Penzance Town Team took the opportunity to brief the Prime Minister over Penzance business community’s concerns about the IOS economy stemming from its unresolved transport issues.
The Prime Minister visited Penzance yesterday (29 April) walking down Causewayhead for a 15 minute meeting with Penzance Town Team in the office’s of the Cornishman Newpaper to discuss town centre issues in general and what Government could do to help.
The Prime Minister was accompanied on his walk down Causewayhead by Jacquie Walls (Cornishman Editor), Hannah Wallis (Vice Chair, Causewayhead Traders Association) and Dick Cliffe, Chairman Penzance Chamber of Commerce/Town Team Coordinator). On a stunning spring day it was explained to the Prime Minister that an important part of the local economy would not be represented at the meeting - the IOS. It was explained that approximately one sixth of the tourist spend in West Cornwall (Penwith + IOS) occurred on the IOS despite a population of only ~2100 persons and that most goods and services originated or passed through Penzance. Whilst visitor numbers had continued to rise in Cornwall in recent years (despite austerity) they had declined on the IOS and this was having a sharply adverse impact on the IOS economy with knock on effects on Penzance.
Penzance Town Team members represented at the meeting included The Wharfside Centre, Future Penzance, Causewayhead Traders, Truro & Penwith College, Penzance & District Tourism Association, Penzance Town Council and Penzance Chamber of Commerce.
Dick Cliffe commented that this meeting was not an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of specific transport projects on the islands or mainland.The Prime Minister appeared well briefed and had clearly been updated following Grant Shapps' (Conservative Party Chairman) breakfast meeting with Penzance business community representatives on 12 April (where the same issue was raised).