Our beautiful Cornish landscape is an asset, to be enjoyed and handed down safe to future generations.
In Parliament I have supported the introduction and implementation of a Natural Environment White Paper which boosts current environmental protections. As a member of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, I have participated in a Committee Inquiry into how the Government could improve its plans for a network of Marine Conservation Zones; protected marine wildlife parks that will provide a refuge and nursery for sea life of all forms. As a result of the Inquiry the Government announced a network of Zones across the UK which avoid busy ports and shipping lanes. These Zones, one of which is located just off the Lizard, will make a real difference to the marine environment and more are on their way.
Our woodlands are just as precious and in 2011 I worked to change the Government’s mind on the future of our forestry estate. I am pleased to confirm that woodlands will remain in public ownership, with a new Public Forest Estate Management Organisation. I am working with the Woodland Trust to enable more trees to be planted.
I led the debate in Parliament and worked with national and local charities to support a National Pollinator Strategy to protect our bees and many other pollinators. It was announced in 2014 and I want to ensure that Cornwall becomes a bee friendly community.
Many local people fear that over development could threaten our countryside. Cornwall Council has the ability to avert this. I have been working with Conservative Councillors to press the Council to adopt a housing strategy based on local needs, focusing on delivering genuinely affordable homes for local people, ruling out the speculative and excessive building that threatens our precious countryside. I want to see such a strategy adopted and robustly defended, giving Cornwall the defence it needs against over development. I have worked constructively with a number of parish and town councils on the development of Neighbourhood Plans.
Our social environment is just as important and I have been proud to support the many clubs and societies that make our communities such enjoyable places to live. It has been great to attend and speak at a variety of meetings and to be able to help Sports clubs get the funding they need to expand. I have been working to secure a new community sports facility at Falmouth School and am determined to see this delivered. I also support the creation of a Stadium for Cornwall.
Like sport, arts brings light into the lives of many of us, and I have been working to secure investment in our creative bodies. The Arts Council has now protected funding for Cornish arts organisations up until 2018 and allocated new funds for the wonderful Hall for Cornwall, to help them move forward with exciting expansion plans. I secured £2 million for the Hall for Cornwall from the Chancellor. Our precious heritage is also being bolstered. Major Museum Status has been granted to a consortium of six Cornish museums and galleries, which include Falmouth Art Gallery, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and the Royal Cornwall Museum. This status will unlock new funding for these great institutions. I want to see all these institutions expand over the years to come.
Working with my colleagues, I was pleased to secure £100,000 this year for Cornish culture and heritage and I will continue to support efforts to celebrate and promote Cornish language, history and heritage and want to see through the restoration of St Piran’s Oratory:
It's imperative that we all understand the importance of promoting good mental health. I have had the privilege of helping a number of local organisations secure funding for new and improved mental health services, many take advantage of our splendid natural maritime environment to promote good mental health.
As a member of the Conservative Environment Network I joined colleagues in launching our most recent report entitled "Thinking differently about our environment: a holistic approach to policy", a copy of which you may read below.
The report, which has been sent to Cabinet ministers, includes an essay from my colleague Rebecca Pow MP who is promoting encouraging gardening to be adopted as a policy by a range of government departments including health, justice, defence, local government and education.
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