A huge thank you to Bude and Beyond for allowing me to introduce myself to you all.
My name is Bill Harper. I live and farm at Trepoyle Farm, North Tamerton.
I am standing in this election because I believe our rural area needs specific representation at Cornwall Council. As an Independent, I will be able to focus on the issues that affect our community. Having worked in agriculture all my life, I have a deep understanding of the value of agriculture to an area such as ours. Farmers who employ half the working people in our area, either directly or indirectly, face considerable challenges and my aim is to help with issues such as; environmental challenges, planning concerns and access to services.
The tourism industry is key to our coastal parishes and presents a different set of challenges. We need special measures this summer to deal with the anticipated influx of visitors. Coordination between local businesses, parish councils and county council officials, will be vital to the smooth running of this key industry.
My other main concern is for young people who choose to live and work in the area they were brought up in. We must link our villages with the businesses in the surrounding towns and help get apprentices and kick start youngsters into work and also help to arrange transport to and from work. As we come out of COVID, the property ladder has become much steeper and we must find ways of getting young couples into affordable accommodation to rent or buy, or a mixture of both.
Through my work as a commercial director in a large local business, I have skills and experience in areas of finance, retail, property, sustainability and training. This level of skills will be needed to help Cornwall County Council recover from the pandemic in terms of service provision and develop and support new community projects to help our rural residents in the future.