MP's Column (Helston Area)

On Saturday I took my 'drop-in' surgery to Mawgan, Ruan Minor and Manaccan. Ruan Minor came as a surprise because I did not expect many to 'drop-in' as my event unfortunately clashed with the village fund-raising fete in aid of the Children's Hospice. I popped in to the fete and was pleased to see so many supporting the event, so I was pleasantly surprised with the numbers that turned up to my surgery in the chapel.

Manaccan was a further surprise as I stumbled across a novel idea that was quite new to me. My 'drop-in' surgery was in the New Inn and I had the unenviable task of judging the weekly bake-off. Each Saturday, as a tool to increase trade during winter months, for £1 you can enter the bake-off competition. During the afternoon the home-baking is judged and then promptly eaten by customers. The money goes to charity, the village pub once again becomes the village centre and everyone can enjoy fresh homemade cakes and savouries. I was impressed.

I was impressed further by the fact that the New Inn was Cornwall’s first cooperative pub. Local people have been able to buy the New Inn and have raised further money to improve and extend the premises. Everyone I spoke to seemed to have a stake in the business and as a result, a very particular type of loyalty. Fantastic.

Pupils from Boskenwyn, Sithney, Garras, Germoe and Crowan Primary Schools paid a visit to Parliament last week. Verdict: well behaved, full of fun, really keen to learn and very cool teaching staff. I have recently written to every school in the Constituency and included information about the Parliament Education Service.

This revamped service provides a fantastic opportunity for our children to understand how Parliament works and the history behind it.

Finally, many will be aware that how we register to vote is changing in order to tackle fraud. Some suggest that nearly 2 million people could be dropped off the electoral register in the transition.

To ensure you are not one of them please register to vote by visiting