Hundreds have a chat with MP

ALMOST 200 people took the chance to chat with their MP during his 1,000-mile constituency tour.

Berwick Member Sir Alan Beith, whose constituency stretches to the north of Morpeth, visited 127 villages during his trip to find out locals’ concerns.

Top of the bill were windfarms, highways, small business issues and village halls as 196 people had their say.

Sir Alan said: “It is very important that the planning authority balances the need for renewable energy with the high landscape value of some of the proposed sites and the concern that villages should not be surrounded as a result of multiple windfarm applications.

“Other planning issues were also raised. There were concerns about the excess speed of traffic through villages and about maintaining bus and rail transport.

“Maintaining village services like shops, pubs, village halls and schools remains a big issue in the villages and there were many issues raised about farming and small businesses. Broadband and mobile phone coverage were raised in a number of areas.

“But there were also many national, international and wider political issues, including support for parties working together in the Coalition and concern about the economic crisis in Europe and the USA.”

He added: “The tour is a great opportunity to keep in touch with every part of England’s third largest constituency and it gives me plenty of work to get on with at Westminster.”