MP's Column

Sunday's Town Tidy event in Penzance was a celebration. If you take a 'glass half empty' approach then giving a Sunday morning to pick up litter, bottles and tackle established weeds is anything but a celebration. I take the 'glass half full’ perspective - a considerable number of volunteers joined together to enjoy a lovely autumnal morning to demonstrate how much we all care for our town. It was a great event and Jess Golding and her team deserve huge credit. Thank you.

I had the privilege of representing my Cornish Colleagues at the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards, hosted by Truro and Penwith College, last week. This constituency enjoyed its share of success with Apprentice of the Year - Management and Marketing going to Darren Little of St Aubyn Estate and Apprentice of the Year - Motor Vehicle being awarded to Jacob Wood - Trelawney Citroen.

Congratulations to them both and to their employers. Apprenticeships are particularly important because our young people have been leaving the area in considerable numbers to learn skills and find work. The apprenticeship route helps to address this exodus. We need more businesses and tradesmen to offer apprenticeships and the Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards celebrated the good work being done to support employers to do so.

Considerable effort is being made to integrate health services in Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly. Currently the scene can be confusing as a number of providers exist and take responsibility for different health and social care services. I visited Helston Community Hospital on Friday and discussed with staff their concern about who will run the hospital when the current provider, Peninsular Community Health, surrender the contract next year.

My hope (that is shared by many others) is to see an existing Cornwall-based trust, or a federation of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust and Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust, to adopt the Peninsula Community Health hospitals to deliver fully joined-up hospital provision. We have an opportunity to simplify how health services are delivered and an opportunity to ensure that we work better together. The opportunity to bring services together in Cornwall is significant and I hope everyone who has any shred of influence will commit themselves to this objective.

Derek Thomas

Member of Parliament for St Ives