Wednesday, 15 November 2017
Newspaper column 15 November - Waste and Recycling in Cornwall
The second week of November was another interesting one for me.
In Parliament I was delighted to host a reception for the charity Shared Lives, so my MP colleagues could come along and see for themselves some of the brilliant work this group is doing. Shared Lives provide residential care in family homes for adults with special needs, and following a visit to one of their providers in St Austell earlier this year, I am pleased to have been able to highlight their work in Westminster.
On Friday it was also great to see the Prime Minister announce that the date and time we will be leaving the EU - 11pm on 29th March 2019 will be set in law. We can now set our Brexit alarm!
As Parliament rose early it has been great to spend more time than usual at home in Mid-Cornwall, and I have been able to attend Remembrance Services in St Austell, Newquay and St Columb Major, visit several local businesses including the award winning Old Barn at Tregonetha, meet with the Leadership Team at St Mawgan in Pydar School to discuss their plans for the future, welcome the new Vicar at St Goran Church and hold a lively and informative Meet the MP session at the Safe Harbour in Fowey.
One of the issues local people have raised with me recently is the situation with Cornwall Council and their proposed move to fortnightly waste collections with a possible limit to two black sacks per household per collection.
At a time where the powers that be at Cornwall Council got a ton of flak last week for using a consultancy firm from upcountry, at a cost of £75,000 to tell us that we think Cornwall is a great place to live, you would have thought they would have steered clear of any more controversial decisions for a while. However it appears they already have another one lined up!
It is clear that Cornwall does have some work to do to catch up with the rest of the country in terms of recycling. However the needs of Cornwall, with its unique geography and large number of small rural communities, are very different to more urban areas that often have higher recycling rates. Have Cornwall Council actually thought about the issues households would face with overflowing waste sacks and food being left in situ for two weeks at a time? The seagulls would have a field day at least.
You would have thought that Cornwall Council would have consulted with their public before putting such a big decision on their Cabinet’s agenda for this week but aside from a few posts on social media, this seems to have been lacking. It is telling perhaps that the new/old Liberal Democrat/Independent regime at the council are more willing to spend thousands of pounds asking consultants from upcountry what they think, than they are asking their own electorate, the people of Cornwall, what we think.
Cornwall Council is, of course there to represent and serve of the people who live in Cornwall. Sadly it seems that once again those in charge are focusing elsewhere instead of what really matters.
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. The office is open to the public Monday – Friday 10.00am – 4.00pm (no appointment necessary). If there is an issue you would like my assistance on then please, either visit the office or contact me on either 01726 829379 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, I hold regular, appointment only, advice surgeries across the constituency. Dates of these can be found at: www.stevedouble.org.uk/events