Recently Stephen Gilbert, the Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, announced he was no longer in support of the Government's programme of trial badger culls, instead calling for alternative methods for the prevention of bovine tuberculosis. He apparently came to this new position without any consultation with those most affected.
Based on a number of complaints from concerned local people about their MP's failure to engage with his electorate, Steve Double, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for St Austell and Newquay decided to consult with the local farming community. Steve also met with DEFRA Minister George Eustice to raise the issue.
The result of Steve's consultation showed that among those farmers who had experienced Bovine TB on their own farm or nearby there was 100% support for the cull.
Commenting, Steve said ‘On hearing of the news that our MP had changed his position I wrote to every farmer in the constituency and asked for their views. This is clearly a major issue for many local farmers, which they have very strong views about. One farmer that contacted me told me that he had lost over 200 animals to the disease. The overwhelming majority of local farmers stated they supported both the trial cull and believed culling badgers was an essential part of controlling this disease.’
He added, ‘Personally I am appalled that our MP would change his position without consulting those working locally in the agricultural industry. I believe if you truly want to represent the electorate on issues like this you need to listen to those most affected. This is what I have done and what I plan to continue to do. If elected, I will continue to represent St Austell and Newquay by listening to local people’.