MP’s column

This year’s Cape Cornwall Art and Crafts exhibition is well worth a visit. The exhibition’s 50th anniversary, at Cape Cornwall School, was opened by Lady Banham on Tuesday and, over the years, has raised over £800,000 for Cancer Research UK by displaying and selling local art of all descriptions.
The exhibition runs until Friday 19th August.
Post Offices offer important services. However, in my view, Post Office Ltd lacks a clear positive direction regarding the delivery of services in West Cornwall. Both services at The Lizard and St Keverne are at risk and retailers are not convinced that hosting post office counters within their business is an attractive or financially  rewarding concept.
The process around the relocation of Penzance Post Office to WHSmith is reminiscent of a bull in a china shop rather than a sensitive study of the needs of the local community. The WHSmith representative at the recent consultation made no effort to visit the Post Office or the WHSmith store before the event.
He was unable to answer any perfectly reasonable questions regarding how the post office would work within the existing WHSmith store. This did nothing to reassure people who are concerned. Communities are working extremely hard to make town and village centres thrive.
Post Office Ltd does not appear to see itself as an active partner in this and in Penzance, the move looks like a simple asset-stripping exercise. In communities like ours commercial success is dependent on goodwill which the Post Office Ltd and WHSmith have severely compromised.

Beds at Edward Hain Hospital remain closed. I’m reliably informed that a local contractor will be appointed by the end of August to carry out the fire safety remedial work. £150,000 will be spent to make the building, in its current layout and form, more resistant to fire and smoke. The intention of NHS Properties is to carry out works that would enable CFT to reopen the inpatient unit at the hospital. When the beds will reopen is still not clear. People have waited long enough and further delay only leads to further confusion which helps no-one.
 

Derek Thomas
Member of Parliament for St Ives