Friday, 6 December 2019

Campaign reply - Will you show your support for people affected by dementia?

A number of constituents have written to me with a campaign email concerning support for people with dementia care.

Like many other families I too have a close family member with dementia and know how distressing this is both for the sufferer and the family.

The Conservative manifesto sets out in some detail the issues facing the country on social care and specifically mentions dementia. Above all else I firmly believe a political consensus must be found. I copy below the relevant section:

Improving social care
It is a basic, compassionate
Conservative belief that we should
care for those in need – helping
those who cannot help themselves.
Thanks to decades of economic growth
and scientific innovation, people are
living longer, healthier lives. But this,
alongside the rise of dementia and other
chronic conditions, means that the
pressures on the elderly care system
are ever-increasing. There has also been
significant growth in the number of
working-age people with disabilities who
need care at a younger age.
We need to have a system to give every
person the dignity and security that
they deserve. This is a significant and
complex challenge and in order to lay
the foundations, we must plan for the
infrastructure, workforce growth and
healthcare integration that is required
for a care system fit for the 21st century.
Because this is a long-term problem that
will affect so many people, any solution
has to be able to survive long-term.
We must build the same level of
consensus on social care as we have
already built on the NHS.
So we will build a cross-party
consensus to bring forward an answer
that solves the problem, commands
the widest possible support, and stands
the test of time. That consensus will
consider a range of options but one
condition we do make is that nobody
needing care should be forced to sell
their home to pay for it.
As a first step, and to stabilise the
system, we announced in the autumn
additional funding of £1 billion for the
year beginning in April 2020. We are
now confirming this additional funding
in every year of the new Parliament.
We will also extend the entitlement to
leave for unpaid carers, the majority of
whom are women, to one week.
We also want to save millions of people,
and their families, from suffering
the agony of a slow decline due to
dementia. We will make finding a cure
one of our Government’s biggest
collective priorities – one of the ‘grand
challenges’ that will define our future
along with the impact of climate
change or artificial intelligence. This will
include doubling research funding into
dementia and speeding up trials for
new treatments.
We will also provide £74 million over
three years for additional capacity in
community care settings for those
with learning disabilities and autism.

Campaign reply - As a candidate to be my MP, what are your plans for our trees?

A number of constituents have sent me a copy of a campaign email asking what are the plans for our trees.

The Conservative party manifesto sets out a wide range of environmental initiatives and I copy below the section on plans to plant countless thousands of new trees:

We will invest in nature, helping us
to reach our Net Zero target with a
£640 million new Nature for Climate
fund. Building on our support for
creating a Great Northumberland
Forest, we will reach an additional
75,000 acres of trees a year by the
end of the next Parliament, as well as
restoring our peatland.

You can read more on environmental and other commitments here:

Campaign reply - Will you commit to ending the housing emergency?

Will you commit to ending the housing emergency?

Par blog – they only provide the  campaign email address,

A number of constituents have sent me an email regarding housing and homelessness. This important matter is never far from my mind and issues around housing often form part of my case work.

The Conservative party manifesto is now published and I am pleased with it. It recognises the further progress we need to see on this important issue whilst setting realistic and achievable goals:

Helping people buy and rent

The biggest problem that young people

face in getting on the housing ladder

is the deposit. There are more than

three million people, many of them

with good jobs and secure prospects,

who would have been homeowners

before the economic crisis in 2008

but have been locked out of the

mortgage market. We will encourage

a new market in long-term fixed rate

mortgages which slash the cost of

deposits, opening up a secure path to

home ownership for first-time buyers

in all parts of the United Kingdom.

We will offer more homes to local

families, enabling councils to use

developers’ contributions via the

planning process to discount homes

in perpetuity by a third for local people

who cannot otherwise afford to buy in

their area. Councils could use this to

prioritise key workers in their area, like

police, nurses and teachers.

We will maintain our commitment to

a Right to Buy for all council tenants.

We will also maintain the voluntary

Right to Buy scheme agreed with

housing associations. Following the

successful voluntary pilot scheme in

the Midlands, we will evaluate new pilot

areas in order to spread the dream of

home ownership to even more people.

And we have extended the Help to

Buy scheme from 2021 to 2023 and

will review new ways to support home

ownership following its completion.

We will reform shared ownership,

making it fairer and more transparent.

We will simplify shared ownership

products by setting a single standard

for all housing associations, thereby

ending the confusion and disparity

between different schemes.

We will continue with our reforms to

leasehold including implementing

our ban on the sale of new leasehold

homes, restricting ground rents to a

peppercorn, and providing necessary

mechanisms of redress for tenants.

We will bring in a Better Deal for

Renters, including abolishing ‘no

fault’ evictions and only requiring one

‘lifetime’ deposit which moves with the

tenant. This will create a fairer rental

market: if you’re a tenant, you will be

protected from revenge evictions

and rogue landlords, and if you’re one

of the many good landlords, we will

strengthen your rights of possession.

The housing issue is a major issue and one that is never far from my thoughts. I and the office help people with housing needs every week. It is a stark reminder of the issue – if any were needed.

The biggest factor is housing pressures has been significant changes in family demographics and it is proving a challenge to build our way out of it. Having said new house builds frees up existing properties.

Campaign response - Arthritis must be a priority

A number of constituents have sent me a campaign email entitled arthritis must be a priority.

Arthritis is one of the most debilitating and painful conditions and my experience of those who suffer with such has left me in no doubt how it can affect people in all aspects of their lives.

The vast majority of the millions of patients are delighted with the service they get  but that does not mean there are not very real pressures on the service as demand grows every year.

In order to meet that challenge and improve the service, the government has provided record sums of new cash for the NHS. I have supported and welcomed this. We will also see a brand new hospital built for Cornwall and I hope it will be within our constituency. Certainly it is the investment we need and along  with more cash going in to the service it will give us all better healthcare and outcomes.

All of this is dependent on having a sound economy and with that in mind I firmly believe the Conservatives are the only party who will not only promise the funding but be in a position to deliver.

Campaign reply - Make sure nursing counts at this election.

A number of constituents have sent me a campaign email entitled make sure nursing counts at this election.

The NHS is of fundamental importance to us all and my own experiences of being a patient have only been positive. It remains a fundamental part of our society.

It is a government priority and the NHS is receiving record funding with more to come. You will know that the Conservative party has now released its manifesto which mentions nurses eight times. The section below which I copy for your ease of reference is a key feature:

The 1.4 million dedicated staff who
deliver world-class care day in, day out
are at the heart of the NHS. Our core
priority is to make sure this workforce
can grow and has the support it needs
– in terms of numbers, training and
resources. That means that if you do fall
ill, you’ll get the care and attention you
We will deliver:
} 50,000 more nurses, with students
receiving a £5,000-£8,000 annual
maintenance grant every year during
their course to help with their cost
of living – and they won’t have to pay
it back. Everyone will receive at least
£5,000 with further funding in regions or
disciplines that are struggling to recruit
– such as mental health – and help with
their childcare costs.
} 6,000 more doctors in general
practice and 6,000 more primary care
professionals, such as physiotherapists
and pharmacists. This is on top of the
7,500 extra nurse associates and
20,000 primary care professionals that
we have already announced.
} We will improve staff morale with more
funding for professional training and
more supportive hospital management.
} We will introduce an NHS Visa. Our
NHS People Plan will ensure that we
train and employ tens of thousands
more NHS professionals here in the
UK. But we also want to make sure that
those from overseas who want to work
in and support our NHS are encouraged
to do so. That is why qualified doctors,
nurses and allied health professionals
with a job offer from the NHS, who have
been trained to a recognised standard,
and who have good working English, will
be offered fast-track entry, reduced visa
fees and dedicated support to come to
the UK with their families.
Our new funding will deliver 50 million
extra general practice appointments
a year, an increase of over 15 per
cent. That means that if you need an
appointment, waiting times will be
shorter and you’ll get the service you
We also want to make sure that
doctors spend as much time as
possible treating patients, so we will
address the ‘taper problem’ in doctors’
pensions, which causes many to turn
down extra shifts for fear of high tax
bills. Within our first 30 days, we will
hold an urgent review, working with
the British Medical Association and
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to
solve the problem.

The NHS is one of the best if not the most loved institutions we have and I am confident that with sound government and good management of the country we can continue to invest and deal with the undoubted demands and pressures that it faces.

Campaign reply - “I’ve seen the impact of bowel cancer”.

A number of constituents have sent me a campaign email entitled “I’ve seen the impact of bowel cancer”.

You raise an important matter that many families and loved ones across the UK will be only too well aware.
My Mother died from cancer and thus I have genuine insight into how this terrible disease is.

Investment in the NHS is now at an all-time record and is something we can all celebrate. With the economy now recovered from the Labour crash there is the funds to make inject funding enabling the NHS to improve further care for us all.

The Conservative party manifesto sets out in detail plans for social care and the NHS. It is referred to 45 times in the document:

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Campaign reply: Pledge to contact the Prime Minister and ask him to adequately fund nursery schools

I have recently been contacted by a number of residents as part of a campaign asking me to contact the Prime Minister and ask him to adequately fund nursery schools.

I recognise the concerns raised about funding for nursery schools. I have met with local nursery schools about this in recent months and raised it personally with the Secretary of State for Education during his recent visit to Cornwall.

I welcomed the commitment from the Government of £14 billion for our schools and was pleased to see that schools in Cornwall which have traditionally been underfunded by successive governments of all political parties have received funding boosts.

The Government confirmed schools in Cornwall will receive 4.48% more funding per pupil next year as part of the recent multi-billion investment in primary and secondary education.

This fulfils the commitment made by the Prime Minister this year that every secondary school pupil will receive a minimum of £5,000 next year and every primary school pupil will receive a minimum of £4,000 by 2021- 22.

This funding follows the Prime Minister’s announcement in August that the budget for schools and high needs would be increased by a total of over £14 billion over three years, rising to £52.2 billion by 2022-23.

The Chancellor Sajid Javid also announced that providers of 16-19 education such as further education and sixth form colleges will receive £400 million additional funding to train and teach our young people the skills they need for well-paid jobs in the modern economy, the Chancellor has announced. The boost is the single biggest annual increase for the sector since 2010. I have already held a debate in Parliament arguing that some of this money to used for further education in Mid-Cornwall.

Rest assured that if I am returned as MP following the upcoming General Election I will continue to do all I can to champion and highlight the cause of fair funding for education at all stages in Cornwall.