Now that Parliament is on recess for the summer it is great to be back in North Cornwall full time working on constituency matters. Following on from my meeting with the Postmaster in Marshgate last week, I held a meeting directly with management from The Post Office Ltd to discuss the situation in Wadebridge. I made it quite clear to them that a loss of Post Office service for the town is unacceptable to me and that there must be an interim solution in place while the Post Office looks for a permanent site. The Post Office Ltd is a private business, and so they can of course choose to base what they do on market forces. However, there are many people in Wadebridge and the surrounding area who want to use their services.
My suggestion was that the new Postmaster in Marshgate, who I met with last week, should be allowed to bring the mobile service he currently runs in St Breward to Wadebridge for one day per week. At our meeting, he expressed an interest in doing just this, and I would be prepared to talk to the Royal Mail sorting office about dropping off mail sacks; I will also discuss the use of the car park with the Town Council. The Post Office was concerned that a mobile service would be oversubscribed as it usually services around 20 customers during an afternoon in a village. They felt that the number would be much higher in a town like Wadebridge. I responded that although this may be the case, it is far better than having no service at all.
It was off to Launceston for more visits on Friday where I was pleased to catch up with the team at Seetec Pluss, which is an employee-owned company that helped thousands of Cornish people back into work last year. They deliver the Department for Work and Pensions Restart Scheme and Work and Health Programme, and the Department for Education National Careers Service across Cornwall. I was present for the opening of this centre a couple of years ago and it was great to see how things have come along since then. Currently, the claimant rate for Job Seekers Allowance in North Cornwall is 1,450, which is an unemployment rate of 2.7%, and well below the national average of 4%. I’m also encouraged that the rate for young people between 18-24 is continuing to drop, as this shows more openings for this important age group are emerging.
Young people shouldn’t feel forced to leave North Cornwall due to a lack of training or education opportunities, and therefore skills and training are one of my top priorities for North Cornwall. It has been my ambition since day one to see more of our young people find jobs and training without having to leave the local area. Along with these vocational routes, I am also looking forward to the first year of students taking up their places at the Callywith College expansion in September.