Parliamentary Sketch – Fireworks and Plot

Perhaps Guy Fawkes would be considered a national hero if he were alive today, given the extremely low esteem endured by Members of Parliament and the lowly status our many detractors believe should apply to us?

There are, of course, alternatives:  a Junta, Absolute Monarchy, Dictatorship, other?  Our democratic system is one of which we are proud.  It will always produce bad as well as good outcomes; depending on your perspective.

Meanwhile electors are very good at keeping MPs on their toes.  This week has been one of ongoing talks to find a better long-term solution to the travel needs of Scillonians and the mainland economy of Penzance that depends on the good relations it enjoys with those Islands and its tourism based economy.

Meetings with Ministers and potential helicopter operators continued this week.  With a determined group from the Scillies we pressed the case for Government support for the Scillies link.  While we hope the £18millon funding package for St Mary’s and Penzance harbours will go ahead next year, the ending of the helicopter service last Wednesday has proven to be both devastating for those directly affected and a wake-up call for those who’ve allowed unnecessary acrimony to take collective eyes off the ball.

But good news in St Ives with the opening of the Porthmeor Studios which will provide a rejuvenated focus for artists and those at the St Ives School of Painting.  I was privileged to join the congratulations given to the magnificent team who put the £multi-million project together.

Meanwhile in Helston, the Town Team is developing its ambitious plans for the Town centre and to inject new life and hope to that wonderful and under-marketed jewel in the Town’s crown.  I look forward to future working with those promoting this important project.

The last few days have included further meetings with Ministers to accelerate the offer of essential Government support for the wonderful Goonhilly Space Science Park and to haul it out of the corridors of extensive and inexcusable procrastination.

We’ve been debating the risk of local Health Trusts introducing lower and poorer “regional pay” and conditions for health sector employees including doctors, nurses and ancillary staff.  Hopefully we can head that one off too.  Interesting backroom disagreements between my Liberal Democrat colleagues and our Coalition partners from the Conservative benches!

Andrew George
MP for the West Cornwall &
Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives
6th November 2012

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