New opencast mining plan is ‘wrong’

I hope you have all enjoyed the recent Bank Holiday weekends and have been able to make the most of the weather.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 16:44 pm
Hexham MP Guy Opperman with Ponteland Walking for Health group.

This is always one of my favourite periods of the year, as well as being one of the busiest, and with so much planned for the coming weeks there is certainly plenty to look forward to.

This month I was delighted to be able to choose The Corbridge Tandoori as my nomination for the 2019 Tiffin Cup.

The Corbridge Tandoori is a fantastic local, family-owned restaurant that this month is celebrating 30 years in Corbridge.

The Tiffin Cup is a competition celebrating the country’s best Asian restaurant.

It is held in Westminster every year, and the winner will be announced at an event in Parliament later this year.

The Corbridge Tandoori is a great place to eat and is much-loved in the Corbridge community — if you haven’t been yet, I really do recommend a visit.

I had the incredible privilege of hearing from climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg in Parliament recently.

Sixteen-year-old Greta was invited to speak to MPs about the UKs response to climate change.

And it was eye-opening and inspiring to hear her speak with such passion and urgency about this vital issue.

One of the most important local issues I am currently campaigning against is the proposed plan for a new opencast coal mine at Dewley Hill.

Under the plans, more than 250 acres of green open space could be lost to the coal mine.

This comes at a time when Britain is rightly heading towards a coal-free economy in an attempt to tackle climate change.

I have written to the Leader of Newcastle City Council, Coun Nick Forbes, to express my concerns, and I have asked Newcastle City Council to block this application.

Having led the campaign against two previous local opencast mines — at Halton Lea Gate and Whittonstall — I do not want to see new opencast coal mining casting a shadow on our vital green lungs.

When we are doing so much to address climate change, these plans are clearly wrong and must be scrapped.

Over the next few weeks the start of the Hexham constituency’s always memorable summer events will begin to get under way.

A particular highlight for me is always the Northumberland County Show.

Now just around the corner, this year’s show is taking place on Monday, May 27, at Bywell Hall.

It will see a jam-packed day of stands, events and exhibitors in what is always a fantastic celebration of Northumberland.

This year’s programme of events looks set to be better than ever, with something for everyone in the family.

I always enjoy my visits to the County Show and I have no doubt that this year’s event will be another great day.

I hope to see you there.

I was delighted recently to support the Ponteland Walking for Health group, led by the Ponteland Community Partnership and Ponteland Town Council, alongside many more organisations, with other volunteers and Coun Veronica Jones.

Walks take place from Callerton every Tuesday, with the aim of helping local people to improve their health and wellbeing and to reduce stress in an enjoyable and effective way.

The walks are open to people of all ages and physical abilities so anyone can take part and get walking to feel great.

It is always encouraging to see positive action taken by local communities to help people improve their quality of life, at the same time as bringing people together.

I hope that we will soon see many more such walking groups being established around the Hexham constituency.