Monday, 8 June 2015

Newspaper column 27 May - Retail in St Austell

Last Friday saw the opening of The Range store at the Stadium Retail Park. I was able to go along to the opening and met with the owner Chris Dawson. He is certainly what you might call a ‘character’ and it was interesting to hear his story of how he started out with a pitch at Par Market. His story is inspiring – how from fairly humble begins he has risen to be one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs of recent times.

I must admit it was great to see another new popular store opening up in this area and judging by how busy it was on the first morning it is likely to be a big success.  One thing particular that pleases me is that this is a store that is currently in Truro. Hopefully it won’t be the last one we see.

The retail choices available in the St Austell area continue to be one of the most frequently discussed topics and one that provokes strong views. When I was campaigning for the election it was one of the top three concerns raised by residents in St Austell area.

Hopefully there will be further progress in the near future. The Trewhiddle Farm application is likely to be decided by Cornwall Council in the coming weeks. I am continuing to work with the developers to make sure this scheme, if approved, will deliver the shops and jobs we need in St Austell.

I also welcomed the Chancellor George Osborne to St Austell last Friday. He came to visit following the commitments he and the Prime Minister made to invest in Cornwall in the run up to the election. I know some people saw this as empty electioneering so it was pleasing that he was prepared to come down so soon after the election and confirm the Government’s commitment to support Cornwall.

Specifically I was able to raise with him again the desperate need for a new road linking St Austell to the A30. This was one of my commitments during the election campaign and would be a great boost for local businesses as well as providing relief from the heavy traffic Bugle and Roche have to suffer.
It was great to be able to firm up the Chancellor’s commitment to deliver this road. I will now be working with Cornwall Council to bring forward a scheme as soon as possible.

It is clear that with Cornwall now having 6 Conservative MPs in a Conservative Government we have a huge opportunity to attract the investment we have lacked for so many years. I, along with my fellow Cornish colleagues, will be doing everything we possibly can to make the most of this opportunity.