On Thursday I was privileged to meet with two groups over coffee and cake. First, was the Nancegollan Village Hall Cafe. The hall was busy with local residents enjoying coffee, tea, homemade cake, and the buzz of conversation. I know the area well as Nancegollan is not far from where I grew up and it was great to catch up with some very old friends. It was also great to see how a small team of caring residents have seen the opportunity to support their neighbours by offering a place each week to meet up and enjoy each other’s company. Later that day I joined with the National Farmers Union, Cornwall and Scilly Wildlife Trust, Farm Cornwall and the Country Land and Business Association in Zennor and together, we hosted a meeting with more coffee and cake to further our efforts to improve the Penwith Moors SSSI (sites of special scientific interest) notification. This meeting has been organised as there continues to be a concern regarding the methods used by Natural England staff in relation to the SSSI and how they are going about the process of giving consent to landowners to continue to farm their land. The meeting was helpful as we work to demonstrate the need to amend the SSSI notification and to set out what we are doing to achieve this. The only reason the area is worthy of such important designation is because these landowners have cared for it over generations and so, in addition to seeking to craft a better SSSI, we are testing the appetite for a Landscape Recovery Scheme or similar scheme so that landowners can be supported financially in the care and enhancement of Penwith Moors.
On Friday I was also privileged to meet with other concerned residents. One such meeting was to discuss private rented housing. Tenants deserve good warm and dry housing and to feel secure in their tenancy. Landlords need clarity concerning Government proposals regarding energy performance on rental properties and the ability to have the house back when it is needed for some other purpose. Government legislation has been promised to bring an end to the practice of turfing out good tenants in favour of Airbnb but there is also a need to ensure we don’t create so many disincentives for landlords that we lose the private rented sector altogether. I also met with concerned parents who believe schools are not following the letter of the law regarding sex education and I suspect this is true. There is tremendous pressure on schools to introduce liberal approaches to sex which the law does not require and schools understandably use external teaching materials due to time restraints. Parents have a legal right to know what is to be taught and a right to challenge it if necessary and I’m keen to ensure we do not expose our young children to these topics unnecessarily.
If you have any concerns in relation to any of these issues email firstname.lastname@example.org