Wednesday, 29 October 2014

My thoughts on the Recall Bill

A number of local people have contacted me to ask for my views on the Recall Bill that was voted on in Parliament on Monday this week.

The Bill aims to strengthen the accountability of MPs and establish new grounds for them to be held to account, and ultimately recalled and a by-election held if the circumstances warrant it. Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith proposed a number of amendments which in my view would have made important changes to the Bill to make MPs more accountable to the people they are elected to serve.

I am happy to place on record that if I were currently the MP for St Austell and Newquay I would be supporting Zac Goldsmith’s amendments to the bill.
I believe that we need to rebuild trust and respect between Parliament and the electorate and the amendments Zac is proposing, I believe, would go some way in helping to achieve this.

Too often MPs make promises at election times which are then glossed over once they get elected. If I am given the honour of representing my home constituency at the election next year, I will never forgot that my first priority is to serve and represent the people of mid-Cornwall. You, the electorate will be my boss and I will always be willing to be held to account by you. The proposed amendments to the bill would ensure that all elected MPs will be more accountable to the people they are elected to serve. In my view this can only be a good thing.

I share the disappointment and frustration of many people who have contacted me since Monday’s vote that our local MP did not represent what I believe are the views of the majority of local people and support the amendments proposed by Zac Goldsmith.  I am pleased that many of my Conservative colleagues currently in Westminster did vote for his amendments but sadly not enough to win a majority.

We are certainly living in interesting times in British politics. If I have the honour of being elected as your MP on 7th May next year I will never forget who my real bosses are – you the local electorate. Those who know me will confirm that I am someone who can be taken at his word, I do not make promises to then go back on them, I say what I mean and do what I say I will do. I can show a track record of being accessible and accountable and this is something I will always maintain.

I do hope to be able to win your vote at the next election. If there are any other issues you would like to raise with me then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

People and Gardens

In a week when the debate about the role of people with special needs and disabilities in the workplace has been in the news I was delighted to be able to visit People and Gardens.

People and Gardens is a Community Interest Company (not for profit) based at Watering Lane Nursery between Porthpean and Pentewan. It was set up and is still run by Ken Radford, and supported by The Eden Project, providing work opportunities for people with special education needs.

People and Gardens truly is an inspiring place. It was set up to enable people with learning disabilities or emotional impairments to be able to develop as individuals, to learn work and social skills and to have equality of choice and opportunity in the workplace.

Although the business receives financial support from Cornwall Council from their adult social care budget, the aim is to become self-sufficient. All of the staff are dedicated to providing a positive and worthwhile work experience for those that come and work there. It gives people a sense of purpose and fulfilment as well as growing some very nice veg.

With the current budget pressures facing Cornwall Council I am concerned that this type of project is an easy target for cuts in funding. However, I believe the value of the service People and Gardens provides goes way beyond the amount of money they receive from the Council. I will certainly be supporting them and doing all I can to ensure they continue to get the funding they need to be able to continue the brilliant and vital work they do.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there and found it to be an inspiring example of what can be done to help people in our communities who need this type of support. You can find more details of People and Gardens here One of the ways we can all support the work they do is by signing up to receive one of their veg bags.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Bricks and Bread

Last week I was delighted to pay a visit to Bricks and Bread at their new retreat base in Tywardreath.

Bricks and Bread is an inspiring Social Enterprise which works to support small businesses and start-ups grow and development. It does this through mentoring, training and advice, as well as providing access to Government loan schemes. They moved their base from Surrey to Tywardreath earlier this year and have been fully up and running here since May.

With Trudy and Josh at Bricks and Bread

Run by Trudy and Josh, it is just the sort of facility we need to see in Cornwall. Cornwall has always been a place for enterprise and our history is full of examples of people who took the opportunities to innovate. We have a higher than average number of small businesses and self-employed here in mid-Cornwall. One of the keys to growing our local economy will be to support these existing businesses and see new small businesses started so that they can grow and create the jobs of the future.

Trudy and Josh were refreshing in their people focussed approach to business development. It was also encouraging to listen their story and their reasons for coming to Cornwall. It will be interesting to watch how their work can help our local businesses and I look forward to visiting them again sometime soon to see how things have progressed.

If you are interested in the work they you can find out more about Bricks and Bread here