hang on in there’ until they can go about their ordinary business.
Over 8,000 trees are finding their way into the ground right across the constituency which takes the Woodland Recovery Tree Planting project comfortably past my target of 20,000. The actual fact is that, whilst organising this ‘initiative’ I met a number of landowners who habitually plant thousands of trees every year across West Cornwall. Trees are a small but important part of our battle to combat climate change and poor air quality and in years to come I genuinely believe we will see the marked increase in the amount of trees in West Cornwall. On Saturday I joined a planting party over near St Just. The vast majority of trees are being planted by volunteers and it has been great to meet them all. Whilst we were planting the trees I was aware that a gathering was taking place at the site of the G7 Summit in protest at the development work taking place and the clearing of the area for the buildings. The irony of this was not lost on me and I maintain the view that planting trees and enabling nature recovery is the more rewarding activity.
So called covid passports are occupying airwaves and media outlets. If other countries insist on evidence of a traveller having had the vaccine in order to travel than so be it. However, the idea that UK citizens may be required to demonstrate that they have received the vaccine in order to access the opportunities that come with normal everyday living is completely unacceptable and unBritish. I don’t support it and neither do I think it is necessary. The rate of infection is falling. As the majority receive the vaccine the existence of Covid-19 will diminish further and drop off as a topic of media and public interest. To insist on evidence of the vaccine jabs will create a divided and two tier society which will be far more harmful than covid will be by then. There is no requirement for members of the public to prove they have had any other vaccine and I see no reason to change this now.
There is still time to apply for the Business Administrator’s apprenticeship in my office. There is still time to register to vote in the local elections in May and time to apply for a postal vote. As shops etc open on Monday I wish all those small business owners a profitable year. Time will tell how many have been able to hang on. Walking through our town centres at the moment is quite a somber experience and I hope our high streets can bounce back and enjoy the support of us all.