Travels have brought your issues to light

General farming pic - round bales.
General farming pic - round bales.

My summer tour of the Hexham constituency is over and Parliament has restarted.

I enjoyed travelling around Tynedale and Ponteland, meeting constituents and local businesses and discussing a range of issues.

It is very important to me to hear first-hand the thoughts and concerns of members of the community, and I will be working hard to sort out the issues constituents have raised with me.

I enjoyed a visit to The Hearth in Horsley, where I met trustees and resident artists. The Hearth is a community hub for arts, music and heritage, and is home to ten artists who offer classes, as well as sell their work.

It is a wonderful asset to the community that we should be very proud of so I encourage everyone to support the brilliant work done there.

There has been some excellent news for schools this month with the announcement by Education Secretary Justine Greening that schools in the Hexham constituency will see their funding rise by an average of 3.3 per cent under a new fairer funding system for schools in England.

I have campaigned for fairer school funding for years so I am delighted that every single school in our area will see its funding increased.

Meanwhile, Whitfield Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School has been allowed to become an academy after a long campaign.

It’s been an exciting month for sport in Northumberland.

We welcomed the Tour of Britain and some of the world’s top cyclists, with a route from Kielder to Blyth. It was a brilliant day and a wonderful opportunity to showcase our stunning scenery around the world.

The 2017 British Masters will begin soon at Close House in Heddon-on-the-Wall, and with an entry list that includes Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, this will be a great opportunity for our area.

Back British Farming Day, organised by the National Farmers’ Union, took place this month and I was proud to wear my pin badge in support during Prime Minister’s Questions to celebrate the contribution that farmers make to the food and drink sector and our economy. Farmers are a vital part of life in this constituency.

My Community Champions Awards continue to be well received.

Recent recipients include Sylvia Lavery and her daughters Stacey, Tanya and Lisa, who walked 18 miles to raise more than £500 for the British Heart Foundation, and Alison Ross, who has raised thousands of pounds for Tynedale Hospice at Home.

It is so important to celebrate the fantastic achievements of people in our community who make incredible contributions and I welcome nominations for recipients.

Another important part of my work as an MP is helping to get as many people as possible into work and training so it was great to meet Release Potential Chief Executive Gaye Hutchinson to discuss its new employment training programme Returneeships, the only scheme of its kind in the UK, which aims to boost employability skills among people over 40.

It is funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, and a course is starting soon in Hexham. I would encourage everyone to consider it.

Today (Thursday) is my Tynedale Jobs Fair, supported by Thompsons of Prudhoe and Northumberland County Council.

I hope it will be a successful day, which will help people find the right job or training.