Thursday, 21 April 2011

Supporting businesses in Cornwall

Supporting businesses to secure and create new jobs is an important part of my job.  Since being elected, I have been supporting the development of the Port of Falmouth Master Plan and the businesses in the port.  The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is a new organisation, created by the last Government and is settling into its new role and responsibilities.  It is an ‘arms length organisation’ from Government.  Finding the right balance of protecting our precious natural environment while securing the economic prosperity of the port is essential.  I will continue to work very closely with both the Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) and the Minister responsible for the MMO to ensure a way forward in dredging the harbour can be achieved for Falmouth.  On Wednesday, following his visit to Falmouth Coastguard, I was pleased that the Shipping and Ports Minister had time for a tour of the harbour with a Falmouth pilot and to talk with FHC.  He was impressed by the good work of the Trust Port.  He wants to see a renaissance of coastal shipping to move freight off the roads and onto the sea to ease congestion and pollution.  He described Falmouth as an important port and will be another important ally for the future of the port.
I was pleased to meet with the team at A&P in Falmouth responsible for defence contracts.  A&P Falmouth are now part of a much bigger UK shipbuilding and repair group, in fact the group are constructing the new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy.  I was following up a promising meeting I set-up with the Ministry of Defence supporting A&P in being able to bid for more naval contracts.
Securing existing jobs and bringing new jobs into my constituency are always a top priority and I was pleased to help an exciting new employer, setting-up an innovative new business in the UK, recruit people in Cornwall and work with the Beacon Partnership in Falmouth.
I visited a number of Truro-based organisations including Young People Cornwall who will be piloting the National Citizen Service for Cornish 16 year olds this summer.  I was delighted to hear about the enthusiastic support they have had for this important pilot that will offer a free six week programme that aims to help young people get involved in their communities by undertaking social action.  Cornwall Rural Community Council provides an impressive and vital range of services to people across Cornwall and it was good to have a chance to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing them in the months and years ahead.  I found their innovative, can-do attitude inspiring.
It was also a great pleasure to meet the new Director for the Hall for Cornwall Julien Boost and learn of his exciting plans to develop the programme at the Hall with an emphasis or working in partnership with other arts organisations in Cornwall.  I took time out to thoroughly enjoy the performance of ‘King Lear’ played by Derek Jacobi.  It is fantastic that we can see such world-class performances in the heart of Cornwall.

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