Spring has finally arrived in the Hexham constituency, and with it has come a busy month.
I have travelled all over Tynedale and Ponteland this month, holding surgeries, visiting businesses and meeting local people who are making a difference to our community.
This month saw the outcome of Northumberland County Council’s consultation on education in West Northumberland. I am very pleased that Coun Daley and the council’s leadership have really listened to parents and teachers on the issue, and I will be working closely with the council and Coun Daley to see how we can all work together to support our local schools going forward.
Fundamentally, I think the fact that the voice of Tynedale is being heard and taken into account at County Hall for the first time in a long time will be very welcome to parents and residents.
I take my relationship with local schools very seriously and I was delighted to be asked to present Ovingham First School with its fourth Green Flag, which it was awarded in recognition of its work ensuring it is an ‘Eco-School’ to protect our environment.
It was a pleasure to meet the Eco Council, which works so hard to make the school environmentally friendly, and to see how enthusiastic the children are about protecting our planet.
I also enjoyed welcoming staff and pupils from St Matthew’s Primary School in Prudhoe to Parliament, where they were given a tour to learn all about how the Government works. I would encourage other local schools to get in touch if they would like to arrange a visit.
My Ageing Well Spring Information Fair took place in Prudhoe this month. The fair was organised with the help of Prudhoe councillors Gordon Stewart and Ken Stow, and Bywell councillor Karen Quinn, in association with Northumberland County Council’s Ageing Well programme.
It was attended by a huge range of community groups, charities and businesses that help or serve older people. We had a busy morning and it was great to see that the event was such a success.
I also met Richard Stewart and Ian Hardy, of the Three Tumours, to talk about their experience of living with a terminal brain tumour and their fund-raising efforts for brain tumour research.
Richard and Ian were part of a group that walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall to raise money for research and raise awareness of the effect of brain tumours on patients and families. A fantastic effort for a very worthy cause.
There was great success this month for local business the Blagdon Farm Shop. The shop was named winner of the Game Champion Award at the Champions’ Reception of the Countryside Alliance Awards at the House of Lords.
I had the pleasure of attending the reception to celebrate with Simon Osborne and Dale Shipman, of the Blagdon Farm Shop. This is a great local business and I am delighted to see the shop recognised at a national level.
As part of Football Shirt Friday, a day in support of the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research, I was invited to visit a William Hill shop to place a £50 bet, with the winnings going to Tynedale Hospice at Home and the Injured Jockeys Fund.
Unfortunately, my bet was not successful, but it was good to visit William Hill, which sponsored the day as part of its commitment to supporting the community.
I am looking forward to another busy and month ahead. As always, if there is anything I can do to help, please do get in touch with my office.