Election is over, now the work begins

Guy Opperman wins the Hexham seat at the General Election count 2017.
Guy Opperman wins the Hexham seat at the General Election count 2017.

After a packed campaign, it is back to work in earnest.

It is an enormous privilege to have been re-elected by my constituents to represent you once again as your Member of Parliament.

I said I would never take anything for granted and we got out there, talked to people and worked hard on the issues that matter to people from Stannington to Slaley.

I am pleased to have secured an increased percentage vote and the highest Conservative vote share in Hexham since the 1950’s, but it’s now time to get back to work for the constituency and Northumberland.

I have been visiting events, having surgeries and talking to as many people as possible.

Working with schools has always been a vital part of my work. I spoke with the headteachers of Prudhoe Community High School and Corbridge Middle School about how they are in consultation to form the Tynedale Community Learning Trust with eight other schools.

I also attended conversion celebrations as Prudhoe West First School became Prudhoe West Academy.

Out of the classroom, I was delighted to speak to four students of Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham and hear about their experiences of the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.

It is a fantastic scheme, providing opportunities to learn new skills, volunteer, build friendships and gain a real understanding of a young citizen’s stake and role in society.

Since 2012 NCS participants have dedicated seven million hours to social action projects — a fantastic example of how these youngsters can have a profound impact.

Northumberland is one of the leading areas of the country in the programme and I want to encourage even more young people to take part.

Seven in ten leave NCS more confident about getting a job, eight in ten keep in touch with people they meet on the programme, and nine in ten would recommend NCS to others.

Celebrating the people who make wonderful contributions to our community is one of the best parts of my job, and I have been fortunate to be able to show my appreciation to some of these people.

It was a great pleasure to visit Acomb Court for National Care Home Day, where I spoke to management and staff who do excellent work to make it a caring and welcoming place.

I joined thousands of people across the country in The Great Get Together in memory of Jo Cox at St Mary Magdelene Church Hall in Prudhoe, celebrating everything that unites us as a community, whatever our differences.

In the spirit of celebrating inspirational members of the community, I am delighted to announce the Hexham Constituency Community Champions Awards.

Each month certificates will be awarded to people and organisations whose achievements deserve to be celebrated. Some will attend an event at the House of Commons. It is my hope that this award will allow us to show our appreciation.

Work has started on my annual Jobs Fair. We want to get as many people as possible along to see what great opportunities there are.

It will take place in Hexham in September, with employers from across Northumberland. More details will be advertised on my blog and Facebook page.

I am truly humbled by the trust and support invested in me by the community at the election. I will continue to do my utmost to be a hardworking and effective local MP. The hard work of delivering for Northumberland has begun.