Once again the various remembrance services that took place over the weekend gave an important opportunity to remember the lives that were lost in both world wars and subsequent conflicts. Every year I find the services deeply moving and am reminded how close to home and how recently lives have been lost in the pursuit of peace, with the loss of 11 men from Cornwall, 3 from the St Ives Constituency, who died in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2014. It is a powerful reminder of how much we owe to so many.
As usual I attended the Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph in Penzance and was very impressed with the discipline and commitment of the Sea Cadets and the children of local schools including St Mary’s CofE and Humphry Davy School. At each of the events I attended over the weekend the numbers in attendance demonstrated the determination to remember all those whose sacrifice gave us the freedom we enjoy today.
There is plenty to distract from the important work that Government has to do to ensure Britain is a place of opportunity. One significant issue that Government is grappling with currently is how to move towards a fair funding formula for our schools. Schools in Cornwall are nearly all described as good or outstanding but we must make sure this can continue with adequate funding to enable our children to have the very best opportunity.
Elsewhere there are schools that enjoy twice the funds of some schools in Cornwall and navigating towards equal funding for children’s education, wherever they may live, is something that southwest MPs have been exercised about for some time. In 2015 we joined together to argue for fair funding for public services including for our schools and I personally welcomed the Government’s commitment to deliver a National Fair Funding Formula. This is no easy challenge especially given the pressure on public finances but we must persevere and I was pleased that one of our West Cornwall head teachers had the opportunity to make our case to the Chancellor for a fair and adequate funding.