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Working hard throughout this 'holiday'

By West Briton  |  Posted: July 24, 2014

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SO, PARLIAMENT goes into its summer recess and won't return until September 1.

Commons lobby journalists gleefully describe this as "MPs going on their long summer holiday" – forgetting to mention that it is actually the journalists who take the long summer holiday while diligent MPs return to their constituencies to keep toiling away on behalf of their constituents.

Part of the more pleasurable side of this "toil" will be to work alongside volunteers as we commence survey work in preparation for badger mapping and vaccination against the chronic problem of tuberculosis (bovine TB) which is prevalent in both wildlife and cattle here in West Cornwall.

Professor Rosie Woodroffe and I met a group of volunteers in Penzance this week as we prepared the hardware and the software necessary for this significant task.

The project now has funding and, although the Government is not being as supportive as I believe it should be, we have sufficient backing to crack on with it now. The project needs to roll out until at least 2018 and to expand rapidly from next summer.

I'm pleased that we have a large group of enthusiastic and very capable and committed volunteers to cover both the areas which we will be concentrating on, which are in Penwith and also the Helston area.

August will also see me frantically preparing drafts of my Affordable Homes Private Member's Bill which will be debated on the first Friday back in September (the 5th).

Securing the backing of a sufficient number of MPs is certainly not a foregone conclusion and the risk of my Bill being defeated at its first hurdle is one I shall be fighting to avoid.

Any MPs visiting this constituency for their holidays are invited to discuss the matter with me.

I will also continue my campaign against decisions which might result in a loss of crucial work from West Cornwall and St Michael's hospitals. I visited St Michael's this week and met the excellent and committed staff of the hospital.

I urge local people to "Choose it and use it".

It is all very well for private sector hospitals to cherry-pick the easiest and most profitable work from NHS hospitals, but, when you need a hospital in an emergency, it is to the NHS you will go.

We need to make sure that our NHS hospitals have the capacity and resources necessary to protect and support our communities, and to not have their resources siphoned from them by private sector providers who can be more selective about what they are prepared to do.

So plenty in the "in tray" during this so-called "holiday".

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