Last week Kevin Foster and I toured the Brixham Fish Market. The market which operates through an online auction clock is firing on all cylinders. While July is usually a quieter month, this year is a very different story. The market is turning over on average £800k per week, up some £500k on previous years.
The increase in turnover is in part down to high domestic demand brought on by a rise in domestic tourism, but also due to European markets reopening. The changing attitudes towards eating fish in the UK means that we have an opportunity to drive further growth and demand for our high-quality seafood. To assist with this ambition, we might consider ensuring that public organisations might include more seafood in their canteens.
Access to Europe for our seafood has been rocky, to say the least, but recently the Specialised Trade Committee for Fishing met to discuss and negotiate new quota swaps. Its inaugural meeting found agreement and one can only hope that successive meetings will help iron out some of the problems faced by the industry. Both the UK and the EU have a mutual interest in streamlining imports and exports in this area and the recent meeting by this committee has shown that it can be done.
We often talk of jobs rather than careers. I prefer to think of trying to help create the latter. ‘Jobs’ seem temporary, whereas ‘careers’ denote a long-term progression that sees you accumulate skills and expertise. South Devon has a range of extraordinarily high skilled jobs. From fishing to pharmaceuticals, to plastering to photonics, to manufacturing to cooperate management. The opportunities are wide and varied but the awareness is not.
Next year I will be working alongside local schools and colleges to host a career fair. I hope to be able to platform the businesses and industries that are home to South Devon and encourage a new generation of local employees to look to South Devon for their career opportunities. If you would like to take part, then please get in touch.
Health and Wellbeing for Coastal Communities
In the run-up to Parliamentary recess, Professor Chris Whitty made a call for a cross-government national strategy to improve the health and well-being of coastal communities. Such a call should be heard and acted upon.
Our coastal communities in the South West are dwindling in numbers, opportunities and health. A full-scale strategy to help create new employment, improve transport and medical infrastructure would allow us to turn this decline on its head.
Such a strategy might focus on health care facilities and the important role they play within coastal communities. It might also highlight the Localism Act and the need to ensure that local produce enters the local market rather than just becoming an export product. It might also consider how we ensure that our coastal communities do not just become playgrounds for holidaymakers.
Of course, I am widening the scope of this strategy paper, but the health and wellbeing of our communities and residents depend on looking at these areas as much as they do physical health.
As we return to relative normality do email to book an appointment to my either physical or online surgeries. Anthony.Mangnall.MP@Parliament.uk.