It saddens me to start my column to you with the news that two people died on in our estuary and sea in North Cornwall over the bank holiday weekend. My heart goes out to the families who have tragically lost loved ones. Thank you to all of those who helped others on this difficult day for our North Cornwall community. I was also very saddened to hear that Roger Ryman, the Head Brewer, and Director of St Austell Brewery, has passed away aged just 52. Roger was the driving force behind beers including Tribute and Proper Job and his work helped put Cornish ale on the map, not just across the UK, but in many other parts of the world. His legacy and the beers he created will live on.
We are gradually seeing a return to our new way of working across our society although we must stay alert to ensure there is not a second peak of COVID-19. In some ways, this will be harder than the initial lockdown, as we will need to balance our activity with the constant threat of the virus. I know this will not be easy but North Cornwall has already shown that we can adapt to changing circumstances and I believe we will continue to see success in this battle.
As the local economy reopens our shops and businesses will resume trading for the first time in many weeks. From the conversations I have had with owners and staff across the constituency, it is clear to me that they will need to boost takings and revenue to help them recover in the first weeks out of full lockdown. It is important that we all do our part, and we can support them by choosing to shop locally. I have always been a keen supporter of the high street and independent shops, and if we are going to keep these types of businesses viable, we must make local choices when we shop if we can.
Readers will also be very happy to hear the Minister of State for Transport has written back to MPs concerning the Okehampton line. Along with Members Johnny Mercer and Geoffrey Cox, I backed a bid to the ‘Restoring your railway’ fund, and more work will be undertaken on the proposal this summer. In future, this could provide Cornwall with a second link to London that is not reliant on the vulnerable Dawlish line.
As always if my team and I can be of assistance to you please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I also post regular updates on my website www.scottmann.org.uk and Facebook page www.facebook.com/TheRightMannForNorthCornwall