Summer is over for another year and somehow it is already autumn. But with the new season has come a whole host of exciting events and visits, meaning that I have had a very busy September in the Hexham constituency.
A lot of work went into planning my 2018 Tynedale Jobs Fair, sponsored by Thompsons of Prudhoe and Northumberland County Council, and held in association with the Hexham Jobs Centre.
I would like to thank everyone who came along to the event — it was great to see such a fantastic turnout from jobseekers and businesses looking to hire. I am particularly pleased to have heard really positive feedback from those in attendance, including some businesses who came away with new recruits. It really was a great day and I am already looking forward to next year.
It was a real pleasure to be able to pay a visit to Haltwhistle Station as part of the Heritage Open Days Scheme. The station opened up its doors for a weekend, allowing visitors to take advantage of a unique opportunity to learn about its fascinating history. With its Grade II listed signal box and historic booking office and stationmaster’s house, I spent a really interesting day discovering our local heritage.
Farming is an extremely important part of life in the Hexham constituency. I visited High Studdon Farm at Sinderhope to meet with farmers Nick and Robert and a representative from the RSPB, Janet Fairclough, to discuss the work they are doing to encourage birdlife on their farms whilst producing high quality food, and to talk about the future of agriculture policy.
Nick and Robert are both traditional hill farmers in Higher Level Environmental Stewardship schemes, and are both passionate about the wildlife on their farms. They are also members of the Northern Hill Farming Panel — a farmer-led group which aims to promote high nature value farming in the uplands of Northern England.
The RSPB works closely with farmers like Nick and Robert, helping them to give nature a home on the land they manage and to access the support they need to look after the environment. This is an issue I am passionate about, and it was great to be able to discuss it at length with Nick, Robert and Janet.
I am fortunate to be able to champion some incredibly important causes in my role as MP, and this month has been no exception.
I joined over 200 other MPs to support Breast Cancer Now’s Wear It Pink fund-raiser, which takes place in October to raise money for vital breast cancer research. I added a splash of pink to my usual attire, and I would encourage you to do the same by signing up and taking part in Wear It Pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. All you need to do is wear something pink or hold a pink themed event and donate to Breast Cancer Now.
Around 11,500 women and 80 men lose their lives to the disease every year so it would be great if we all make a difference by wearing pink in October.
Internet connectivity is a vital part of our everyday lives and I visited Allendale Primary School to meet Mike Robinson and Brian Bell of B4AV (Broadband for the Allen Valleys), a volunteer-led community group creating an independent broadband network offering a 1 Gbps fibre connection to every property in the Allen Valleys.
Profits will be invested back into the community through schemes and local community groups and the hyper-fast broadband that the scheme will provide is only available to about three per cent of the population. This is a superb example of a community working together to volunteer and invest in a project that will bring huge benefits to the Allen Valleys and I wish them every success.
As ever, the coming weeks are packed full of more visits and events around the Hexham constituency.
It is always a pleasure to be able to meet with as many local people and businesses as possible, and I look forward to being out and about in our area in October.