I STARTED my week in Westminster with a visit to Lancaster House at the invitation of the Defence Secretary.

He had invited MPs from Defence connected constituencies to hear him deliver his speech ‘Defending Britain from a more dangerous world.’ You can read the speech at www.gov.uk/government/speeches/defending-britain-from-a-more-dangerous-world

I also met with the Roads Minister on Tuesday to discuss the additional funding required for average speed cameras on the A38 between Carkeel and Trerulefoot and the Tamar tolls.

I also raised the matter of the delays experienced by my constituents when using the Tamar Bridge and the possibility of installing ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) as a replacement to the current outdated toll collection system currently in place. In addition to private cars, the constant delays at the toll booths are causing a hauliers in SE Cornwall a considerable financial loss. I will be looking to obtain figures in order that I can provide the Department with a monetary figure for these delays for important local SE Cornwall businesses.

I also met with the DEFRA Minister responsible for waste to discuss the changes to the disposal of household DIY waste. The Department has announced that a limited amount of this type of waste should be permitted free of charge. It seems that the Government had sent a message to local councils as long ago as 2016 that it was not acceptable to charge household for this, sadly the last administration at Cornwall Council decided to continue with these charges. It now seems that the Council has decided to reduce the number of sites who accept this type of waste and whilst the site at Saltash will accept limited household DIY waste free of charge, my constituents who use Connon Bridge will have to make the extra journey to St Austell or Saltash.

This extra 30-minute drive in my opinion is unacceptable and could potentially increase fly tipping which is completely against the reason for the abolishing these charges. I am very grateful to Cllr Jane Pascoe for bringing this matter to my attention and for Cllr Seeva and Cllr Craker who have also raised this with me.

The Minister has now agreed to contact Cornwall Council to investigate this matter.

It was also good to join the project team for the Looe Flood Defence Scheme to hear the feedback about the viability of the proposed alternative scheme put forward by the local Save Banjo Pier Group. Unfortunately the analysis has shown that the Save Banjo Pier option introduces navigational hazards and fails to meet the viability criteria and so will not be taken forward.

This means that work will only continue on developing the Outline Business Case based on the shortlisted options which will deliver the aims of the scheme. This is due to be submitted to the government in the spring.

Lastly Peninsula Transport wants to hear from everyone living, working and travelling in the peninsula. Please read the strategy and let them know if it meets your transportation needs using the survey form from the website: www.peninsulatransport.org.uk/peninsula-transport-strategy-consultation

The survey closes February 5, 2024. You can also write to them: Peninsula Transport Strategy Consultation, PO Box 359, Saltash, PL12 9AS.

It is really important that constituents use the feedback section to ensure we make the case for the completion of the A38 safety scheme as a priority.