MP's Column

On Friday I met with officers at Cornwall Council to see if we could achieve a more friendly and flexible approach towards parking in West Cornwall.  We discussed the need to agree some compromise for doctors, care and support workers and others who, in the course of their work, sometimes need to park in restricted areas during busy periods.

Currently they are likely to receive a parking penalty and be expected to apply to have this cancelled. We all know how time-consuming this is and there is no guarantee that the fine will be waived. I, along with care and support workers in particular, am asking for a simple permit that allows them to park for up to an hour in a safe place when they are providing care and support.

We also discussed the recent fiasco of the funeral parking fines. Cornwall Council has agreed to write to the county's funeral directors to ask them to let the Council know when a large funeral is taking place so that steps can be put in place to avoid a repeat of Helston's recent experience.

This leads me on to the sad passing of Mark Upton last week. I have known Mark for many years and during my time as Manager of Mustard Seed we worked together considering various uses and possibilities for parts of the Epworth Hall building. The extraordinary effort and hours that Mark put in to the Epworth Hall project will not be forgotten.

I hope we never lose the unique richness and heritage that Cornish communities enjoy. On Saturday I attended Cllr Daniel Williams' Civic Service in St. Bartholomew's Church in Porthleven. While it is not easy to explain, these occasions are much more than an hour's service followed by a 'faith tea'. They are a reminder of how much we value the immediate community in which we live, how much we appreciate the freedoms we enjoy and how the church retains a place in the heart of our community. I wish the Town Mayor, Cllr Daniel Williams, the very best as he continues in service on behalf of the people of Porthleven.

Derek Thomas

Member of Parliament for St Ives