Last week it was good to visit Ginsters which with over 1200 employees is one of the largest employers in the constituency. The Cornwall Bakery of the Samworth Brothers (Ginsters) was keen to show me the investment they were making in the business and the innovations they were making.

They also told me about their investments in local communities with their slogan “We do good things with great food”. They told me that they were giving £20,000 to my home village of Millbrook towards a new skate park. I was born and grew up in the village and it was good to be able to thank the company for making such a large contribution for the youth of today. I would like to thank Paul Large, Senior Site Director and Alison Jeffery, People Lead, for taking me round the bakery and for their update on the business.

I was pleased when I got a call from the new Minister for Levelling Up, Jacob Young MP, to let me know that Sterts Theatre in Cornwall will be restored with £300,000 so that it can resume its community and professional performances. The cover for the theatre at Upton Cross was badly damaged in the sun and storms of last year. Sterts has a great history of supporting performers for around 35 years and it is fantastic that the government is giving this grant in South East Cornwall as part of a £12.3-million levelling up boost through the Community Ownership Fund which has now given £49.3-million for 195 projects across the UK. Jacob Young explained, “Our priority is to support communities and deliver opportunities right across the country, which is why we’re investing £12.3m to secure the future of cherished community institutions. These places – from pubs to historic railway lines – are the golden thread which run through our social fabric, and keeping them going is vital for supporting communities.” The Community Ownership Fund is currently open again for bids and will close on October 11, 2023, and I would urge groups to apply for up to £2m in funding for the very first time.

At the weekend after canvassing with the team in Saltash it was good to be able to attend the Lions Carnival Fun Day at Castle Park in Liskeard. Their was a number of stalls and it was good to catch up with Cancer Research and the Royal British Legion as well as the Lions. It was also an opportunity to grab a quick and delicous pasty from the Original Cornish Pasties stall who are normally based on the Miller Business Park in Liskeard.

Last week I also undertook a meeting with the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper MP, to discuss the introduction of medical examination for fishermen. This is an issue which was worrying many fishermen regarding the cost of the examinations and the time they would take meaning fishermen were not at sea making a living. I was able, with colleagues, to tell of these concerns and I now look to the government to review these new regulations especially for small boats.