Thursday, 1 February 2018

Carn Brea Leisure Centre

Last Friday, I attended the official opening of the refurbished swimming pool at Carn Brea Leisure Centre. It is like new and completely transformed. Hundreds of local children have already had the chance to use it and it's getting a big thumbs up. Congratulations to Alex Clifton and all the dedicated staff at Carn Brea who worked hard over Christmas to get it ready. Also, to all the local schools, businesses and community groups who pulled together to help raise money for this central community asset.
 
The management team at Carn Brea secured funding from Sport England to refurbish the pool and deliver other maintenance and improvements, to ensure that facilities are sustained for existing users as well as the next generation of swimmers. However, Carn Brea needed to fundraise the rest of the money required to complete the project.

At any given time, there are over 1,000 children learning to swim at Carn Brea. The fundraising campaign has been a real community effort, in the true spirit of Carn Brea.  A few weeks ago I visited St Meriadoc School where the children were fundraising for the pool.  I was later told that one of the pupils there had overcome a fear of water and learned to swim at Carn Brea so encouraged her school to get involved.  Dozens of other schools and local businesses have also helped.  For my part, I ran a sponsored half marathon towards the end of last year to help raise £2,200.

Like many people who grew up in West Cornwall, I have fond childhood memories of Carn Brea Leisure Centre. It has been an essential part of the local community for well over forty years. I have been running since I was nine, when I first joined Cornwall Athletic Club.  Running was a big part of my life, and a lot of it revolved around training at Carn Brea.  The new pool will be a great asset for the local community for years to come.

Good news on employment

There was also good news on employment last week. Unemployment is at its lowest level for many years. In Camborne and Redruth, the number of unemployed claimants has nearly halved from 3.8% of the economically active population in 2010 to 2.2% in December 2017. Employment is up more than 3 million since 2010 and there are 400,000 fewer young people out of work since 2010.

Locally, we have much to celebrate but there remains a lot to do. We must strive to continue to improve the support we offer to local people to help them back into work. Cornwall College is the most successful provider of work based learning in the South West. Over a thousand apprentices are currently training in areas such as plumbing, carpentry and engineering.

However, for too long, many of our brightest young people would leave Cornwall in search of new work opportunities. Now, as we continue to attract new industries and skilled jobs to Cornwall, it is vital that we continue to develop skills so that young people can take advantage of the new opportunities being created. As new companies arrive I want to see them become successful and profitable enough to offer higher wages so that we encourage people to take work and stay in work.

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