One must wonder exactly what Helston has to do to finally get some government backing.

Are we being punished for some misdemeanor no one knows anything about? Who have we not smiled nicely enough to? Did we forget the milk in their coffee?

For once again, another round of funding - £2 BILLION no less - has been shared out around the country and look who hasn't made the gift list.

It's worth noting that Helston's bid, for a mere £17 million, would have been just 0.85% of the spoils.

READ NEXT: Helston misses out AGAIN as £17 million bid to transform town fails

The only successful Cornish bid - indeed the only other one still in the running, after the remaining two were withdrawn ahead of the decision - was for a 'Mid Cornwall Metro'; a direct rail link between Falmouth and Newquay, which has been granted three times more of the pot than the Helston bid would have been, at £50 million.

Those behind it say the project will improve transport links between Cornwall's university town and of the Duchy's biggest tourist hotspots, boosting the economy of both. St Austell will also be included on the link - somewhere that will also soon be connected to the A30 via its own stretch of dual carriageway.

And while all funding for Cornwall must be welcomed, it also begs the question - when will the smaller towns get a look in?

It may not have a large student population, or an influx of millions of visitors every summer.

But we are the home of the world-famous Flora Day, the birth place of an inventor who transformed safety at sea, not to mention the gateway to the Site of Special Scientific Interest that is the Lizard Peninsula. We hold our own.

Particular thought must go today to the volunteer members of the Place Shaping Team in Helston that have spent a huge number of hours, over many months, to put this bid together - giving up their own time freely to do so.

Back in 2019 (the last time Helston missed out on millions) we were told: "Helston needs clear priorities."

Some of the brightest, most experienced minds in the town took up that challenge and a plan was formed.

After consulting those who live here, three key projects were taken forward:

- To turn the old eyesore of a building that is the former Budgens supermarket into a hub for family activities, a central point for community services and a new home for Helston Town Band

- Make more of Helston's history and creative side by linking the Museum of Cornish Life with the CAST arts building

- Improve cycling routes around the town to make alternative transport safer

So encouraging was the response from 'those with the power' that it was quietly considered that this time it was really happening and just official confirmation was needed.

To lose out at the eleventh hour, again, is therefore a devastating kick to the stomach.

I am told that Helston 'made the shortlist' - no doubt this will be followed up by 'good effort, try again' in the coming days.

One must question though what incentive there is now to 'try again' when (to mix metaphors) every hoop has been jumped through, the carrot has been followed and Helston is again tripped inches from the finish line.

Of course this is not the end - we cannot afford for it to be so.

Helston DOES have spirit and there are plenty of people working hard day in day out to keep it thriving.

But today is still a day to reflect and ask: What more do they want from us?