Last week on Monday I held two meetings of All Party Parliamentary Groups which I chair.
The first was the fisheries group so that we could agree the future programme for the year. We plan that the next meeting centres on safety at sea. Something that is very important to me. The second group that I chaired was the Channel Islands. It was good to be able to catch up with politicians from this part of the British family and hear the issues they face. They told me that they have issues about finding houses for key workers and the importance of tourism. Issues not dissimilar to Cornwall.
On Tuesday morning I joined Parliament’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee on a visit to the Sealife Centre in London to discuss relevant issues. In the afternoon I continued with EFRA when we met in Parliament to question the Baroness Kate Rock who led a review with the aim of providing recommendations to Government in order to improve the long term resilience of the tenanted farming sector.
In the evening I went to the Royal College of Defence Studies to meet other alumni. The college is a world-renowned institution committed to developing strategic thinkers and leaders within the armed forces and Civil Service, who have the potential to reach the highest ranks and be comfortable working at the strategic level in a cross-government and international environment. I completed a course with them in 2016/17.
On Wednesday I met with Richard Holden MP in his role as the Roads Minister about the Tamar crossings. I met him with fellow MP Johnny Mercer who has the other side of the bridge in his constituency.
I asked the minister for assistance for my constituents. I gave him a copy of the accounts of the bridge and also an excellent document which was compiled by the Tamar Toll Action Group.
I would like to thank the group for their work and the Minister for taking the time to look at this issue which is so important to so many of my constituents. He has promised to have a close look at the situation and see what can be done.
My campaigning on the bridge continued on Thursday morning in Business and Trade questions. I asked the Minister to back my case for getting rid of this additional tax on Cornish businesses. I was pleased when she said she would raise this with the department of transport.
In the afternoon I raised a number of Fishing matters in a general debate on the subject in the main chamber. I raised the issues relating to ensure that our fishermen have enough waters to fish in, the issue of them needing medical certificates and issues relating to engine replacements.
Back in the constituency at the weekend it was a real pleasure to visit the St Stephens Church Summer Fair. It was fantastic to see so many stalls and so many people visiting the event which included in the church the fantastic Halfway Harmony which is a group based in Kingsand which sings Cornish Folk, sea shanties, traditional rock and easy-listening songs.
They were joined by a pipe band who were playing outside. It was particularly good to see the Saltash branch of the Cats Protection present as the chair of the Cats All Party Parliamentary Group.