I finished the Parliamentary recess with a visit to the villages up by the source of the River Tamar. It was good to meet people in Wooley, Whitstone, Yeolmbridge and Treburley and hear their views. The availability of services in the most remote part of our constituency is a concern for people, especially those living in an ‘EX’ postcode who sometimes feel that access to local authority support can be difficult. This is something I continue to raise with Cornwall Council.

Fishers most impacted by restrictions placed on the catching of pollack will be able to take advantage of a new compensation scheme. The scheme, announced by the Environment Secretary Steve Barclay, comes after engagement with industry as to how pollack fishers can be properly supported. It will see around 50 vessel owners directly compensated for half their income lost due to the bycatch-only pollack fishery. It reflects feedback from the industry as to how those fisheries can be supported to diversify and recognises the time that they will need to do so. It is part of the government’s work to back the British fishers, building a modern and resilient industry underpinned by sustainable fish stocks and a healthy marine environment.

In June 2023, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) provided advice that, for pollack in Western waters, the Total Allowable Catch for 2024 should be set at zero for the first time to ensure the long-term sustainability of the stock. In annual negotiations with the EU, the UK secured a large bycatch TAC for this stock, with around 200 tonnes for the UK. Around 50 vessel owners rely on Pollack for at least 30 per cent of their fishing income. These are mostly small (10-metre and under) inshore vessels using handlines. The bycatch-only advice means they cannot target pollack in 2024, causing some vessels to cease operations and lose all or some of their income. Under the compensation scheme set out by the Secretary of State, those who were reliant on pollack for at least 30 per cent of their 2023 income will receive compensation equal to 50 per cent of the total value of pollack landings they made in 2023 in Western Waters (Area 7). Income will be verified using landings data held by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

It's extremely disappointing that Asda has taken the decision to close the pharmacy at the Bodmin store at short notice, and I will be writing to their head office to express my concerns on behalf of people in the local area. Please get in touch with me via [email protected] if you are opposed to Asda closing the pharmacy at their Bodmin store, as it will be helpful to have an idea of how many people would like this decision reversed.