West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas joined fellow MPs from the South West to make the economic case for the region to Government earlier this week. Mr Thomas was one of a group of more than a dozen cross-party MPs who presented No 10 Downing Street with the South West Growth Charter and took part in a House of Commons debate on the charter led by South West Devon MP Gary Streeter.
The charter outlines a new Government partnership with the South West along with three key investment aspirations – for digital connectivity, energy systems and in the transport network. The charter has been developed as a result of the recent Growth Summit held at Exeter University and asks the Government to focus on South West growth and produce a funding strategy which will enable the region to move away from its current reliance on grant funding to more innovative funding solutions.
Mr Thomas said he was fully behind the charter which he feels can have a major and positive impact for his West Cornwall constituency. ‘My priority is to ensure that West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have a strong economy and I believe that this charter will support that,” he said. ‘Among other things, it is asking the Government to back a 20-year plan for investment in the rail network and also to confirm its commitment to road improvement works on the A30, A303 and A38. The Charter also sets out an ambition to deliver ultra-fast South West 5G mobile, fibre and wireless broadband through to 90% of the population by 2030. These are vital as unless we improve the transport infrastructure, West Cornwall will never realise its full economic potential.’