MP's Column

Penzance Post Office

I have been working with Penzance representatives on Cornwall Council and Penzance Town Council to ensure that the Post Office in Penzance remains in its current Market Jew Street location.

Despite us all making very positive recommendations and being in constant communication, it is clear that the Post Office has no intention of retaining the Crown Post Office at 113 Market Jew St. However, I do not believe we have been given a fair hearing.

We are stepping up our efforts because there are sound ideas that would secure the Post Office in its current location that are yet to be adequately explored.

Porthleven's Food and Music Festival

The festival last weekend grows from strength to strength. It is an incredible undertaking and full credit must go to the organisers. The event celebrates our creative talent in both food and music and the event is obviously appreciated by people from near and far. Despite the chilly wind, my family and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Academy Schools

A large number of people have quite rightly contacted me about the Government's schools agenda. This follows the Chancellor’s recent Budget statement that all schools will be academies by the end of 2020 and, by the end of 2022, local authorities will no longer maintain schools.

However, before the election, a number of parents and schools contacted me to ask about the Conservative approach to academies. I spoke to the Education Department and to Nicky Morgan MP, Education Secretary. Both were quite clear that only failing and coasting schools would be forced to become academies.

I see absolutely no reason why this should now change.

I make a point of visiting a school in the constituency every week when possible and I have visited excellent schools that are academies and excellent schools that continue to come under the control of Cornwall Council. Cornwall schools are genuinely some of the best in the country with the vast majority being rated good or outstanding. The Ofsted inspection system quickly shines a light on areas that are not good enough.

I personally think schools should embrace the academy option but I firmly believe it should be their choice.