A Minister for Transport visit to Penzance Rail Station may appear to have little relevance to Helston and the Lizard.
However, this meeting sought to progress the ‘Freight on the Rail’ service that currently allows local producers, from Lizard to St Ives, to put light goods on the passenger service in Penzance for delivery into London. Many will remember my event of 36 West Cornwall businesses demonstrating their wares in Parliament in 2016 and a ‘trade show’ with the Prince of Wales in Porthleven last July. Both served to connect local producers with London buyers but establishing this freight service is slow going. On his visit in July, Transport Minister, Jo Johnson said he ‘totally gets’ the argument for this service, that allows West Cornwall’s food and drink producers to send their products to London by train making use space available on passenger services.
The Minister agreed to write to Cornwall Council and the LEP, encouraging them to find funding for a feasibility study into the requirement for freight on the service from Penzance to Paddington.
Thank you to all those who completed the survey relating to the future of Helston. The results have been collated and will be available soon. The draw to include all participants will be made and the winner of the rail tickets and visit to the Palace of Westminster will also be announced soon.
As an MP in a rural constituency like ours, I’ve found that one way to keep closely connected to every part of the West Cornwall is to be available to our town and parish councils. At the start of the year, in a meeting with our town and parish clerks, it was agreed to organise a conference for clerks and councillors in West Cornwall. This takes place at the end of September and speakers will cover rural policing, speeding, improving communication with residents and how parishes and towns can work more closely, taking on services from Cornwall Council with the funding to match. Part of the conference will be open to all. More details to follow.