I caught the sleeper train last night but hadn't had time to book a bed. Unusually for a Monday, there were none available tonight which meant patchy sleep on the journey down...
We are running a town centre regeneration summit on Monday the 8th March and Caroline Spelman is coming down. Today I have put a lot of work into developing the programme for the event.
Ten days ago I visited the Redruth Information Exchange where hundreds of local people came in to share their views about the future of the town. I think that getting behind economic regeneration is one of the areas where a local MP can make a difference if they are prepared to apply themselves. To be fair Candy Atherton, the former Labour MP for this area, did her best - but there has been no political weight behind regeneration work since 2005 and I think its time that changed.
Later in the day, my meetings took me to Mabe in the south of the constituency. Afterwards, I popped in to the Seven Stars pub in Penryn. The Soundfm -a student radio station based at Tremough were running a public meeting on an idea they are working on to create a local soap which will run for six weeks during May and June. It was great to see the university engaging the local community in their ideas.
While there I bumped in to Jason Squibb - we used to run together in Cornwall Athletic Club and have kept in touch. He is now a successful director of a local theatre group in West Cornwall and had turned out to offer his support.
The back road journey from Trevaskis to Penryn over Black Rock is a familiar one. Between 1996 and 1999 my main focus in the family business was running the Gabbons Nursery site at Penryn which we rented from the Gambier family. It was the largest glass house nursery in Cornwall with over two acres of heated greenhouses where we used to grow strawberrries hydroponically. It also had a geothermal bore hole - one of the test holes from the old hot rocks project which helped provide heating for the nursery and contributed to ensuring that Cornish strawberries always launched the national strawberry season, filling the supermarket shelves nationally on the weekend before Easter.