Many of you may have read the news stories about little Freddie Jackson, the three-year-old who needed a special bed which will adapt to his needs while he grows. I was really proud to see how the community came together to support the family, particularly the people of Launceston who raised over £4,000. Many of the issues Freddy’s faced with his bed came from the fact that he was born in Derriford, yet his more recent care comes under the Cornwall NHS. The NHS regions do not correspond to constituency boundaries, and many of my constituents use hospitals in Devon as they are geographically closer. Moving forward, I believe we must do better to encourage links in an effort to address these issues.
I raised the issue of Freddy’s bed with the Secretary of State in Westminster and have a further follow up meeting with the Health Minister coming soon. This situation could be resolved very quickly by the Cornwall health organisations if they would meet the cost of maintenance of the bed, it should be done immediately and without the need to involve ministers. However, after telling the Secretary of State about Freddy’s case he is keen to get involved. I would urge the health organisations in Cornwall to sort this out now so Freddy and his family can have the best bed available to him. I won’t let this issue drop until it is fully resolved.
In Bude, many residents were upset to find out that the 6 & 6A Bude to Exeter bus service is being looked at by the operator. I have been clear that Bude and Stratton and integral parts of North Cornwall, and I want local people to be able to access connecting and direct transport services to NHS sites and mainline rail stations. I have already arranged a meeting with Stagecoach, and I will be responding formally to the consultancy on behalf of Bude & Stratton. I would also like to encourage readers in the area to respond to the consultation before the 1st of March via the Stagecoach website.
The 2020 budget will take place on the 11th of March. I have been asked to feedback my financial priorities for North Cornwall over the next twelve months. The Camelford bypass will be one of the key points for me, as I believe we need this project approved this year. Nigel Blackler and Cornwall Council have done a fantastic job so far, and after visiting the public consultation meetings last month in person I’m looking for a decision about our proposal soon.
Finally, I was able to brief the Housing and Communities Minister on the Bodmin 2030 programme last week. I showed Robert Jennrick the 2030 document and told him more about the ambitions which Bodmin has for the next ten years. Bodmin’s vision for a central role in Cornwall’s future is one I share, and I look forward to supporting it during this Parliament.