MP’s Column

Returning from Westminster I enjoyed a ‘World Book Day’ event at St Levan school with friends of the school (previously postponed due to snow).

Then onto Royal Cornwall Hospital to meet with foot care healthcare professionals including interventional radiologists, GPs, surgeons, commissioners and nurses.

I’m privileged to Chair the All-Party Vascular Group in Parliament and this meeting provided a forum to discuss service improvement and ways to improve the amputation rate in the area. Together we discussed better access to treatment for patients at risk of lower limb amputation, in particular those with diabetic foot conditions, and to showcase the excellent work being carried out by those involved in the footcare pathway.

Following this was a meeting with farmers across West Penwith to discuss and promote the current consultation ‘The Future for Food, Farming and the Environment’, which has some very sensible and exciting ideas on how our agricultural land should be used in the future.

It’s imperative that farmers engage in this consultation so that Government is in no doubt regarding the unique challenges faced by farmers in the far west of Cornwall and Scilly.

When it comes to keeping West Cornwall special I’m convinced that our farming community play a more significant role than any other. Whatever the future holds our farmers must be enabled to provide the food we need and continue to care for our natural environment. To take part in the Defra consultation, visit: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-for-food-farming-and-the-environment; the consultation ends on 8th May.

I enjoyed an inspirational visit to Leedstown School and was challenged by pupils to ‘accelerate the reduction of unnecessary plastic, improve the look of electric cars and make sure local people could build the homes they needed’. I’ve no objection to any of these!

In recent months I’ve focused attention on Helston and am working with local residents to identify a few priorities that can improve things for people that live, work and visit this historic town. On Friday this work included an ‘after work’ informal gathering at Helly’s Tea Room for business owners and a public meeting where subjects raised included improvements needed to recycling, measures to address speeding and the need to regenerate the area.

On Saturday this work continued with representatives from local churches and charities and the discussion focused on how people new to the area can be welcomed and informed regarding all the things that are available to them.

Loneliness is a subject of grave concern and I hosted a lunch meeting to draw together various ideas and actions that can be implemented this year to help address this problem. Many people are already engaged (and have been for many years) in this area.

This year the WI have committed to work to raise awareness of the causes and impacts of loneliness and it was good to hear what they are doing. So many activities take place every week across West Cornwall and our work will focus on how we can ensure people know what is going on and can take part if they want to.