Saturday, 24 May 2008

24 hours with Nick Clegg (part 1)

Nick Clegg is in Cornwall for a two day visit (well - 24 hours split over today and tomorrow). As well as arranging the tour, I've been following him around taking pictures of the visits.

Safe to say, it's been both fun and lots of hard work. It's got to be the same for Cameron and Brown as well, but my goodness these guys work hard. Nick has been in Afghanistan for three days and in Crewe before coming here, but he has been full of vigour throughout the trip.

We started off in St Austell to see the massive regeneration project there with local MP Matthew Taylor and PPC Stephen Gilbert. As well as seeing the models of what is planned, we went on a tour of the site. It must be about the biggest hole in the ground going with construction work all ove the site and some projects nearing completion already. The new cinema will be finished in time for the Bond movie in October apparently.

Then it was off to Playing Place to join local PPC Terrye Teverson campaigning to save the village post office. We were even joined by a couple of Tory councillors who are backing the campaign. Many thanks guys. We met some of the post office customers who use motorised scooters and who will have a lot of trouble making it to the next village if their post office is proposed for closure in July.

After that, we went to the Cornwall University campus at Tremough where we saw the sustainable energy projects and the media centre before a Q&A with students. This really is a fantastic facility which couldn't have been achieved without a lot of support from many organisations, not least the Lib Dem district and County councils. In order to keep young graduates in the county we needed the university and the jobs that have sprung up with firms relocating as a result.

Then it was off to the beach at Gwithian to meet the RNLI lifeguards who have taken responsibility for the area. There are six stretches of beach, each with a different owner and lifeguard provision was patchy to say the least before. Now the RNLI have taken over there is a superb 7 day a week service and we saw some of their rescue techniques. Oh, and it was fabulous weather. Just the place to be on such a day.

Next we went to Penzance to join Andrew George MP and the local civic society who want more say over the decision to force the local district council to build 10,000 more homes in the Penwith area. How come these new homes, mostly much needed, can be forced on an area with almost no consultation.

Unfortunately the Conservatives and their yob wing - UKIP - decided to come and shout at Nick. It really was quite unpleasant and not at all in keeping with David Cameron's new politics to have someone screaming 'Smash the EU' at Nick from a distance of about 3 feet.

Finally we were off to Porthtowan - my favourite place in Cornwall - for dinner with 100 local members. We had brilliant music from the Cornwall Youth Orchestra beforehand and then a great meal.

And we've still got another four visits tomorrow.

Pics: Looking at the models for the St Austell regeneration; on site; At Playing Place meeting Post Office customers; At the University looking at a mine safety robot; Answering students' questions; On the beach at Gwithian with lifeguards; With the Cornwall Youth Orchestra

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great photo diary, Alex. Some MPs work HARD, huh? Good luck with part 2.