Town of Culture Award

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:36 pm on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Labour/Co-operative, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport 5:36 pm, 23rd January 2019

As the only south-west Member of Parliament here, I am here to speak up for the west country and our fantastic array of towns. There is so much more competition than just the excellent towns we have heard about from the north and from Wales; there are those in the west country, too. We are about so much more than clotted cream and whether it should be jam first or cream first. We have fantastic towns right across our region. We have the world heritage site in Tavistock; the Tate at St Ives; our Cornish tin mining museum; amazing food in Dartmouth; Fowey and its sailing; and Plymouth, the creator of the pasty, Plymouth Gin and the Mayflower Steps. The Mayflower Steps and the Mayflower story are so powerful.

We have the opportunity to tell stories that connect our towns right across the country, from Scrooby and Babworth in Bassetlaw to Gainsborough, Boston, Immingham, Harwich, Rotherhithe, Southampton, Dartmouth and Plymouth. We need not only to have a towns of culture competition, but to join up our towns, because telling the story of how our towns are connected will create more jobs and more passion. An awful lot of people are proud of their towns in the west country. This competition would be such a boost for that.