Graham Watson MEP

Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar

A local champion with an international reputation

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West Cornwall Issues Taken to Brussels

West Cornwall is at the top of the agenda for Lib Dem MEP for the South West Peninsula Sir Graham Watson today as he addresses Hayle Community School before meeting officials on the dredging of Falmouth Harbour.

Sir Graham is taking part in a video conference call as part of 'Hayle Greets the World' day as part of the schools international week and will be speaking to students and headteacher John Topham about his work as a Member of the European Parliament and how technology is allowing us to communicate across the world at the click of a button.

In the afternoon, Sir Graham will meet trade union and Falmouth port authority officials to discuss the progress being made on dredging the docks as part of a £106.5 million upgrade to construct a new marina and wharf to accommodate greater capacity.

However the project is currently on hold whilst an Environmental Impact Assessment is carried out following concerns over the adverse affect the works could have on marine life in the harbour.

Ahead of the meetings, Watson commented,

'By dredging the harbour and improving the infrastructure to upgrading the port, Falmouth docks will be able to take cruise liners and other large ships. This will raise the tourism take, bringing in money and jobs.

'But it is only right that the Environment Impact Assessment takes place and the debate is allowed to happen. A solution needs to be found that addresses the concerns of environmental campaigners but ultimately does not block the economic development of a key part of the Cornish economy.

'In these difficult economic times, we must focus more than ever on economic growth, how we can create new jobs and sustain the existing ones. I hope that this meeting today will take this project forward to a point where we can begin to pump in the investment that is crucial to the future of Falmouth.