It is a pleasure to be called in the Budget debate and to follow Conor McGinn.
This was a good Budget for my constituents in North Cornwall. It brings investment and empowerment to our local communities and businesses, while maintaining the financial discipline that we on the Conservative Benches pride ourselves in. I welcome the big announcements on defence, broadband, the NHS and mental health, but in the time that I have I would like to focus on some of the micro-elements in the Budget that will really help some of my constituents.
First, I would like to mention the mandatory rate relief on public loos. My hon. Friend Steve Double and I have been campaigning on this issue for quite some time. It seemed quite ridiculous that local authorities had to charge themselves for public toilets. We are delighted that the Treasury has now excluded them and provided mandatory rate relief. What does this mean for some of my communities? Many public loos have been closed under Cornwall Council. This morning, the mayor of Bude wrote to me to say that he is absolutely delighted with this new policy and that it will assist him in being able to reopen some of the closed sites in Poughill and Stratton. I have also had representations from Wadebridge Town Council and Bodmin Town Council showing their support for this policy. This issue might be a bit of a joke to some people, but being on a beach with a two or three-year-old child is no joke if the public toilet is three or four miles away. I can assure the House that in terms of tourism for North Cornwall, this is a really big deal.