Last week I spent visiting organisations and people in my constituency as well as holding my weekly advise surgery. I have regular meetings with the management of our public services as I appreciate the challenges they are facing in coping with the cuts in thier budgets as the Government gets to grips with reducing the largest debts that any UK Government has faced in peacetime.
I take a special interest in the NHS and while the amount of money Cornwall’s NHS has received this year has increased, it still faces considerable challenges. From what constituents tell me, the NHS remains their number one priority. We all depend on the NHS to a greater or lesser extent and we all want it to remain freely avaialble at our time of need. While there are issues at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, from my regular meetings with the leadership team where I take up constituents concerns, I beleive that there is a determination to tackle those issues and improve the quality of care. I will continue to work hard to get the best possible financial settlement for Treliske to enable the staff and the management the opportunity of becoming a Foundation Trust and thus secure it’s independence.
I was particularly pleased to join the launch of a new iniative to support the growing marine renewal energy sector in Cornwall. The Peninsula Research Institute of Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) and the Falmouth Bay Test (FaB Test) launched the Dynamic Marine Component Test Facility (DMaC) and the demonstration offshore test site (FaBTest) at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth on Tuesday. FaBTest is a partnership project between A&P Group, FHC, Wave Hub, The University of Exeter, Cornwall Network and Mojo Maritime all of whom provide advice, expertise and support to the industry. It will enable the testing and servicing of devices designed to generate electricy from the marine environment.
That the UK is leading the research and development stage of making energy from tides and waves is indisputable. What remains is the challenge to make this type of energy generation commercially viable. Government has a role to play and urgent action is needed to provide the right market conditions and financial incentives to enable his to happen.
As Cornwall has the best wave and tidal resource in Europe and good working partnerships we are ideally situated to maximise the opportunity to enable this new industry to flourish. There has been UK government and EU financial support to get us to this point and we need to build on this investment now to get to the next stage. I very much appreciate that many in the industry are fed-up with fine words from Government and want to see action. So do I and will be working with colleagues to make the urgent case for investment in Cornwall’s marine energy industry.