At the old Penzance Library in Morrab Road on Saturday there is an opportunity to enjoy coffee and meet with several organisations who will be on hand to advise and help with household costs in the face of increases in the cost of living. I hosted a similar event in Helston in September with Helston Town Council and the groups represented were keen to hold a similar event in Penzance.
The Cost-of-Living Fair opens at 10am and runs through to 1pm and every organisation present will be able to explain how they can help to meet some of the pressures facing households. This event is jointly hosted between Transformation Cornwall, Discovery Church and myself. It would be great to see you even if to enjoy a free coffee and say hello. The organisations present include Community Energy Plus, Citizens Advice Cornwall, Transformation Cornwall, Penzance Town Council, Office of Derek Thomas MP, Discovery Church, Who Dares Wins, GOFA, and Farm Cornwall. There will also be resources available from Utilita and Inclusion Cornwall and more!
It was a pretty sombre return to Parliament this week and it’s true to say that Conservative colleagues are questioning what can be done to restore the electoral fortunes of the Party. This has a beastly effect of overshadowing the legislation we are progressing and the issues many of us are raising on behalf of our constituents.
It would seem sensible to find a way to communicate the details of the work we are engaged in with those we represent and I have previously provided this on my web-site and other platforms but there is no getting away from the fact it makes dull reading compared to the coverage of the rise and fall and misfortunes of our political leaders and their parties! However, to avoid withholding this information this week MPs are engaged with the Health and Social Care Levy (Repeal) Bill, Identity and Language (Northern Ireland) Bill, Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, Procedure Committee Recommendations relating to Proxy Voting and various backbench debates put forward usually on behalf of constituents including Rural Healthcare Provisions, sentencing for child murderers and energy in Wales.
The answer is for the Government to respond with clarity and detail to criticism of unfunded tax cuts and how it plans to support the economy. I’m not sure this can wait until the end of October as is currently planned but I am of the view that previous efforts of the Treasury to tackle low wages and productivity have been weak and have not worked equally across the country.
It is clear that the Prime Minister refuses to accept that national decline and stagnant wages here in the UK. Growth per capita has fallen from 2.5% in the 1980s to 1.1% prior to covid and the average Briton is poorer by a third compared to the average American. ‘Just About Managing’ was the lived experience for most households across the UK and, with pressures triggered by high inflation, ‘Not Managing’ risks being the experience for far too many households. I’m hopeful that the Chancellor and PM can demonstrate that the strategy is right for our time!
Something needs to change. One of the key reasons I stood as a parliamentary candidate is because I objected to the lack of opportunity, high skilled and well-paid jobs in Cornwall and on Scilly. I’ve focused on this as an MP but the greatest frustration comes from Government and public sector making life more cumbersome and complicated for those businesses who can and want to create these jobs and skills.
It is worth mentioning that I am available for anyone who wants to raise an issue, concern or idea. Contact my office for further details or call in at the Cost-of-Living Fair on Saturday!