This is the last of my weekly columns for the West Briton and Cornishman. As we enter the New Year we are in the final four months leading up to the next General Election in May and a new format is planned to involve all of the various candidates from different parties.
I know that many people frown upon political parties and I don't doubt that most people will have had enough of the debate come May 7th. But political parties should not be undervalued because no democracy can work without them. They are all voluntary organisations funded by donations from supporters to enable them to print the leaflets and literature which are then delivered by local volunteers who give up their free time to help the party they believe in.
This is going to be the most important election for decades. So much is at stake. Do we stick with the plan to turn the economy around and deliver prosperity or do we abandon all the progress that has been made and make Ed Miliband Prime Minister instead? It is a big choice and if the polls are to be believed, it is going to be the closest election in living memory. The two main parties are neck and neck and other smaller parties are also attracting more support than usual. Camborne, Redruth and Hayle has always been closely fought and a key battleground in elections. Unless the Conservatives can hold seats like Camborne and Redruth then Ed Miliband will become Prime Minister next May.
Elections are increasingly about local issues too. I am fortunate enough to be an MP representing the towns where I grew up and where my family have worked for over four hundred years. My family have lived through the changing fortunes of Camborne, Redruth and Hayle for generations and that is why I have always made bringing new industries and better paid jobs to the area my number one priority. I hate the way some people talk our towns down. We have an industrial heritage to be proud of and which hasn’t been forgotten and this is still the part of Cornwall where the work gets done. A good start has been made with the restoration of Hayle Harbour, millions invested in Camborne and plans for a new archive centre at the derelict brewery site in Redruth but there is still more to do. If voters give me the chance next May, I want to build on what we've started.