MP’s Blog

Striking the balance between keeping West Cornwall special and ensuring we have the infrastructure and connectivity we need is no easy thing especially in an area of outstanding natural beauty such as Zennor.

This would explain why Zennor Village Hall was packed for a meeting I organised and co-hosted with Jon Brookes, chairman of Zennor Parish Council, to discuss the siting of new EE mobile phone masts.

Improving mobile phone signal is necessary to meet a Home Office commitment to provide phone coverage to replace the expensive and outdated Airwave system currently used by our emergency services.

The wider benefit is that the Home Office contract with EE will improve the existing coverage for mobile phone users. However, meeting a Government contract should not be at the expense of local communities and environmental concerns and in this case EE were quick to accept at the meeting that they had made a pig’s-ear of the process so far.

Mr Warne (from EE) apologised for the company not engaging sufficiently with the Zennor community when they made their first application last year for a 15-metre mast near the Gurnard’s Head pub and admitted mistakes had been made with that initial application. The consideration now (which is yet to go to planning) is for a more appropriate two-mast solution partially screened by farm buildings and I am assured that EE will consult fully before submitting their next application.

12,000 people of which 10,250 were from Devon and Cornwall (in particular Cornwall) took part in the recent consultation around an investment in radiotherapy treatment by NHS England.

On Monday I organised a meeting attended by Cornwall’s MPs with cancer leads within the NHS to make it clear that we (the six Cornish MPs) expected the investment in these treatments for rare and less common cancers to increase the numbers treated in Cornwall.

The investment is intended to improve communication between centres like Sunrise, provide the latest technology and reduce the hospital visits patients need through more targeted less invasive radiotherapy treatments.

We will work with clinicians here in Cornwall to make the most of the opportunity for more investment and more patients treated in Truro. When more information is available I will host a meeting in West Cornwall where NHS England’s Cancer Leads can explain how this investment will help patients.

In addition to this radiotherapy investment extra money is coming our way to accelerate the cancer pathway in Cornwall. For patients this will mean securing an appointment much more quickly when cancer is suspected, a diagnosis within 28 days and much quicker cancer treatment. We all know early diagnosis and treatment is key to recovery and I’m pleased that our efforts here in Cornwall to improve patient care are now bearing fruit.

This is all part of the Cancer Alliance agenda (go to england.nhs.uk) bringing together local senior clinical and managerial leaders responsible for the cancer patient pathway. Integration of health and care services is something I am fundamentally committed to and cancer care is another area where I believe good news is on the horizon.