Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Newspaper column 2 January 2019 - Looking ahead to a busy year

I trust you have had an enjoyable Christmas. It was certainly good for me to be able to be at home in Cornwall and spend some time with my family as well as being able to attend a number of local Christmas events and services.

I will shortly be returning to Westminster as Parliament will be sitting again, with what is likely to be an historic session.

As we enter a New Year I wanted to lay out some of my hopes and aims for 2019 and the things I will be working on as your representative in Parliament.

Brexit feels like it has been the backdrop to my whole Parliamentary career and clearly will continue to dominate the coming months. But 2019 will be the year we deliver Brexit. It is enshrined in law that we will be leaving the European Union in March 2019, and I remain determined that leave we will.

I have had cause to be outspoken during the recent debate around the Withdrawal Agreement. I am not alone in my concerns. To me the deal that is currently being proposed does not deliver on the result of the 2016 Referendum. It is not the clean and positive Brexit that Mid-Cornwall voted for and as such it is not something I can support.

Moving away from Brexit, we need to consider where we will be after 29 March 2019 and there are a number of major projects that are coming closer in Mid-Cornwall that I have been working towards.
The planning application has now been submitted for the £80m link road to the St Austell area from the A30. This is a significant step forward in see this important new piece if infrastructure completed and I look forward to continued progress and all being well work commencing towards the end of the year.

Our airport continues to play a vital role in local economy and 2019 should see further progress. In the Spring we will see the return of the Heathrow route. This is great news, particularly for the business community and I look forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to Cornwall. I also hope for more progress to be made on the Spaceport Cornwall Bid, which if successful will see Newquay become the base for the UK’s first horizontal satellite launch facility. With the recent success of partner Virgin Galactic’s shuttle trial, could space tourism be within reach for Cornwall?

I was disappointed to see the Office of National Statistics in December release a White Paper that did not commit to a dedicated Cornish Tick Box in the national census. However I immediately met with the Cabinet Office Minister and have secured a meeting with the ONS and leading members of the Cornish Tick Box campaign in the New Year to continue to make the case and push for a positive outcome. I also look to continue to sit on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to champion Cornwall and properly realise the ethnic minority status that this body granted the Cornish.

I am sure that 2019 will prove to be another busy, challenging and exciting year in politics. Whatever the coming year brings I will continue to represent you and be your strong Cornish voice in 
Westminster. I will always remember that I am a Cornishman first and foremost and do all I can to deliver the investment and support from government our constituency needs. I will never forget that you, the people of mid-Cornwall are my boss and my priority is to serve and represent you.

As always my door is open throughout the coming year. If you feel I can help with any matter or you simply what to make me aware of your concerns or views please get in touch – email or phone 01726 829379