Thursday 6th May next week is Polling Day and your vote matters in these local elections. As power and funds are increasingly transferred to local authorities the decisions our local elected representatives make impact our daily activity more and more. I still hold the view that since the formation of the Unitary Authority the opinions of local residents are not taken as seriously as was the case during the days of Kerrier and Penwith District Councils. It is imperative that our councillors are willing to beat the drum for local improvements and priorities. Polling Stations are open 7am - 10pm.
An unintended consequence of the current debate raging between the Government and Labour could be that civil servants and Government Minister steer clear of meeting with MPs and local businesses who approach Whitehall for support. I unashamedly champion local businesses and employers in Parliament and with Ministers and, I believe, legitimately and for good reason. If I did not the companies that operate the link to Scilly would not have been collectively supported with £millions last financial year, several local businesses would not have qualified for support including dairy farmers and fishermen during the first lockdown where Conservative MPs from across the Southwest lobbied Government hard. Even now I maintain pressure on Government to support Goonhilly Earth Station to help deliver the UK’s Space aspiration and a host of other important initiatives are in the frame to benefit from a G7 Summit legacy. The critical issue is not the argument that is made but the need to follow Government procurement rules. I believe time will show that this has been the case although I do not object to strengthening the rules if necessary.
Please don’t forget the opportunity to pledge at least two hours of litter-picking as part of the Great British Spring Clean. Organised by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the campaign runs from 28 May – 13 June and is asking people to make a pledge to help reach a target of a million miles of litter-picking.
You can pledge to get involved today at www.keepbritaintidy.org/gbspringclean
You may have missed the fact that the Conservative Government committed in law to cut UK emissions by 78% (from 1990s levels) by 2035 at the recent virtual global conference. The BBC described this as the commitment that ‘stood out’ amongst the other nations pledges. This is an ambitious commitment (especially as it includes our share of aviation and shipping emissions) but I’m glad of it and will do what I can to ensure we communicate clearly the means to achieving this. Currently our emissions have been cut by 47% so there is a way to go.