When it became clear that a zero total allowable catch (TAC) was going to be applied to pollack, I and my Cornish colleagues raised our concern with the Fisheries Minister, Mark Spencer and, with the help of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation (CFPO), we have demonstrated the devastating impact the ban has on a number of our inshore fishermen. After several meetings with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Cornwall’s MPs, a new package of support has been announced. Fishermen who were reliant on pollack for at least 30 per cent of their income last year are eligible for compensation of 50 per cent of the value of the pollack they landed in Western Waters (area 7). This is a welcome and targeted measure of support for fishermen who make their living in the far southwest and is a measure of our commitment to our inshore fleet and the coastal communities. A research initiative also pays a few vessels £500 a day to catch and land pollock to get better data on the health of the stock.

Local Rotarians are backing a Cornish campaign (spearheaded by surgeons at RCHT) to set up a new Robotic Surgery Service on the Treliske site. I was privileged to hear firsthand from the consultant leading the effort why this is such a worthy initiative. On Wednesday I was pleased to raise the profile of the service by asking the PM to intervene. Robotic surgery allows laparoscopic surgery to be performed with increased precision, flexibility and control. This can result in reduced patient complication rates, reduced length of stay in hospital and reduced hospital re-admissions. However, the point I made to the Prime Minister at PMQs, is that there is currently no robotic surgery provision in Cornwall. As a result, residents of Cornwall have to travel to Devon for robotic procedures, a journey of more than 80 miles for West Cornwall residents. I asked the PM to commit to ring-fenced capital funding for Cornwall to establish a robotic surgery service.

Elsewhere campaigners are frantically trying to secure votes for mayoral, council and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. However, it would be understandable if, across Cornwall, this electoral event passed us by. However, we all have a vote on who represents us as the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner . I’m obviously backing Alison Hernandez, the Conservative candidate and the PCC currently. She has worked hard to ensure that policing priorities in Cornwall are not overshadowed by the much bigger demands of Devon. She has proven to be a visible and accessible commissioner.

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Derek Thomas, Conservative MP for St Ives, West Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly