MP's Column

Thank you to the twenty shops in Helston, St Ives and Penzance that took part in the annual 'Wear a Hat' day for Brain Tumour Research.

Brain tumours remain the biggest cancer killer of people under 40 years of age. Brain Tumour Research plan to open seven research centres in the UK.

I supported the launch of our nearest research centre in Plymouth which recently benefited from a £100,000 legacy following the passing of Richard Somerville from Penzance. It costs £1 million a year to fund the research centre. Recent advances in treating cancer are remarkable and I know that Brain Tumour Research scientists are confident that in time they can beat the disease.

My Easter weekend activities included a visit to the Bickford-Smith Institute in Porthleven. The Town Council held an open day for the building situated at the entrance to the harbour (for those who don't know it) as they are keen to find wider uses for the building. I spent many happy years in Porthleven as a youngster and, although I know the building well, Saturday was the first time I'd ever been inside.

The 'revival' of this iconic building, complete with clock tower, will be a fascinating project.

Despite the weather my family and I joined several others for the Easter Egg Hunt in Causewayhead and Chapel Street in Penzance on Easter Saturday. My boys walked away with a basket of mini-eggs each and the entire event was typical of the incredible effort we have got used to thanks to shopkeepers, traders' associations and the BID team in Penzance.

The recent budget announcement regarding Business Rate Relief will remove business rates altogether for 600,000 small businesses which is a great help but the real credit is due to the grit and determination of our independent town centre shop owners who work so hard to provide a good offer for shoppers.

So far I have held over 40 'drop-in' surgeries across the constituency since May last year.

These continue with a new surgery at Sainsbury's in Penzance at 9.30am and Sainsbury's in Helston at 2.30pm both on Friday April 1st.

No appointment necessary.

Derek Thomas
Member of Parliament for St Ives