Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Newspaper column St Austell editions - 27 April 2016 - Mountisde planning application

Last week I attended and spoke at the public meeting, organised by Cornwall Council’s Strategic Planning Committee in Par regarding the planning application by Wainhomes for a large number of houses at Mountside. 

As a Member of Parliament I have no formal role in Cornwall Council’s decision-making process when it comes to planning applications. However, with major applications like this, that would have a large impact on their surrounding communities, I can and do make representations to the council to ensure the voice of the people is heard loud and clear.

I am a proud St Blazey boy who was born and grew up in this area and have vivid memories from a young age of the flooding that occurs at Brooks Corner. Sadly this flooding continues to this day. I am continuing to work with the Environment Agency and South West Water to find a permanent solution. In the mean time I believe that any further large scale building of houses in the area without the corresponding necessary infrastructure upgrades is completely inappropriate and should not take place.

My view on housing is that we do need more in Cornwall, but that any built should be appropriately located and have suitable infrastructure and jobs available for the new occupants. Apart from ensuring that the relevant authorities are aware of the public’s view regarding planning applications like this, I also spend a good deal of time working behind the scenes to ensure our constituency receives its fair share of funding for the infrastructure that we need in order to make developments viable. I also promote the creation of good quality well paid jobs for the people who will move into them.

One example of this last week was when I met with the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, to personally present the need for more GP services in the constituency. I meet regularly with healthcare professionals across Mid-Cornwall and am very aware of the need for this, particularly in St Austell. Meetings like this are very important as they allow me to raise these concerns and make the case for these service improvements at the very highest level.

I was also pleased to see the latest unemployment figures released last week which show a month on month and year on year fall for the constituency. There are now 1080 less people claiming JSA in St Austell and Newquay than in 2010, a drop of more than 54%. While the continued drop in unemployment is good news, what we need for our constituency is employment opportunities that will increase local wages and provide career opportunities for our young people. I regularly meet with local businesses to understand exactly what they need and ensure that their voices are also heard and acted upon in Westminster.

As always, my team and I are here to serve the whole constituency and work hard to make a real difference to the lives of everyone needing support. If there is an issue you would like my assistance on then please contact me on either 01726 829379 or Additionally, I hold regular, appointment only, advice surgeries across the constituency. Dates of these can be found at: