Tonight we had a meeting at the White Hart in Hayle to establish a new campaign branch in the town. We made strong progress in Hayle during the local elections, although sadly not quite enough to win either of the seats which went to candidates standing for the Independent Group. Tonight we had a strong turnout and there is a lot of enthusiasm.
Hayle was previously in the St Ives constituency. Following the last round of Boundary Commission changes, Hayle has been put together with Camborne and Redruth for the next General Election. The current MP for the area, Andrew George, decided not to stay with Hayle but instead to focus on Penzance next time. So there is no incumbent MP for the town.
These are exciting times for Hayle. After years of dithering, plans to redevelop the harbour have now finally been approved which could transform the prospects for the area. Hayle has the longest and the best beach in Cornwall and it is second only to Newquay in terms of the numbers who go there to surf or take a family holiday. The estuary is also an important centre for bird species - but this will not be affected by the plans for the Harbour.
Alongside the plans to develop the harbour area into a marina there will also be small 'incubator' industrial units to support new businesses and create new jobs in marine energy technology linked to the Wave Hub project. In a couple of weeks, the Conservative Party is hosting a national Marine Energy Summit in the consituency - recognition of the fact that the advent of Wave Hub at Hayle has the potential to make this part of Cornwall THE international centre of excellence in these new technologies.
I have many memories of the White Hart in Hayle and have known Mike Bows, the proprietor, for about fifteen years. I often stayed there on visits back to Cornwall and when I was younger it was a watering hole we would visit after the Smugglers Inn at St Erth Praze on the way to the night Club at Penmare (now knocked down and turned into houses)or 'the Bluff' on Riviera Towans for a night out.