The current events in Afghanistan are deeply distressing. The decision by the US to fully withdraw its remaining presence earlier this summer left its allies, including the UK, with little option but to do the same. The speed at which the Afghan government has collapsed has been a surprise. They were well trained and equipped after many years of support but it is clear that there was a collapse in confidence in their ability to stop the Taliban in the absence of other support.
The war in Afghanistan was difficult and hard-fought. In 2006 when I was an adviser to David Cameron I went to Kandahar and Camp Bastion and the professionalism of our troops and the task they were undertaking was extraordinary. The real focus now must be to do all that we can to help those Afghans who supported us during those difficult years. We have said we will take 20,000 refugees but much more urgent is to use the next days and weeks to evacuate as many of those people as we can to ensure their safety.
Redruth Skate Park
For a number of years, town councillors in Redruth have wanted to create better facilities for young people and the idea of a skate park has been frequently mooted. A few years ago there was an idea of doing something at Gweal-an-Top and interest in the concept was tested by having a temporary mobile skate park set up. The idea has finally come to fruition as we recently received the welcome news that the Redruth Skate Park project has been awarded an additional £48,000 from the SUEZ Communities Trust.
Redruth Town Council and Redruth Skatepark Association have been working on the skatepark project at East End playing field for some time and were very pleased by the new allocation of funding which has got the project across the line. Work on the site began on the 2nd of August and is progressing well so far.
The new facility will mean local people, and in particular young people, will have a great facility within their own town rather than having to travel to Truro as many currently do. The skate park will be accessible and suitable for use by scooters, BMX bikes as well as skateboarders and roller skates. The design that has been created will permit the future addition of a large Skate bowl area once funding has been secured. Meanwhile, through separate funding, pathways will be created to ensure that the playground and new skatepark are fully accessible. Skateboarding is a developing sport that has recently featured at the Olympics that were held in Japan. In particular, Team GB saw success with 13-year old Sky Brown who won a bronze medal in Skateboarding and Charlotte Worthington who won a gold medal in Freestyle BMX, another sport that has quite a strong following in this part of Cornwall.
It is great to see this new facility progressing in Redruth which I am sure many young people will take advantage of to get outside after spending the last 18 months in lockdown.