It is fitting that the Nation shares in the grief of the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. As I’ve listened to the many tributes over the past few days I’ve learnt a lot about Prince Philip. First and foremost he was completely committed to supporting Her Majesty the Queen but it is evident that he had a canny understanding of how he could use his position as the Queen’s husband as a force for good. We know of his leadership and personal involvement with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and many other critical charitable causes. As I’ve researched I was reminded of his longstanding relationship with the World Wildlife Fund but what I learned was his personal drive to bring world religions together during WWF’s 25th Anniversary to ‘remind’ them of their responsibility as natural partners for the conservation movement. In the mid-80s he recognised that working with the major faiths around the world would bring new partners to the struggle to protect people and the planet. The summit he organised in 1986 brought representatives of Christianity, Islam Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism together to pledge to protect our natural environment. Not many world leaders could have pulled this off and I’m certain that, despite the decline in our natural environment, the situation would be much worse for many people around the world. A fitting legacy would be to redouble our international effort to protect and enhance the natural environment - the Commonwealth would be the obvious place to start. I know I join the vast majority of West Cornwall’s and Scilly’s residents when I say I hold a tremendous respect and admiration for the Queen and Prince Philip. The Queen and Prince Philip clearly shared an enduring love and companionship. Sadly death has broken this remarkable union and we will never know the full extent of Prince Philip’s contribution but I’ve no doubt that the Queen has found the support and counsel of her husband for over 70 years invaluable which, in turn, has benefited us all.
Turning to the vaccine rollout over half of the total population of Cornwall has now received at least the first jab and the vaccine centre staff seem as focused and driven as ever. I am so in awe of everyone who has rallied to ensure that people are able to receive the vaccine. This does enable restrictions to be eased and we obviously saw this this week with the reopening of non-essential shops, a return to professional haircuts and more outdoor pursuits. Thank you again for everything you have done to keep on top of the spread of coronavirus. This whole fight is being won because of every individual who has followed some very tough restrictions for a very long time.
On Wednesday the Climate Focus online event returns at 4pm. Please email my office to register for the event - firstname.lastname@example.org. We are hoping to be hearing from the Committee on Climate Change who have developed some excellent advice for local communities.