* FORMER LABOUR CHAIR SWITCHES TO LIB DEMS *

23 April 2010

The former branch chair of Redruth Labour party has declared her support for local Lib Dem candidate Julia Goldsworthy in the general election. Janet Brook, who stood as a Labour council candidate in 2001, said her political views had not changed – but the Labour Party had.

She said: “I have always supported Labour, and was closely involved in the local Labour Party here in Redruth. But now I believe that the party has changed. The Lib Dems are the only party standing up for ordinary working people, which is why I am supporting Julia Goldsworthy.”

Mrs Brook, who lives in Redruth, met Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg during his visit to Cornwall on Wednesday. In front of the watching press pack, she told him he had set the general election alight with his unexpectedly powerful performance on the TV debates.

She said: “I’ve been so impressed with you and your party. I think it’s time for a change and the Lib Dems are the only party offering real change.”

Mrs Brook has a long history with the Labour Party, and said it was not an easy decision to switch away from them, saying: “It has not been an easy decision, but I think it’s the right one. Nationally, the Lib Dems are fighting for the interests of ordinary people. And locally we have an excellent local candidate in Julia Goldsworthy, who always stands up for people here.”

Camborne and Redruth Lib Dem candidate Julia Goldsworthy said:

“I am delighted to have Mrs Brooks’ support. On the doorstep I am constantly meeting former Labour voters who feel that they want real change from the old two party system, and see the Lib Dems as the party to deliver that change.”

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CARN BREA CASTLE FLIES FLAG FOR LIB DEMS

13 April 2010

One of Cornwall’s most iconic buildings is flying the flag for the Liberal Democrats in the general election.

Carn Brea Castle, which sits atop Carn Brea and is visible for miles around the Camborne and Redruth area, will fly a yellow Lib Dem flag from its battlements for the entire campaign.

The 14th Century stone folly is a widely used as a symbol of the area and regularly features on the front of brochures and guides advertising Cornwall.

Present owners Munir and Anne Sawalha now run it as a Jordanian restaurant.

The couple said they agreed to fly the flag from the building in support of local Lib Dem candidate Julia Goldsworthy.

Mrs Sawalha said: “We offered to do it to support Julia. She’s been such a great local MP that we felt it was the least we could do.”

Miss Goldsworthy said: “I’m very grateful to the Sawalhas for demonstrating their support in this way.

“This has to be one of the most unusual and distinctive political poster sites in the whole country. We have put plenty of posters up in our campaigns in the past, but this is the first flag!”

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JULIA’S CAMPAIGN GETS OFF TO A FLYING START

6 April 2010


Falmouth and Camborne MP Julia Goldsworthy has kicked off her election campaign for the new Parliamentary seat of Camborne and Redruth.

Julia launched her campaign by touring the villages of Mawnan Smith and Constantine, near Falmouth, with a team of volunteers.

They knocked on doors in the villages and got our and about to meet prospective voters. Julia said: “The reason I first went in to politics was to stand up for my local area, where I was born and brought up.
”I have lived in the Camborne area all my life and always believed in a positive future for this part of Cornwall.

”It has been a privilege to serve as MP for Falmouth and Camborne over the past five years. Now I am looking forward to the challenge of fighting for a fair deal in the new seat of Camborne and Redruth.”

Julia said she will be visiting every town and village in the new constituency over the next three weeks, meeting as many people as possible and finding out what they think needs to be done to bring real change to Cornwall.

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NICK CLEGG PRAISES CORNISH GRADUATE SCHEME

1 April 2010

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said a Cornwall-based scheme that places graduates into local jobs while supporting businesses could point the way to future prosperity for the UK.

Mr Clegg came to Hayle to see the Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) scheme in action at local firm Rigibore Engineering Ltd.

He said the way that the sche me linked local firms with local graduates pointed the way to a sustainable economy in Cornwall.

A family-run company , Rigibore is one of Cornwall’s success stories, manufacturing specialist drilling equipment for mining companies all over the world, including America, India and Europe.

They have taken on several UCP graduates in recent years, who have helped boost the fortunes of the company.

Mr Clegg and MP Julia Goldsworthy chatted to recent recruits Richard Thomas and Uday Divakaran, who explained how they had found work through the scheme.

Mr Clegg said: “This is an example of how we can give hope to young graduates in Cornwall and kickstart the economy at the same time.

“The government should look at schemes like Unlocking Cornish Potential and use them as a model of how to improve employment prospects across the country.”

Julia Goldsworthy, the MP for Camborne and Falmouth, said: “Under Labour, youth unemployment has doubled in Cornwall since 2007. Now one in five people under 25 are out of work in Camborne and Redruth.

“Labour have failed to build on the devastation left by the Conservatives when they tore the heart out of this area by wrecking local employment.

“For too long Cornwall has seen a brain drain of young people leaving the county to find work and afford a home.

“The UCP scheme is helping them to have a future here in their home county.”

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JULIA IS A “STAR PERFORMER”, SAYS BARONESS WILLIAMS

30 March 2010

Baroness Shirley Williams was the guest of honour at a special meeting to adopt Julia Goldsworthy as the Lib Dem candidate for Camborne and Redruth.

Over 100 people gathered in the Opie Theatre at Cornwall College to hear a speech by the highly-respected Lib Dem peer on Friday.

Baroness Williams told the audience that Julia had risen from being an obscure Parliamentary candidate to being a rising star of national politics in just five years.

“You are very lucky to have someone with such a strong reputation across the country as your local candidate here in Camborne and Redruth,” she said.

“Julia has been a real star performer in her first term as an MP, both in terms of the work she has done locally and on the national stage.

“This is a great achievement, and one that David Penhaligon himself would have been proud of.”

Julia said: “The reason I came into politics was because I was fed up with Cornwall being treated like an irrelevance by consecutive Labour and Conservative governments.

“Along with my Lib Dem colleagues across Cornwall, I believe we have made a difference over the past five years, with more funding for our NHS, lower water bills for the first time since privatisation and legislation on our sustainable communities.

“The challenge for us here in Cornwall is to try and build on this and deliver more local accountability, a greater say for local people and a fairer deal on funding our public services.”

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JULIA SIGNS PLEDGE ON LOBBYING TRANSPARENCY

24 March 2010

Julia Goldsworthy MP has signed up to a national campaign urging greater lobbying transparency among MPs and political candidates.

The campaign is run by independent group 38 Degrees and the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency. It calls on candidates from all political parties to support a statutory register of lobbying activity.

The proposed register would ask lobbying firms to include the names of the companies or organisations they are working for, and which decisions they are trying to influence.

MPs are already required to register any personal or financial interests they have that may influence their actions. The new campaign is now calling on candidates to publicly declare any lobbying interests they may have in the same way.

Julia’s decision to sign up to the campaign comes as the lobbying activity of MPs and ministers fell under the national media spotlight this week.

A special investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches, broadcast on Monday night, exposed how lobbying firms target some MPs to influence decisions.

Julia said: “People’s trust in politicians will never be restored while there is any hint of secrecy about how they operate
“Only complete openess and transparency will give people any confidence in the politicians that are asking for their votes. This is why this campaign is so important, and it is why I am fully supporting it.”

She added that all her expenses claims, and her entry in the Register of MPs’ Interests can be found on her website www.juliagoldsworthy.org

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TORY THREAT TO SCHOOLS CASH

19 March 2010

New cash for Cornish schools could be under threat if the Conservative Party takes a majority of seats at the next election.

The five-strong team of Liberal Democrat MPs for Cornwall says the £69m ‘Building Schools for the Future’ (BSF) investment announced by Ministers could be cut by the Conservatives.

David Cameron’s party has vowed to slash £500m from the BSF programme if they win power, while the Liberal Democrats have made education one of their top four priorities for the next Parliament, promising a further £22m every year for Cornish schools.

Commenting, North Cornwall’s MP, Dan Rogerson said:

“It’s fantastic news that the Government has finally got round to allocating some serious money to invest in Cornish schools. But parents and pupils will doubtless be concerned that this much needed cash is high up on the Tory list for cuts.

“Scandalously, Cornish pupils already get a poor deal – each of them getting £350 a year less than the national average, and £600-£700 less than children in inner London. It’s astonishing that the Conservatives could even think of making that situation worse still.”

Julia added:

“Local schools are rightly excited at the prospect of multi-million pound upgrades to their buildings.

“Yet they still have no certainty that the money will come through until after the election. If the Conservatives win a majority in Parliament, Cornish cash will have to go under their promised £500m of cuts to the Building Schools for the Future budget.

“That the Tories are targeting this funding for cutbacks is a damning indictment of their approach to education and public services, and it’s a serious warning about what they would be like if they get their hands on the levers of power.”

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10p PARKING WILL BOOST TRADE, SAYS JULIA

10 March 2010

Falmouth and Camborne MP Julia Goldsworthy is calling for 10p first hour parking to be introduced in every major town in Cornwall to help struggling retailers.

She said the move would help local shopkeepers compete with out of town shopping centres, which usually have free parking. Julia is calling on Cornwall Council to introduce 10p parking now to support retailers through the recession.

She said: “Shopkeepers struggle to compete with out of town shopping centres, where parking is plentiful and free. Introducing a nominal charge of 10p for the first hour will encourage more visitors to stop for impulse purchases, and allow local retailers to compete on a more level playing field.”

10p first hour parking in Cornwall was a key pledge by Liberal Democrat candidates in the local elections last May. Julia said it was time Cornwall Council – now run by the Conservatives – took action to boost local trade.

She said: “Instead of taking a year to consider proposals, Cornwall Council should be acting now to support local businesses struggling to survive. Introducing 10p first hour parking to our towns is a simple measure that will make a real difference.”

Julia said local businesses would also benefit if Cornwall Council actively implemented the Sustainable Communities Act, which she co-sponsored in Parliament.

She said: “Reversing the decline of our town centres is why I first introduced the Sustainable Communities Bill, which became an Act in 2007. It puts local people in charge of deciding their own priorities, and will help defend the interests of independent shops and towns when they are threatened by the actions of big business and government.

“I hope Cornwall Council will agree to participate in the implementation of this Act, to give them a stronger role in helping strengthen our local communities.”

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LIB DEMS PROMISE £5.8m CASH BOOST FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS

8 March 2010

Primary and secondary schools in Camborne, Redruth, Hayle, Falmouth and Helston would receive a cash boost of nearly £6m under plans unveiled by the Liberal Democrats.

The party has vowed to increase funding for schools in poorer areas, pledging £2.5bn across the UK – an average of £2,500 per pupil.Their proposals would reverse the current funding system, which leaves schools in Cornwall £20 million out of pocket compared to the national average.

Seven secondary schools in the Falmouth and Camborne area would receive an extra £2,701,758, while 45 primaries would get an extra £3,102,942 – enough for more than 200 new teachers.

Local MP Julia Goldsworthy said: “This is the party’s biggest funding commitment, because we believe that every child deserves the opportunity for a fair start in life.

“Under the current system, created by the last Conservative Government and perpetuated by Labour, pupils in Cornwall get £338 less each year than the national average. This is an unfairness that must be put right once and for all.”

The extra funding will be paid for by reforming the tax credits system and by cutting the cost of bureaucrats in the Department for Education. Conservative plans for education funding do not involve additional investment, so would leave many schools facing cuts.

Julia said: “Our education plan is a fully costed, carefully thought out programme that will correct decades of underfunding in Cornish schools. It is a package that will give our schools the fair deal we have long been campaigning for.

“Having already secured an extra £94 million for the Cornish NHS, securing the same funding formula for education will be a top priority for the next Parliament.”

The secondary schools that would benefit under the Lib Dems’ plans are:

– Camborne Science and Community College: £479,196

– Hayle Community School: £479,196

– Redruth School: £428,910

– Pool Business and Enterprise College: £396,372

– Falmouth School: £319,464

– Penryn College: £313,548

– Helston Commuinity College: £284,742

The primary schools included are:

– Blackwater Community Primary School: £26, 622

– Bodriggy Primary School: £210,018

– Connor Downs Primary School: £38,454

– Constantine Primary School: £23,664

– Boskenwyn Community Primary School: £20,706

– Falmouth Primary School: £283,968

– Flushing School: £26,622

– Gwinear Community Primary School: £38,454

– Halwin School: £20,706

– Illogan School: £106,488

– Kehelland Village School: £8,874

– Kennal Vale School: £32,538

– King Charles Primary School: £88,740

– Lanner Primary School: £29,580

– Leedstown Community Primary School: £20,706

– Mabe Community Primary School: £41,412

– Marlborough School: £50,286

– Mawnan CofE VA Primary School: £26,622

– Mount Hawke Community Primary School: £38,454

– Nansloe Community Primary School: £79,866

– Parc Eglos School: £50,286

– Pencoys Primary School: £53,244

– Penpol School: £121,278

– Penryn Community Infant School: £100,572

– Penryn Junior School: £180,438

– Portreath Community Primary School: £14,790

– Rosemellin Community Primary School: £106,488

– Roskear School: £201,144

– Sithney Community Primary School: £23,664

– St Day and Carharrack Community School: £32,538

– St Erth Community Primary School: £14,790

– St John’s Catholic Primary School: £29,580

– St Mary’s Catholic Primary School: £32,538

– St Meriadoc CofE Junior School: £133,110

– St Meriadoc CofE Nursery and Infant School: £70,992

– Stithians Community Primary School: £32,538

– Trannack Community Primary School: £20,706

– Treleigh Community Primary: £91,698

– Treloweth Community Primary School: £260,304

– Trevithick School: £162,690

– Trewirgie Junior School: £79,866

– Trewirgie Infant School: £68,034

– Troon Community Primary School: £70,992

– Weeth Community Primary School: £79,866

– Wendron CofE Primary School: £8,874

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VINCE CABLE VISTS CAMBORNE AND REDRUTH

1 March 2010

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Vince Cable visited Camborne on Saturday to knock on doors and meet local people with MP Julia Goldsworthy.

Dr Cable was visiting Camborne to support Julia’s election campaign, and to launch the Lib Dems’ strategy for creating economic growth in Cornwall. After chatting to residents on the doorstep in Camborne town centre, Dr Cable went on to outline his ideas for economic growth at a dinner for Lib Dem supporters at the Penventon Hotel in Redruth.

Speaking to around 100 guests after the dinner, he described Britain as “like a patient that has had a massive heart attack” due to the banking crisis, and warned that further difficulties lay ahead as Government spending started to slow down over the next few months. He said businesses all over the country were struggling because banks were still refusing to lend to them, causing a negative knock-on effect on jobs and industry.

Dr Cable, the Lib Dem Treasury Spokesman, said it was crucial to make the banks to start lending to business again on reasonable rates of credit. But he said the tax system must also be made fairer, by reducing taxes for people on low pay to encourage work and thrift.

He said: “The Liberal Democrats believe that no one should pay tax on the first £10,000 they earn. For a lot of people in Cornwall that would mean they pay no tax at all, and the average Cornish worker would be £700 better off.

“We believe this is the fairest and most effective way to encourage people to work and save in order to reduce our massive public deficit.”

He said these tax cuts should be paid for by increasing tax on expensive property, so that those who owned houses worth £2 million or more should pay a levy. Dr Cable said: “This is not about punishing people because they are rich. It is about sorting out our national debt in the fairest possible way.”

He said the Conservatives did not understand the problem, and proposed to make sharp and immediate spending cuts that would make the deficit worse.

“They are ideologically committed to making spending cuts, but it is the wrong thing to do,” he said. “We need to take steps that are workable and fair, to ensure that our society remains intact.”

After his speech, Dr Cable gave a demonstration of his famed ballroom dancing skills as he waltzed with his wife Rachel.

Julia said: “We are very honoured to have Vince here in the constituency. As one of the country’s leading authorities on the economy, it has been great to have him here, meeting people and outlining the fairest way of getting the country out of the present crisis that the Government created.”

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20,000 CORNISH WORKERS LIFTED OUT OF TAX UNDER LIB DEM PLANS

10 February 2010

The Liberal Democrats in Cornwall kicked off their general election campaign with a firm pledge to work for a fair deal for local people.

The party’s MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates were joined by former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown in a visit to St Columb Minor Primary School, near Newquay.

Key successes already secured by the Liberal Democrat Cornish Parliamentary Team include winning an extra £90 million in funding for Cornwall’s NHS, and achieving progress on getting water bills in the South West reduced.

Now the party is highlighting how people in Cornwall will benefit from Lib Dem pledges on tax and education.

Under Lib Dem plans, changes to the tax system would mean an estimated 15,000 Cornish workers will pay no tax at all. With no one paying income tax on the first £10,000 they earn, the average Cornish taxpayer will be £700 a year better off.

Huge importance was also given to securing a fair deal for Cornwall’s schools and pupils. Under current arrangements, students in Cornwall lose out to the tune of more than £300 funding per year compared to the national average. Lib Dem plans to invest in education would see Cornwall benefit by £22 million, putting right at a stroke the unfairness that has been perpetuated by consecutive Labour and Conservative Governments.

Commenting, Julia Goldsworthy said: “Our pledges for fairer taxes and a fair start in life for people in Cornwall stand in stark contrast to the decades of neglect from consecutive Conservative and Labour Governments.

“From health funding, to post office closures, job cuts, second homes and water bills, both Labour and the Conservatives are nowhere on the issues that really matter to people locally.

“Local Lib Dem campaigns have always focused on the issues that matter most to local people. We have secured some important successes on health funding and water bills, but there is still much that needs to change. This launch was about setting out very clearly the big changes that we want to see to ensure people in Cornwall get the fair treatment we deserve.”

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JULIA DECLARES SUPPORT FOR HAYLE TRAIN STATION

4 February 2010

MP Julia Goldsworthy has teamed up with local campaigners in Hayle to call for more trains to stop at the local train station.

She has helped put together an online survey to get “hard data” on the level of demand for extra services at the station, after First Great Western claimed there was only “limited demand” for stopping services there.

The survey will be uploaded on to the “Hayle Train Station” Facebook group, set up by sisters Lisa and Annabel Ball.

Julia said the fact that over 1,700 people had joined the group already showed the strength of support for the station in Hayle.

Hayle Area Plan Partnership (HAPP) organised a packed public meeting about the train station at the Passmore Edwards Institute last week, attended by dozens of local residents and Lib Dem MP Julia Goldsworthy.

The meeting had been set up to discuss ways of improving services at Hayle, following a decline in the number of trains stopping there in recent years.

Julia said: “The number of trains stopping at Hayle rail station has consistently fallen over recent years. Now just one in five trains passing through Hayle actually stop there.

“The latest train to be lost was the 0730 from Paddington, which stopped calling at Hayle in October last year. This led to fears that the station could ultimately face closure, if the services stopping there continue to be eroded in this way.

“But at the meeting last week, it was clear there is a great deal of support in favour of increasing the number of services calling at Hayle Rail Station.

“I now want to come up with some hard evidence that we can send to First Great Western to encourage them to improve services to Hayle.“

Julia added that while some improvements to the station were already planned, such as upgrades to displays and signage, First Great Western had so far refused to increase the number of services stopping there.

She said: “If First Great Western’s own data does not reveal the need for an increase in services, then we should collect some data ourselves to tell our side of the story.

“I’m working with Lisa and Annabel, to put together a survey that can be filled in online by local passengers who currently have to travel elsewhere. This is information that FGW’s own surveys currently don’t collect. I’ll do all I can to support HAPP and local residents to help ensure that rail users needs in the town are properly recognised.

“Once we have this data I’ll take the information to a meeting with FGW, where we can press them to reconsider the need for more trains stopping at Hayle.”

The survey is available on Facebook under the group Hayle Train Station, and will also be available on Julia’s own website – www.juliagoldsworthy.org.

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TORIES CAVE IN ON GOVERNMENT HOUSING TARGETS

21 January 2010

The Tory cabinet on Cornwall Council has been criticised for “rolling over” to Government demands, by approving plans to build up to 2,000 homes on greenfield land near Camborne.

MP Julia Goldsworthy said councillors had given the green light for development at Treswithian to meet Government housing targets – despite saying publicly they opposed the targets.

The work exposes an implicit assumption that greenfield sites on the outskirts of the town will be prioritised over brownfield sites in the centre, according to Miss Goldsworthy.

She said: “I am disappointed that the Conservative-led council has rolled over in this way.

“They have criticised Labour’s centralised housing targets, yet when an opportunity arose to challenge the targets they gave in without so much as an objection.

“The Council should be standing up for the views of local people, not bowing to the Government.”

At a public meeting on the issue on Friday, organised by the Trelawney Alliance, Julia explained that she had consistently spoken out against the regional spatial strategy in Parliament, and was urging government to abandon it altogether.

She told the meeting that new homes were needed in Cornwall – but to meet local needs, not arbitrary Government targets.
She said: “The huge attendance at Friday’s Trelawney’s Alliance meeting highlights the strength of concern that people feel about plans to build thousands of homes on greenfield sites to the west of Camborne.

“Despite saying they disagree with the Regional Spatial Strategy, the Conservatives and Independents leading Cornwall Council are still pressing ahead with work and plans that implement it. They are saying one thing and doing another, when they should be fighting to get the RSS abandoned. There’s no point promising jam tomorrow, when regional housing targets are posing a threat today.

“Plans for housing across Cornwall should be based on local need, and should ensure the views of local residents count.

“We need to get rid of the current unaccountable process driven by regional quangos, but the last thing it needs to be replaced with is a system that gives priority to developers.

“These Conservative plans would still leave the views of local residents last on the list of priorities.”

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MP PRESSES GOVERNMENT TO ACT ON BOY RACERS

21 January 2010

Julia Goldsworthy MP is pressing the Government to take action against boy racers.

It follows concerns raised at Julia’s travelling surgery that boy racers were ruining residents’ quality of life by tearing up and down town centre streets. Over Christmas she met Camborne and Redruth Police Inspector Bob Hocking to discuss the problem.

She has now put down a motion in Parliament calling for noise limits on exhausts to become part of the MOT test.

Julia said: “People who live in houses and flats in town centres are being forced to put up with the kind of noise that would be unacceptable on suburban estates.

“The volume of some exhausts is absolutely shocking, and can be alarming particularly for older people. It was raised extensively at my travelling surgery, particularly among residents living in and around Trelowarren Street in Camborne.

“I responded by putting down a motion calling on the Government to back noise limits on exhausts, which can be enforce by the MOT test.”

She added that Inspector Hocking and the local police were taking the issue of excessive noise seriously. She said: “Inspector Hocking told me he takes the issue of excessive noise seriously and is planning a trial of specialist equipment to monitor boy racers.

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JULIA LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO SAVE LOCAL RADIO

7 January 2010

Julia Goldsworthy is campaigning against Government plans to scrap analogue radio which could spell disaster for local commercial stations in Cornwall.

She met local radio bosses in Cornwall to hear their concerns over the new Digital Britain Bill put forward by the Government. The Bill proposes to scrap analogue radio by 2015, meaning commercial stations like Pirate FM and Atlantic FM could lose their local focus by being merged into a Devon and Cornwall ‘DAB region’.

Around 100 local radio stations around the UK may not be able to migrate to digital at all, meaning they would shut down altogether. Julia said the Government’s formula was a recipe for global operators taking over smaller stations.

She said: “Unless the legislation is changed, popular local radio stations like Pirate and Atlantic FM may struggle to survive. Instead, the Government’s model is set up to suit much bigger operators who are interested only in giant regional stations with no local focus. That is bad news for advertisers and bad for listeners who want commercial radio with their local community at its heart.”

Julia and the rest of Cornwall’s Lib Dem MPs are working with Peers to get the legislation amended in the House of Lords. They are also tabling a motion in the Commons calling on the Government to change their plans.

She added: “The Government has not thought this bill through properly. It needs to be revised to make it possible for existing local stations to compete on a local basis through the digital format. That means postponing the analogue switch off for at least 10 years to enable local radio stations to prepare properly for it.”

Over Christmas, Julia met Pirate FM’s Beverley Warne to hear her concerns about the proposals.

Ms Warne said: “To make digital viable we would have to cover a bigger area. This means there we will undoubtedly lose our community radio stations and other commercial stations will lose their local identity and become like many regional stations that in the main are operated from London.”

She added that it could damage local business too, as advertisers would lose their broadcast options for local advertising: “In addition, 120 million analogue radios across the UK would need to be replaced which would clearly have both cost and environmental implications, especially as the new units would require more power than is required currently.

“We are proposing that there shouldn’t be a switchover until 2020 at the very earliest, whilst other, more effective options are explored.” Ms Warne said.

Atlantic FM’s Founder and Development Director, Jeremy Scott added: “FM radio is popular and successful, while DAB digital radio is as yet unproven and technically flawed.

“Digital reception is terrible across much of Cornwall, while FM coverage is pretty good even in remote areas. We would hate to see rural listeners deprived of coverage for no reason other than to promote DAB – which most other countries now agree is an obsolete technology.

“The plan for FM switch-off is so absurd that we don’t really expect it to happen – but it might do unless listeners and radio stations fight now to save FM radio. It’s good to see Cornwall’s MPs providing a lead on these important issues.”

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SIGN JULIA’S ONLINE PETITION HERE

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Paddy Ashdown and Julia drop in to Hayle Day Centre

17 December 2009

Paddy Ashdown was the surprise guest at Hayle Day Centre when he dropped in with Julia Goldsworthy MP for a special Christmas lunch.

Lord Ashdown and Julia chatted to regular visitors to the Day Centre, pausing only to pull the occasional Christmas cracker.

Julia said the visit helped to highlight the good work done by Hayle Day Centre, especially at Christmas time.

She said:  “Particularly at this time of year it is so important for older people to have the chance to socialise and meet friends in a comfortable environment. The Day Centre provides this service and much more – its work really is invaluable in the local community.”

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JULIA WELCOMES REVIEW INTO WATER BILLS

9 December 2009

Julia Goldsworthy MP has welcomed recommendations put forward today in a Government-backed review into water bills to tackle water affordability in the South West.

The Consumer Council for Water estimates that up to one third of South West Water customers are living in water poverty, with bills £150 above the national average. Julia has been campaigning on this issue since before her election in 2005, and has frequently called on the Government to review the system.

Today’s review by Anna Walker recognises for the first time that the South West is special case on water charges, and argues that local people should receive help with their water bills. Proposals include a one-off Government cash injection, a charge to all water rate payers nationally or an additional summer usage charge. These options will now be put before the Government and the industry regulator, Ofwat.

Commenting, Julia Goldsworthy said: “I am pleased that after years of campaigning, it has finally been recognised that Cornwall gets an unfair deal on water charges.

“When the water industry was privatised by the Conservatives in the 1980s, no thought was given to how it would unfairly affect people in the South West, who have to maintain a third of the nation’s coastline. Now the Government have a package of recommendations from Anna Walker that will go towards helping hard-pressed people in Cornwall meet their water bills.

“Tomorrow I will be joining a group of South West MPs to meet the Minister to discuss these proposals, and very much hope we can come up with a positive solution for Cornwall that can be implemented quickly.

Julia said that it was thanks to local campaigning that the issue of unfair water charges had not been kicked into the long grass.

She said: “The issue has not gone away because the cost of water has remained a major problem for so many people since the utility was privatised in the 80s. This is why the campaign has been sustained for such a long period of time and why such a strong case was made to Anna Walker.”

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GOLDSWORTHY SECURES MEETING OVER UPPER GI CANCER SERVICES

7 December 2009

MP Julia Goldsworthy has secured a meeting with Health Minister Mike O’Brien to raise  concerns over the controversial relocation of Upper Gastro-Intestinal cancer services out of Cornwall.

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust is seeking to establish a single specialist cancer care centre for Cornwall at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.

Cornwall’s five Lib Dem Mps wrote to Mr O’Brien earlier this month to request a meeting over the plans, but he declined saying it was  a local matter.

But Falmouth and Camborne MP Julia Goldsworthy pressed him again in the House of Commons last week, and now Mr O’Brien has agreed to meet her.

The Minister conceded that he should hold a meeting, which has been arranged for Monday 14th December in London.

Commenting, Julia said: “I am pleased we have secured this meeting with the Minister to discuss the impact of the proposed move. It will provide an opportunity to raise issues about the consultation process, and the effect of central government policy on local access to services.

“Given the wider concerns about the NHS in Cornwall it’s important to stress on the Minister Cornwall’s unique geographical challenges and the importance that people place on a health service that is able to meet their needs locally.”

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CORNWALL SHOULD BE A SPECIALIST CENTRE FOR UPPER GI CANCER SERVICES, SAYS REVIEW

2 December 2009

Julia Goldsworthy MP has welcomed an independent review into gynaecological cancer services, which recommends that a specialist centre be created in Cornwall.

Until now women with rarer forms of gynaecological cancer have been sent to the Royal Exeter and Devon hospital for surgery, but received the rest of their treatment locally.

Now, an independent review team has concluded that there should be a second specialist surgical centre for gynaecological cancers in Truro, rather than at Derriford in Plymouth.

If these recommendations went ahead, women from across Cornwall would have their initial appointments, chemotherapy or radiation treatments locally and go to Truro for surgery, rather than having to go to Plymouth as is currently the case.

For the moment the review is only a recommendation, but at the beginning of the review all of the hospitals involved said that they would accept its recommendations.

The next step is a consultation with local people, to find out their views on the proposal and look at issues such as travel, parking and accommodation for patients and families who would be affected by the creation of a second specialist centre.

Ms Goldsworthy said the review reflected the views of campaigners in West Cornwall, who have been calling for more specialist health services to be set up in the county – not moved to Plymouth or Exeter.

Julia said: “Local people will be pleased to learn that the Royal Cornwall Hospital is being put forward to become one of two specialist centres for gynae cancers in the South West. Having local access to high quality health care is crucial for patients in Cornwall.

“With services like upper GI proposed for transfer out of county, today’s announcement is welcome news that the direction of traffic is not entirely one way, as so many people had feared.”

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JULIA CALLS PUBLIC MEETING OVER WASTE TRANSFER STATION

27 November 2009

MP Julia Goldsworthy has called a public meeting to discuss the implications of the proposed new waste transfer station at United Downs. It comes as SITA have confirmed that they are preparing a planning application to use the site for a further four years.

Residents in St Day and Carharrack had been promised that the site would close in October 2010. But if the new application is approved, the site will remain open as a waste transfer station for the next four years, or until alternative provision can be found. The landfill part of the site will close according to its original timetable.

According to Cornwall council, traffic to and from the site will reduce to approximately half current levels. But Julia felt a public meeting would be appropriate as SITA are promising a consultation process about the application.

She said the meeting will give people the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns now, rather than waiting until a later date for the formal consultation: “When people in St Day and Carharrack were told the site would close in the autumn of 2010, they reasonably assumed that this would mean closure of the whole site, not just the landfill.

“Now it seems that last minute plans are in the offing to keep at least some parts of the site open for three to four year, meaning the misery of heavy goods traffic on the local village roads is set to continue.

“People locally have a right to know the full details of plans that are being made, and the timetable to implement them. This is why I’m calling a public meeting, so that their views and concerns can be raised, and their questions answered.”

The meeting will take place at the Mills Hall, Carharrack on Thursday 3rd December at 6:30pm.

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CLOSING HAYLE RAILWAY STATION WOULD BE “IDIOTIC” SAY MPs

21 November 2009

Cornish MPs Julia Goldsworthy and Andrew George are calling for a meeting with First Great Western and Network Rail to safeguard the future of Hayle railway station.

The move comes as rail passengers have complained that changes to the timetable have discouraged the use of Hayle station.

But the two Lib Dem MPs, who represent Hayle and Camborne, insist that more trains should stop at Hayle, not less.

Julia said: “The number of cars on the road in Hayle is already too high, and is only set to increase when the redevelopment of the harbour eventually takes place.

“Closing the train station will make congestion ten times worse. It would be madness to do this now. Clearly what is needed is a fixed timetable and regular services to encourage more people to use the station – not endless tinkering by rail bosses.”

Andrew George added: “My family and I use Hayle station quite often and usually see a healthy number of passengers getting on or off. If they closed the station it would be a cynical move.

“First they cut the trains that stop at Hayle and change the timetable. This reduces passenger use of the station. Then they point out that passenger numbers have fallen and want to close the station.

“A closure thread entirely of their creation. With plans for another 2,000 houses in the area and against a backdrop of a transport policy to encourage more public transport usage, such a more would be idiotic”.

The move by the MPs comes as Network Rail have introduced a new initiative to improve Britain’s railway stations. The Action Stations initiative will mean £3.2bn is pumped into the UK network over the next five years.

Julia said: “This is clearly the right time to get Network Rail and First Great Western round the table to find out what can be done to save Hayle train station. It must be possible to find a solution that benefits both the town and the railway network as a whole.”

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BREAKTHROUGH FOR CLEANER BEACHES CAMPAIGN

18 November 2009

Cornwall will become the first place in the country to offer real time information about the cleanliness of its beaches, following a meeting arranged by local MP Julia Goldsworthy.

Following agreement from all interested parties, including SWW, the Environment Agency and the RNLI, Cornwall Council will head up a pilot scheme that will see the first beaches implementing the new systems from the start of the bathing season next year.

Beaches across Europe will soon be required to provide more information about their water quality history, but Cornwall’s pilot will go further. Responses to possible pollution incidents will be better coordinated, with the public kept up to date with events as they happen. At present, information on bathing water quality is only provided on an annual basis.

It means that the reputation of Cornwall’s outstanding beaches will be safeguarded for the future, as any problems will be immediately reported, acted upon and made available to the public.

Surfers Against Sewage have long been campaigning for information to be made available in this way. Their concerns were graphically highlighted in a Panorama programme earlier in the year, which prompted Julia to call the meeting.

She praised the work of the campaign group, and said they had helped to safeguard Cornwall’s beaches for the future: “Cornwall has fantastic beaches which are vital to our local economy. Thanks to this pilot scheme, people bathing in Cornish waters can do so with absolute confidence, knowing that the waters are safe.

“Surfers Against Sewage have done a great job in campaigning on these issues, and bringing them to public attention. Now, thanks to the agreement drawn up between the agencies last week, there is a positive outcome to all the work of local campaigners, with a pilot scheme that will be the first of its type in the country.

“This is a vital step in safeguarding the reputation of Cornwall’s beaches, and shows that we are at the cutting edge of best practice in keeping our beaches clean and safe.”

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RETIRED NURSE PRAISES MP’S LUCENTIS CAMPAIGN

12 November 2009Julia Goldsworthy MP and Rosemary Sykes

A retired nurse from Illogan has thanked local MP Julia Goldsworthy for campaigning to make the drug Lucentis available on the NHS in Cornwall after the treatment saved her sight.

Dorothy Sykes was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration in February – an eye condition that had left both her mother and brother blind.

But unlike them, Dorothy had access to the drug Lucentis, which is now available on the NHS in Cornwall following a long-running campaign.

Until last year, access to the drug was limited. Patients who went private had to pay up to £18,000 for treatment.

But for Dorothy, the NHS treatment has meant her sight is restored, and now she can read her favourite detective novels again.

She said: “I am grateful for Julia for all her help in campaigning to make Lucentis available on the NHS in Cornwall.

“Before this treatment, I was practically blind, but now I can see to read again. It’s wonderful!

I can’t tell you how nice it is to have my sight back after nearly a year of deterioration.

“The first thing I did was picked up a copy of Rumpole and sat down in my chair to read it.”

Dorothy, a former chairman of Carn Brea Parish Council and a governor of Barncoose Primary School, said that when her mother and brother contracted wet macular degeneration, there was no treatment available on the NHS.

She was one of a number of constituents who contacted Julia about the issue.

Julia responded by taking the issue up with the Primary Care Trust and Ministers.

Julia said: “I am obviously delighted that Dorothy’s treatment has been so successful, and pleased that Lucentis is now available to all patients on the NHS in Cornwall.

“There are around 26,000 cases of wet macular degeneration each year in Britain, and it is simply unacceptable that poorer people should be forced to choose between blindness and bankruptcy.

“But this is only a small victory in the wider battle for fair funding for our NHS in Cornwall, which still suffers from an unfair funding formula that penalises rural areas.

“Along with other MPs in Cornwall I will continue to fight to ensure our health provision is on a par with the rest of the country.”

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Hayle MarchLIB DEM MPs DEMAND HEALTH CARE TALKS

5 November 2009

Cornwall’s five Liberal Democrat MPs are demanding a showdown with Ministers over the condition of the NHS in the county.

The five MPs have now written to the Minister of State for Health Services, Mike O’Brien MP, demanding an urgent meeting to discuss the situation and overall funding issues in Cornwall.

Julia Goldsworthy MP said it was time that Cornwall’s NHS got a fair funding deal from the Government.

She said: “Cornwall’s NHS does not get the funding it deserves, due to an unfair funding formula  introduced by the Conservatives.

“The present Labour government has done nothing to change this formula, which penalises health workers for living in a rural area.

“Along with Cornwall’s other MPs, I will be pressing Ministers to change this funding formula to ensure that Cornwall is treated on a level playing field with the rest of the UK.”

North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson added: “Patients in Cornwall are still unhappy that Upper GI services were centralised and are uneasy about the future provision of other specialisms. We need to ensure that the Minister understands these concerns and to hear what guarantees he is able to give that the NHS will increase the number of treatments available closer to home.”

Ever since the changes to Cornwall’s cancer services were first mooted, health bosses have been met with a furious response from patients and families worried about the extra physical and mental stress up to Derriford as well as the financial cost.

Last year RCHT sought legal advice over the removal of cancer services to Derriford.

Transfer was then given the go-ahead after a process of public “engagement” designed by health bosses to allay fears.

Bosses at NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, the primary care trust which funds the service, later released their own legal advice which supports their actions.

Health chiefs have always insisted that removing Upper GI operations from RCHT to Derriford will ultimately achieve better results for patients.

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TORY PLAN TO BYPASS LOCAL OBJECTIONS TO GREEN-BELT DEVELOPMENT

Cornish countryside

30 October 2009

A Conservative shadow minister has vowed to ride roughshod over local people’s views on development  – leading to fears for the rural way of life in Cornwall.

Tory housing spokesman Grant Shapps said in a speech that the Conservative Party was “unashamedly pro-development” and would “remove” local planning committees in order to build new homes.

His plan to offer cash bonuses to councils who approve extra housing development was announced at the Tory party conference in September.

But it sits uneasily with the stance on development taken by local Conservatives in Camborne and Redruth, who have put out leaflets saying “No to mass housing”.

Local MP Julia Goldsworthy said it was a sign that the Tories couldn’t be trusted on this crucial issue.

She said: “Under the Tory plans, councils will be paid to build bigger, luxury developments – meaning local concerns will probably be ignored. It will do nothing to tackle the problem of affordable housing, which requires the backing of the local community to be successful.”

The Tory plans would put huge pressure on cash-strapped councils like Cornwall to approve high value developments, unaffordable to most local people.

Mr Shapps told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester that the Tories would match “pound for pound” the extra money raised in council tax when new  homes are built in a community.

He said: “The more ambitious you are, the more money your neighbourhood will get” In other words the more houses the council build and the more expensive those houses are the bigger the cash bonus.

In areas like Cornwall the plans would spell disaster for local communities already under threat from centrally imposed Government housing targets.

Julia, who is the Lib Dems’  Communities Spokesman, pointed out that this contradicted the message of local Conservatives in Cornwall.

She said: “Local Conservatives claim to be against large scale housing development but by providing Councils with cash incentives to build more homes they are effectively approving development through the back door.

“It will be in the best interests of the Conservatives who run Cornwall Council to build bigger and even more expensive homes because they will get more cash for them.

“Once again this shows that what Conservatives say locally counts for nothing.

“It will be their bosses in Westminster who set the agenda and Tories in the Westcountry will have to dance to their tune.

“If the Conservatives get their way our communities will be squeezed between the vested interests of developers and the local council and vast swathes of Cornwall will be concreted over.

“We do need investment in affordable housing on the right scale to meet local needs but to bribe councils to support executive development is madness.”

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CALLS FOR POST OFFICE OUTREACH IN CARHARRACK

28 October 2009 Caharrack PO-3

Julia Goldsworthy MP is pressing the Post Office to introduce an outreach service in the village of Carharrack. The village lost its local post office, despite strong opposition from local people, in the Government’s round of closures last year. The loss of the service is being keenly felt in the village, which has a large elderly population.

Julia said: “During my recent travelling surgery, a number of residents in Carharrack told me of the difficulties they faced getting to St Day or Lanner to access the Post Office. In some cases, it took a three hour round trip for people simply to collect their pension. Many people also struggle to cross the very busy road at Lanner

“I have written to Post Office Ltd requesting that they set up an outreach service in the village, to ensure that a minimum of services can continue to be provided locally. Lanner Post Office provides just such a service to people in Carnkie, near Four Lanes. The services are made available there one morning a week, and I see no reason why Carharrack shouldn’t benefit from exactly the same set up.”

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CORNISH MPs SIGN UP TO 10:10 CLIMATE CHALLENGE

23 October 2009 polar-bear-ice

All five Lib Dem MPs in Cornwall have signed up to the 10:10 climate change campaign – a project urging everyone to cut their carbon emissions by 10% in 2010 and do their bit for the environment.

They supported a Lib Dem motion calling on Parliament to sign up to the 10:10 proposals, which would have forced the Government to achieve a 10% reduction in public sector emissions by the end of the year.

Unfortunately the Labour Government blocked the motion, and whipped its MPs into opposing the plans.

Conservative-run Cornwall Council has also so far refused to commit itself to 10:10. The council did agree to endorse the Cornish Declaration last month – a local commitment to tackle climate change – but this has no targets to cut carbon emissions.

Commenting, Julia Goldsworthy said: “I, like thousands of others who have signed up to the 10:10 campaign, am doing what I can to make a difference. Liberal Democrat councils have been leading the way on 10:10 and committing themselves to taking real action.

“It’s disappointing that Cornwall Council are not supporting the campaign but I hope that after today’s events in Parliament they will think again and make a firm commitment to cut emissions by 10% by the end of 2010.”

Hayle MP Andrew George added: “The next few weeks and months are crucial in our efforts to tackle climate change and with December’s world talks in Copenhagen fast approaching, we need to act now – today’s vote is an opportunity for the Government to lead from the front.”

For more information on the 10:10 campaign please visit www.1010uk.org

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MASSIVE RESPONSE TO MP’S WATER BILLS PETITION – 12 October 2009 Waterbills cymk 300

Local MP Julia Goldsworthy has received a massive response to her campaign calling for cheaper water bills in Cornwall. Since the the beginning of the campaign back in August the people of Cornwall have been signing up to her petition in huge numbers.

Julia now plans to increase the pressure on Ministers by asking people to sign up neighbours, friends and family to her campaign.

Julia commented, “I have been quite overwhelmed by the positive response my campaign has bought.

“People have literally stopped me in the street to ask how they can get involved.

“That is why I have decided to widen the campaign by asking people to sign up their friends and family. The more signatures we collect the more likely we are to succeed.”

Anyone wishing to sign up friends or members of their family can download larger, full page copies of the petition from Julia’s website at Juliagoldsworthy.org.

The petition can also be signed online from the link below:

Click here to sign Julia’s Water Bills petition online

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JOY AT £6m UPGRADE OF HAYLE HOSPITAL

9 September 2009 Julia and Andew George MP at St Michael's £6m Breast Cancer theatre

Health campaigners were celebrating this week after a new £6m specialist breast cancer facility was opened at St Michael’s Hospital in Hayle.

Cornish MPs Andrew George and Julia Goldsworthy were among those who visited the hospital to celebrate the opening of the theatres, which will be put into use at the end of September.

The two new theatres will be among the most hi-tech in Cornwall, providing the latest “super-clean” environment required for orthopaedic and breast surgery. For the first time it will allow the breast cancer surgical team to have a dedicated theatre, and will mean more patients can be treated locally.

Commenting, Julia said:

“It was an emotional day for many campaigners who marched though the streets of Hayle just three years ago. Back then, we were all concerned that St Michael’s Hospital was in danger of complete closure.

“The new facility is a testament to the passion and dedication of everyone involved in that campaign. Thanks to their hard work, not only has St Michael’s kept its doors open, but also it has vastly improved its services and facilities.

“I am delighted for them and thrilled that this facility will now be able to treat more breast cancer patients every year. It is crucial that St Michael’s Hospital is not just protected but continues to be enhanced for the people of Hayle and West Cornwall.”

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NEW COUNCILLORS ELECTED IN FOUR LANES –  1 September 2009

Clrs Tracey Butler and Ray Hancock - Click image to join the Lib Dems today!Two new Liberal Democrat councillors have been elected to represent Four Lanes on Carn Brea Parish Council.

Ray Hancock and Tracey Butler were elected unopposed this week.

Ray, 61, is a long-standing campaigner in the area, and Tracey, 28, is a mum of three who wants to campaign for better services for the village.

Ray said: “I am looking forward to working for the people of Four Lanes, in particular in ensuring that the village gets the most out of the new developments taking place in Pool.”

Tracey added: “This is an exciting opportunity for me, and I am pleased to be working with local people and our MP Julia Goldsworthy to bring much needed improvements to this village.”

The two new councillors said they will be supporting a campaign locally to refurbish the Four Lanes Institute.

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JULIA SUPPORTS HOSPITAL RADIO LAUNCH – 28 August 2009 DSCF2632

Falmouth and Camborne MP Julia Goldsworthy took part in a special programme for Cornwall’s volunteer-run hospital radio station as part of a three-week trial broadcast on the local airwaves.

Cornwall Hospital Broadcast Network (CHBN), based at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, was granted a licence by Ofcom to broadcast over a 5km radius to raise awareness of its work.

The station already broadcasts to West Cornwall’s three main hospitals – Royal Cornwall in Truro, St Michael’s in Hayle and West Cornwall in Penzance.

Julia took part in an extended interview with DJ Adam Carpenter to promote the project.

She said: “I was delighted to be able to support such a worthwhile project.

“Truro Hospital Radio provides a valuable service for hundreds of hospital patients in Cornwall, and I very much hope that their special FM broadcast will raise awareness of the good work the volunteers do to keep patients happy and entertained in hospital.”

Mr Carpenter said: “’It was great to have Julia as a guest and she’s a shining example of just how hard our MPs work.

“We look forward to welcoming her into the CHBN studio in the future.”

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Julia Goldsworthy's Water Bills petitionWATER BILLS SET TO FALL – 26th August 2009

Campaigners are claiming victory following news that OFWAT has proposed a 6 per cent cut in water bills over the next five years in the South West.

The proposal follows a long running campaign by Julia Goldsworthy MP and other Lib Dem MPs in Cornwall.

Julia said: “While any reduction in bills will come as a huge relief to the many who struggle to pay, we still have a situation where people in Cornwall will continue to pay the highest water bills in the country.

“Under OFWAT’s proposals, there are no new plans to assist low income or pensioner households, and no proposals to share environmental clean up costs more fairly across the UK.

“That means just 3 per cent of the population are left paying to maintain 30 per cent of the nation’s beaches.

“Clearly this isn’t good enough. The proposed price cut is a step in the right direction, but the campaign goes on until we win a fair deal for all.”

Sign Julia Goldsworthy’s Fair Water Bills Petition – click here

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Hayley Waller-6

LIB DEMS WIN IN CAMBORNE NORTH – 20th August 2009

Liberal Democrat campaigner Hayley Waller has been elected as the new town councillor for Camborne North.

Hayley, who runs a shop on Trelowarren Street and lives in Camborne, was elected with a ma

jority of 69 votes over her nearest rival.

At the age of 24, she becomes the youngest member of the town council.

Hayley said: “I am delighted that people in Camborne North have shown such faith in me and look forward to repaying their trust by doing a good job as a town councillor.”

Hayley said she planned to start straight away by responding to the issues residents had raised with her during the election campaign.

She said: “During the campaign there were a number of issues that stood out, and I intend to follow these up straight away.

“I will be taking up complaints from residents in Roseland Park about the size of the road humps, which have caused damage to residents’ cars.

“Though residents are in favour of traffic calming measures, they don’t see why their vehicles should be damaged and it is clear that something needs to be done about it.

“I also plan to continue the campaign started by my predecessor John Pope to put an end to night time blasting at South Crofty mine, which is causing concern to residents in Tuckingmill.

“I believe that it is grassroots issues like these that people want their local parish councillors to campaign on, and I intend to do so.”

Liberal Democrat candidate Steve Leverton finished second in the Camborne South election.

He said: “I would like to thank everyone who voted for me and supported me in this election campaign, and wish all the best to the successful candidate.

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LIB DEMS SLAM STANDARD OF CORNISH SOCIAL HOUSING – 10 August 2009

Almost one in ten families in social homes in Cornwall are living in what the Government has described as ‘non-decent’ accommodation, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The figures, revealed in answer to a Parliamentary Question, show that 2,587 social homes in Cornwall are described as ‘non-decent’ – 9% of the total number of social housing stock.

The statistics follow the Government’s announcement that it will pay for Gordon Brown’s latest election pledges with a £225m raid on the home improvements budget, including slashing £150m from the decent homes fund.

Commenting, Julia Goldsworthy MP said:

“It is unacceptable that thousands of Cornish families have to put up with living in sub-standard housing. Yet Gordon Brown is cutting funding to improve these homes – thinking no-one will notice the raid on such vital projects aimed at the most vulnerable in our communities.

“The shortage of social housing is a massive problem in Cornwall. This would best be tackled by giving councils the money and freedom to start building council homes again and improving their existing stock. Instead, the Prime Minister is robbing Peter to pay Paul, using a sleight of hand to pretend he’s investing in housing, while those in the worst conditions lose out.”

St Ives MP Andrew George MP added:

“This problem is compounded. Those who suffer poor quality housing are usually those who can do least to improve their lot, i.e. older disabled people living alone and families with young children.

“Housing standards in the state housing sector are often better than in the private sector so with over 14% of Registered Social Landlord stock in the West below standard we anticipate that many in the private sector face even worse problems.

“These problems are made worse by overcrowding and there not being enough 3 and 4 bedroom properties for families with both male and female children”.

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MP HELPS RESIDENTS SPEAK TO BUS BOSSES – 20 July 2009

Dozens of local bus users from Perranwell, Ponsanooth and Stithians were given the chance to vent their anger at bosses from First Bus Group when a travelling “information bus” came to their area.

The bus visited Perranwell and Ponsanooth following a request by local MP Julia Goldsworthy. She had been inundated with letters from local residents who are adversely affected by recent changes to the bus timetables. The visit gave bus passengers the opportunity to outpour their frustrations in person to First Group Management.

In Perranwell and Ponsanooth, half hourly services to Truro have now been replaced with a service once every two hours. Other passengers wanted to complain about the age and cleanliness of many of the buses that service the route.

Several residents from Stithians also made the trip to Ponsanooth and Perranwell. They were mainly concerned that changes to the bus timetable now make it impossible for students at Truro College to get to the site by public transport. First group Managing Director Mark Reddy promised to look at the problem, with a view to re-routing another bus via the village to ensure students can get to college on time.

Commenting, Julia Goldsworthy MP said:

“A large number of residents in Ponsanooth, Perranwell and Stithians feel that they have been left isolated following recent changes to the bus timetables. The travelling information bus gave passengers the opportunity not only to express their frustrations, but also to suggest practical changes that could improve the services.

“First MD Mark Reddy has promised to look at their suggestions, which include switching some of the council subsidised services on Sundays and in the evenings to in the daytime during the week. I will be following this up with First Buses and Cornwall Council, to see what can be done to better fit local bus services around people’s needs.

“If our local villages are to be truly sustainable, it’s vital that local services are protected. Access to public transport is an important part of this equation.”

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JULIA GOLDSWORTHY SUPPORTS LOCAL PUBS – 17 July 2009

Julia in Countryman InnLocal MP Julia Goldsworthy raised a glass  in support of local pubs as part of “Proud of Pubs” week.

She paid a visit to two pubs in her constituency – Tyack’s in Camborne and The Countryman in Piece – to join regulars for a pint and chat to staff.

She said it was important for people to remember the positive role pubs play in our local communities, and urged people to go out and support them.

She said: “Pubs play a vital role in local communities, and  it’s important that we all support them.

“In many places , particularly rural  areas , there is no longer a post office, shop or meeting place – but the presence of the local pub means there is still a sense of community.

“I believe it is important to speak up for the positive role our local pubs have in modern life, and I would urge people to go and visit their local pub this week.”

Last week Julia  voted in support of  amendments to the Finance Bill, tabled by the Liberal Democrats  which would have cancel led   the Government’s proposed “beer duty escalator .”  The Conservatives failed to support the amendment, which was then defeated by the government.

Julia said that the Government’s policies were crippling the pub trade
She said: “ M inisters  are penali sing  people for drinking in pubs , when many of the problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption can be traced back to the availability of cheap booze in supermarkets.

“Rather than penalising people for drinking in their pub, the Government should  be using the alcohol duty system to create a level playing field for pubs, so that they can compete with supermarkets. They could do this by having different duties for alcohol purchased for on and off premises consumption.

“That might go some way to holding on to these vital institutions that are so important to our local communities.

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GOLDSWORTHY SUPPORTS TREVU CENTRE CAMPAIGN – 13 July 2009

Julia Goldsworthy MP is supporting a campaign to keep Camborne’s Sure Start centre open.

She visited the centre on Friday and met parents who regularly use the facility on Trevu Road.

Cornwall Council has announced that the centre is earmarked for closure on September 1st with plans to sell the building off to private developers.

But parents who use it say that the consultation process started after the “For Sale” signs went up.

Now Julia has written to the Council insisting that it puts the sale on hold until a proper consultation exercise has been undertaken that guarantees parents’ views will be taken into account.

She said that it was an important facility for local parents and provided much-needed jobs in Camborne.

Julia said: “I visited Sure Start Camborne last week and saw with my own eyes how important it is for parents to be able to access a full range of services from one location.

“The site on Trevu Road is family-friendly, open all day and always available to parents who need it.

“It provides a range of services, including a venue for social meetings, baby and toddler groups, a breastfeeding service and a café.

“If this facility is closed, at best all the services it provides will be dispersed all around the area, making life more difficult for local families.”

Julia added that the café which runs from the site would also face closure.

She said: “It seems insane that in the middle of a recession, the council is forcing a local business to close down.

“Surely now is the time to support local businesses and services like this.”

She added that the building is part of Camborne’s heritage and should not be sold off.

“If the centre closes, another building in Camborne that is important to our heritage could become derelict, another business could close and important local services may be dispersed.”

The Council has announced that a consultation will now take place – but Julia insisted that it should not be merely window-dressing.

She said: “A serious consultation must allow some of these crucial issues to be examined in depth. In the mean time, the sale should be put on hold”.

Click here to join the Lib Dems today


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    Michael Wannell

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