Last week I met with Great Western Railway and National Rail in Parliament.  This enabled me to talk about a number of issues with our railways including timetable changes and infrastructure.  I am keen to see more trains operating in Cornwall for the busy Summer months and to ensure that some of the beautiful train journeys we are lucky enough to enjoy are promoted to tourists.  This is not just for promoting tourism but helps keep our roads running as well.  I also asked about the much needed footbridge over the railway at Lostwithiel and hope to furnish readers with an update soon.


Last week in Parliament it was also a real pleasure to meet Lanlivery Primary Academy.  As regular readers will know a lot of schools come to visit Parliament and I was pleased to meet and take questions from the young learners.


Last week it was also a real pleasure to see the King's Colour Squadron and The Central Band of the Royal Air Force performing in Speaker's Court.  Parliament provided such a fantastic backdrop for their performance.  I would like to thank them for all they do to represent our armed forces.


At Parliament's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee we had the opportunity to question Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State, and Permanent Secretary Tamara Finkelstein about the work of the government department.  At the meeting the discussion included support for our farmers, food supply, avian influenza, species decline and reintroduction, spending and plastic waste. During the week I also attended a roundtable discussion entitled 'A Strategy for British Horticulture', attended by NFU President Minette Batters, growers representing the fruit, veg, ornamentals, and glasshouse sectors.  Last year’s Government Food Strategy said, “Commercial horticulture uses a new generation of sustainable and efficient greenhouses and provides new opportunities to make UK producers more competitive. Growth in this sector would: boost home-grown fruit and vegetable production, help to future-proof the sector in a warming climate, and create new skilled job opportunities across the country.”  I am keen that this becomes a focus of government work.


Last week I also met with Mike Cohen who is due to take over as Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), when current CEO Barrie Deas retires at the end of the month.  We spoke about the displacement of UK fishing grounds due to competing spatial pressures such as Marine Protected Areas and offshore wind.  I have long argued that fish are an important food source which is good for us.  I look forward working with Mike on this important subject.  On a personal note I would like to thank outgoing NFFO CEO Barrie Deas for all the work he has done over the many years representing our fishermen.