Friday, 21 September 2018

Nominate your countryside champion

Nominations are now open for the Countryside Alliance Awards, better known as the ‘Rural Oscars’! There are five categories- local food/drink, village shop/post office, butcher, rural enterprise and pub-, with nine regional champions from each category invited to Parliament for the national finals in June 2019. Following the fantastic success of the Blagdon Farm Shop last year, winner of the Game Champion Award, I would definitely encourage you to nominate the outstanding rural retailers in your local community!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Great result for Corbridge

I am so pleased that Corbridge will soon once again have access to a 24/7 cash machine, after nearly a year without following the closure of Barclays' in the town. I visited Corbridge's Post Office last year and spoke with staff and residents about the need for a cash machine in the town, so I am delighted that the Post Office and Barclays' have been able to work together to ensure that a new machine will be operational in the next few weeks. This is great news for Corbridge- thank you to Barclays', the Post Office and Councillor Nick Oliver for making this happen.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Let's talk about organ donation

I am proud to have been able to support Organ Donation Week earlier this month. However organ donation is a subject that should be talked about all year round, with around three people dying every day in need of an organ. More and more families are saying yes to organ donation but there is still an urgent shortage of donors around the country. Only one third of adults in England have told their partner or family that they want to donate, despite 8 out of 10 people saying they would be willing to donate or consider it. Sadly many opportunities are lost every year because families don't know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not. That's why I am encouraging you to talk to your families about organ donation and sign the NHS Organ Donor Register. We really can help to save lives.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Turn red and gold for Northumberland!

Northumberland is once again in the running for the title of Best UK Holiday Destination of the Year at the British Travel Awards. For the last four years Northumberland has been pipped to the post by Cornwall, so it really is so important that you help our county win by voting! 

We all know what a beautiful region Northumberland is, so to make this year Northumberland’s year, why not turn your Facebook profile picture red and gold, and cast your vote here by Sunday 30thSeptember-         


Sunday, 16 September 2018

Coffee for a good cause

Macmillan’s annual ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ is not far away now, but there is still plenty of time to get involved and help to raise money to support people facing cancer. Last year’s event raised more than £27 million, and this year’s aim is to raise even more. The Coffee Morning takes place on Friday 28th September, and everyone is invited to take part. Whether you host your own Coffee Morning, with guests donating the cost of their cup of tea, coffee and cakes to Macmillan, or go along to one yourself, you really will be helping to make a huge difference. 

For more information visit here-

Friday, 14 September 2018

Success at the Tynedale Jobs Fair!

I would like to thank everyone who came along to my Tynedale Jobs Fair, sponsored by Thompsons of Prudhoe and Northumberland County Council, last week. Whether you were a business looking to hire or looking for work yourself, it was great to see so many people there. I am particularly pleased to have heard really positive feedback from those in attendance and hope that last week's event helps to change the lives of some local people. I am already looking forward to next year!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Kielder Marathon's very special guest of honour

He’s one of our sporting heroes, so it’s hugely exciting that double Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson will be guest of honour at the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon. The event takes place on Saturday 6thand Sunday 7thOctober, with race organiser and Olympic athlete Steve Cram also in attendance. The two athletes will also take part in a question and answer session at The Boat Inn restaurant in Kielder on the Saturday night- a unique opportunity to hear first-hand from two of Britain’s best-known sportsmen. 

The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend 2018 is delivered by Events of the North in conjunction with Northumbrian Water, Active Northumberland, Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Events include the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and the Run Bike Run. For more information and to book your place visit-

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Best foot forward!

It's nearly time for the Haltwhistle Autumn Walking Festival! From 29th September-7th October, walks will be taking place through our beautiful Northumberland scenery every day, including special interest walks led by experts who will share their expertise. The walks cover a range of distances, from strenuous to shorter, so there is something for you whatever your ability. A full list of the upcoming walks is available below- do make sure you book ahead though!

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Exploring the past and looking to the future

It was a pleasure to be able to pay a visit to Haltwhistle Station last weekend as part of the Heritage Open Days scheme. The Station is full of history and it was great to see that so many people were able to take advantage of such a unique opportunity to learn about our past. 

As well as its fascinating past, there are plans envisaged to transform Haltwhistle Station and restore its infrastructure and trail to ensure that the station’s future is just as exciting. To find out more about the plans and how you can support them visit here-

Monday, 10 September 2018

Showcasing Northumberland's finest produce

Hexham Market Place is hosting a special market on Wednesday, showcasing local Northumberland produce. From 10am-2pm on Wednesday 12th September, traders from across the county will present their products in the Market Place.  The event is part of Northumberland County Council’s ‘Produced in Northumberland’ scheme, which promotes the use and sale of local products by companies across Northumberland- the scheme currently has 83 members. 

Northumberland produce really is second to none, so go along to Hexham Market Place on Wednesday for your chance to support our local producers and businesses!

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Forum Books- Top of the List!

Congratulations to Corbridge’s Forum Books, which has been named as the only North East business and one of only two independent bookshops on this year’s Small Biz 100 list. The list promotes 100 local businesses across the UK as part of December’s Small Business Saturday, with a day dedicated to each business named on the list. 

Small businesses are such an important part of our local communities, and I am delighted that one of the constituency’s best has been named on the Small Biz 100 list. Well done to everyone at Forum Books!

Saturday, 8 September 2018

wear it pink

I joined over 200 other MPs this week to support Breast Cancer Now’s ‘wear it pink’ fundraiser, which will take place on Friday 19th October to raise money for vital breast cancer research. I added a splash of pink to my usual attire, and now I am encouraging you to do the same by signing up and taking part in ‘wear it pink’, which takes place in Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. So far the annual event has raised over £31 million towards Breast Cancer Now’s important work, aiming that by 2050 everyone who develops breast cancer will live and live well.

Anyone can take part in ‘wear it pink’, whether at work, school or in your local community. All you need to do is wear something pink or hold a pink themed event and donate to Breast Cancer Now. Each year around 11,500 women and 80 men lose their lives to the disease, so let’s all make a difference and wear it pink next month!

Friday, 7 September 2018

Walking in West Northumberland

We live in such a beautiful part of the world, and walking is one of the best ways to appreciate and spend time in the incredible Northumberland countryside. Walking is also a fantastic way to stay fit and active, and West Northumberland Health Walks aims to encourage people to make walking a regular part of their lives, providing 2-3 mile walks on a weekly basis from eight towns and villages across the area. All walks are free and are led by trained volunteers. 

No booking is needed- just turn up wearing appropriate outdoor clothing including boots or supportive shoes with grip. For more information, contact 01670 622368 or

Thursday, 6 September 2018

The biggest and best Tynedale Jobs Fair yet- TOMORROW!

A reminder that tomorrow is my 2018 Tynedale Jobs Fair, with some of the region's biggest employers confirmed to attend, including Egger, Essity, Thompsons of Prudhoe, Waitrose and Northumberland County Council.

The Tynedale Jobs Fair takes place at Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham, from 10am-2.30pm on Friday 7th September- entry is free of charge. The Fair, sponsored by Thompsons of Prudhoe and Northumberland County Council, is being organised in conjunction with the Hexham Job Centre Plus and is ideal for anyone looking for work, a return to work or for a change in direction. More than fifty employers are confirmed to attend, including Marks and Spencer, Walwick Hall and the Newcastle United Foundation, with jobs covering all corners of the Hexham constituency and beyond, from Bellingham to Newcastle.

It should be a fantastic day, which I hope will help people to get the new start they are looking for- it would be great to see you there!

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

I'm backing British Farming!

This week is Love Lamb Week, a week that aims to increase awareness and sales of lamb amongst UK consumers. Supported by a range of organisations including the National Sheep Association and the National Farmers’ Union, this year’s Love Lamb Week focuses on the seasonality and sustainability of lamb production. Britain has some of the highest welfare standards in the world regulating the way lamb and mutton are produced. 

As one of the country’s most rural constituencies, farming is an extremely important part of life in Tynedale and Ponteland. Farmers do such a brilliant job in our local community- I’m backing British Farming!

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Heritage at Haltwhistle Station

Ever wondered what is inside a signal box, or what the view is like high above the railway? Or why a mainline railway company might have a model railway? Such questions will be answered at Haltwhistle Station on the Newcastle to Carlisle railway line on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September, when the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, supported by the rail industry, opens the doors to such secrets as part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme. Between 10am-4pm, Network Rail will be opening the 1901 Haltwhistle Grade II listed signal box- one of the BBC’s top ten signal boxes. Signallers past and present will be on hand to explain mechanical signalling and help you enjoy the view from the box. Other key features include the booking office, the water tower and crane, stationmaster’s house, waiting rooms and the nearby Alston Arches viaduct across the Tyne. 

A great opportunity to learn more about our past- go along to Haltwhistle Station next week and find out about this historic piece of our heritage.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

6 DAYS TO GO!- The biggest ever TYNEDALE JOBS FAIR

There are just 6 days to go until my 2018 Tynedale Jobs Fair, and with some of the region's biggest employers confirmed to attend, including Egger, Essity, Thompsons of Prudhoe, Waitrose and Northumberland County Council, it looks set to be the biggest and best Jobs Fair yet!

The Tynedale Jobs Fair takes place at Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham, from 10am-2.30pm on Friday 7th September- entry is free of charge. The Fair, sponsored by Thompsons of Prudhoe and Northumberland County Council, is being organised in conjunction with the Hexham Job Centre Plus and is ideal for anyone looking for work, a return to work or for a change in direction. More than fifty employers are confirmed to attend, including Marks and Spencer, Walwick Hall and the Newcastle United Foundation, with jobs covering all corners of the Hexham constituency and beyond, from Bellingham to Newcastle.

I am really looking forward to Friday's event. It should be a fantastic day, which I hope will help people to get the new start they are looking for- it would be great to see you there!

Any employers who would like to attend - and it's totally free - please email and we'd be delighted to have you.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Running to victory

The annual Essity Prudhoe Miners 10k race is back and expected to attract a record number of runners. The race, originally a traditional sporting event dating back to the early 20thcentury, was resurrected by the Prudhoe Town Council in 2012 to mark the London Olympics and has grown in popularity every year to become a key event in the region’s athletics calendar. Last year the race, organised by Prudhoe Town Council with support from Essity, attracted more than 400 runners, with the course altered slightly to cope with the increasing number of runners. The race has become such a memorable event in Prudhoe, celebrating the town’s mining heritage and encouraging local people to get running and have some fun. Prudhoe is leading the way with introducing keep fit initiatives in their community- there’s still time to enter if you want to get involved too! Essity is a major employer in our region and a great supporter of Prudhoe and the town. 

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Protecting against future flooding

In recent years we have seen how flooding has the potential to destroy our homes, businesses and communities. It is therefore fantastic news that the Environment Agency has launched a campaign to teach businesses how to prepare for future flooding. More than 700 businesses in the region have already been contacted by Flood Resilience Community Engagement Officers from the scheme. Some of the advice being offered to businesses includes checking their flood risk, ensuring they have the right insurance, writing a flood plan and investing in flood protection measures. 

Flooding really can devastate our communities, and so I welcome the Environment Agency’s move to help support businesses to protect themselves from future flooding.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Bobbing along!

It’s always a highlight of the Rotary Club of Ponteland calendar, and this Sunday (2nd September, 1.30-4.30pm) the Annual Duck Race is back! A series of duck and boat races, including a children’s boat race where children are invited to make their own boats to enter, are just part of the fun- there will also be stalls, rides, a bouncy slide, a magician and more. A fun family-day out, whilst raising money for good causes- make sure to put it in your diary!

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Growing success!

I had a great day at the Prudhoe Allotment Open Day, meeting some of the volunteers that work so hard to make the allotment such a brilliant part of the Prudhoe community. The allotment is used by people of all gardening abilities- beds and plots are available to rent. It is a really welcoming and friendly place, with a fantastic community atmosphere, so I would encourage any gardening enthusiasts to get involved.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Bellingham's BAAFest 2018

It’s just over a week until this year’s BAAFest begins (Bellingham All Acoustic Music Festival). Running from 7th-9thSeptember, the Festival is a weekend of live music set in the North Tyne Valley. With both local and international performers, as well as stalls, workshops, two real ale bars, food and festival camping, I would encourage all music lovers to head along to BAAFest next weekend for an unforgettable few days.

You can find out more about BAAFest here-

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Positive Twitter Day- let's tweet nice!

Next Friday (31stAugust) is Positive Twitter Day. Sadly Twitter is too often an unpleasant place, and no one should have to endure horrible and abusive comments on a site that should be a place where we can exchange opinions and enter into debate in a civil and respectful manner. That’s why I am supporting Positive Twitter Day- next Friday let’s all try to be nice to each other when we tweet. You never know- maybe we could then do it more often!

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Tyne Valley Art Fair- today!

Make sure you don’t miss out on the Tyne Valley Art Fair- taking place today! From 10.30am-4pm at Trinity Church Hall, Beaumont Street, Hexham, there will be lots of local art on display, giving you the chance to meet and support talented local artists. A great way to start your Bank Holiday weekend if you’re in the Hexham area!

Friday, 24 August 2018

2018 GCSE Results

Yesterday was GCSE results day, and I would like to congratulate everyone celebrating seeing their hard work over the past year pay off. 

It is really encouraging to see that the percentage of students achieving a good pass (Grades 9 to 5) in Northumberland has increased this year, with results also showing an increase in overall Attainment 8, the students’ average achievement across eight subjects, and 5+ in English and Maths.

I am delighted that we have seen such a strong set of results across Northumberland- I am passionate about ensuring that everyone gets the best possible education and this is a great reflection of the positive state of schools in our local area. Congratulations to all students, parents and teachers who have all worked so hard- you all deserve to celebrate now!

Thursday, 23 August 2018

An inspiring community service

I recently had a very special afternoon meeting everyone at Gateway to the Community, where I had the pleasure of being shown around by Fiona. Gateway to the Community is a brilliant charity working with people throughout West Northumberland who have learning disabilities to provide leisure and learning opportunities. The charity helps members to know what activities and courses are taking place in their communities and works with other organisations to ensure that the inclusion of people with a learning disability is mutually enjoyable and beneficial. Members include a wide range of ages, from young people in their teens through to people who are enjoying their retirement.

I really enjoyed my visit to Gateway in the Community, and it was great to meet everyone. The charity provides an invaluable local service, changing lives and providing support- it always needs more volunteers and support though, so please do contact them and get involved.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Get involved with the 2018 Tynedale Jobs Fair

Final preparations are underway for my 2018 Tynedale Jobs Fair, and if you’re a local business looking to hire there is still time to confirm your place at the event- please contact

The Jobs Fair takes place at Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham, from 10am-2.30pm on Friday 7thSeptember. Sponsored by Thompsons of Prudhoe and Northumberland County Council, and organised in conjunction with the Hexham Job Centre Plus, the Jobs Fair is ideal for anyone looking for work, a return to work or for a change in direction. More than fifty employers are now confirmed to attend, with jobs covering all corners of the Hexham constituency and beyond, from Bellingham to Newcastle. 

Some of the employers confirmed to attend and looking to recruit include:

·     Marks and Spencer
·     Waitrose
·     Egger
·     Essity
·     Thompsons of Prudhoe
·     Northumberland County Council
·     Northumbrian Water
·     Newcastle United Foundation
·     Release Potential
·     Walwick Hall

… And many more!

I would really recommend coming along to the Jobs Fair to anyone who is looking for work. With so many employers attending from a wide range of sectors, there is sure to be something for you. I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Come on down to the People's Fair!

I was delighted to meet and chat with Tynedale NCS (National Citizen Service) students in Prudhoe this week, who are in the process of planning for their People’s Fair. The Fair will take place tomorrow (Wednesday 22ndAugust) from 11am-3pm at the East Youth Centre in Prudhoe. There will be lots going on, with a huge variety of stalls and some great local charities and causes being supported by the event, so do go along if you are free.

It was great to chat with the students, who are all clearly massive fans of NCS and the Northumberland County Council’s Youth Service. NCS is a brilliant and life-changing scheme that gives young people the chance to learn vital skills, gain confidence and meet new people. If you are 15-17 then I would definitely encourage you to find out more about the scheme, and I am sure the Tynedale students would too!

Monday, 20 August 2018

Great opportunity for local small shops

Tynedale and Ponteland’s best small shops are being invited to enter the 2018 Best Small Shops Competition. The competition was launched to promote small shops and the role they play in local communities, with entrants judged on their shops entrepreneurial activities, their impact within the community and innovation in their business. The final will be held in Parliament in November. 

Small shops play a vital role in our local communities, and the Best Small Shops competition celebrates everything that makes small shops so special. If you would like to enter your shop into the competition, you can do so until Sunday 9thSeptember 2018. To enter and for more information about the competition, visit here-

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Raise a glass!

You can now buy your tickets for Stocksfield Cricket Club’s 2018 Beer Festival, which takes place on Friday 7thSeptember. A marquee will be there with beer, ales, ciders, a gin and prosecco bar, food and a live band. You can buy your tickets for £10 each at the Cricket Club’s Clubhouse- it looks set to be a great event and the perfect way to kick off your weekend!

Friday, 17 August 2018

The stage is set at Hexham Abbey

The Hexham Abbey Festival is coming around again, and this year's festival will be focusing on the centenary of two very important events. 2018 marks 100 years since the signing of the Armistice to end World War One, as well as the first women being given the right to vote. There is a packed schedule of events planned, with poetry, music, film and singing, including events themed to commemorate the events of 100 years ago.

The Hexham Abbey Festival was founded in 1953, and in its sixty-five year history has seen world famous musicians and artists perform in the historic Abbey. This year's festival looks set to be a really special event thanks to volunteers and sponsors- for a full list of planned events and to find out how you can buy your tickets, visit here-

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Tackling unemployment in our local area

This week it was announced that unemployment has almost halved (48%) across Tynedale and Ponteland since 2010, meaning more jobs for our local area. This is hugely encouraging news, making an enormous difference to the lives of local people.

There is always work to be done to get more people into work however, and my upcoming 2018 Tynedale Jobs Fair is taking place on Friday 7th September at Wentworth Leisure Centre. Perfect for anyone looking to find work or for a change of direction, it would be great to see you there. And if you're a business that is looking to hire, please contact

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Great opportunity for local sports clubs

Paddy Power/Betfair's grassroots sports funding program Cash-4-Clubs is now open for applications. The program gives sports clubs the chance to apply for grants to improve facilities, purchase new equipment or gain coaching qualifications to help invest in the long-term sustainability of their club.

This year is particularly special as it is Cash-4-Clubs' 10th anniversary, and to mark the occasion they are giving one lucky club £10,000 to do something extraordinary. This is a fantastic opportunity for our local sports clubs to really make a difference to their future. If you are part of a sports club then why not encourage them to apply here?-

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

More success for local pubs

We already know that Northumberland is home to so many excellent pubs and restaurants, as was proved last year with the success of The Rat Inn’s Kevin MacLean, who was named as Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year, and of Corbridge’s The Valley, named as a finalist of the 2018 Tiffin Cup. 

The success keeps on coming though, as The Boathouse in Wylam has been named as one of the top 10 pubs in the UK. Commended on the quality of its beers and events, including its Bank Holiday beer festivals, this is just the latest accolade for The Boathouse. The pub has previously been named as the CAMRA Pub of the year, one of 15 CAMRA awards they have won over the years. 

Congratulations to everyone at The Boathouse on a great achievement. The full list is available here-

Monday, 13 August 2018

Happy Birthday The Sill!

One of Northumberland’s best attractions is celebrating its first anniversary. Just over 12 months ago The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre opened for the first time, and since then more than 170,000 people have visited. 

Around this time last year I visited The Sill for the first time to have a first look around the fantastic new facility and meet staff and the people working hard to make the opening a success. Since then I have visited several times, most recently with the Environment Secretary Michael Gove. 

Designed to blend in with the landscape surrounding it, allowing visitors to engage with the beautiful landscape of our National Park, a highlight of The Sill is definitely its grassland roof, giving panoramic views in all directions from the viewing platform. Facilities also include interactive exhibits, learning rooms for educational groups, a youth hostel and a café with locally sourced food.

A brilliant facility that we should be very proud of, The Sill has had a great first year and I am sure will only get more successful. Happy Anniversary to everyone at The Sill!

Saturday, 11 August 2018

2018 Tynedale Jobs Fair- top employers confirmed to attend!

It’s not long now until my 2018 Tynedale Jobs Fair, and with four of the area’s biggest employers confirmed to attend, it’s the perfect event if you’re looking for work or for a change of direction.

Just some of the employers confirmed to attend and looking to recruit include:

  • Essity
  • Thompsons of Prudhoe
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Egger
  • Northumbrian Water
  • Newcastle United Foundation
  • Waitrose
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Fergusons of Blyth
  • Release Potential
  • Walwick Hall

Sponsored by Northumberland County Council and Thompsons of Prudhoe, the 2018 Tynedale Jobs Fair takes place on Friday 7th September, 10am-2.30pm at Wentworth Leisure Centre, Hexham. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Get ready for the Slaley Show!

A reminder that this Saturday- 11th August- the 2018 Slaley Show is taking place. The Show is always a real highlight of the summer period, and this year looks set to be no different, with a huge range of activities planned for all ages. Local food producers, crafts, vintage tractors, horses, sheep, dogs, terrier racing, flowers, vegetables and fairground games are just a few examples of the fun to be had. A great local show with so much history- the Slaley Show was first held in 1845-, Slaley’s the place to be this weekend!

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Big Lottery success for Hexham First School

Congratulations to everyone at Hexham First School- they have been awarded £10,000 by the Big Lottery Fund to build an Early Years outdoor area. The Big Lottery Fund ensures that the money raised by players of The National Lottery goes back to communities to help them thrive and achieve their ambitions. Well done to everyone at Hexham First School for helping to make this happen, especially to Jo Shepherd for leading the fund-raising and to Councillor Cath Homer. It sounds like the new outdoor area will be great!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Grateful for our brave police officers

I would like to offer my congratulations to Stocksfield’s PC Victoria Threadgold and PC Gary Sharpe, who have received the North-East regional award at the National Police Bravery Awards. They were recognised for their actions in an incident in February 2016 when they were called to a domestic violence incident and were threatened with an imitation firearm. Everyday members of the Police risk their lives to protect us, and it is wonderful to see PC Threadgold and PC Sharpe recognised for their bravery. 

Thursday, 2 August 2018

A busy month ahead!

It’s that time of year again- over the next few weeks some of Northumberland’s very best country and agricultural shows will be taking place. The following shows are happening over the next few weeks:

These shows are always a highlight of the summer and make for a great day out, so put the dates in your diary now!

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Prudhoe Community Allotment- open!

Prudhoe Community Allotment is having its Open Day this month (Wednesday 15thAugust). A brilliant facility at the centre of the community, the Allotment is used by people of all gardening abilities, with beds and plots available to rent. I always enjoy visiting- it’s such a friendly and peaceful place- so why not go along and see what’s going on for yourself!

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Preserving the past

War memorials are important and historic parts of so many local communities, especially as we mark the centenary of the end of the First World War this year. I was therefore so pleased to hear that Horsley’s war memorial has been restored, thanks to the efforts of members of the community. Funded by Horsley Parish Council and Northumbrian Water, with free sand and cement provided by Jewson Builders Merchants in Prudhoe, the area around the war memorial is no longer overgrown and the lettering has been restored to make it legible.

It is so important that we preserve the memory of those who sacrificed so much for us. Well done to everyone involved in the project- a real team effort and an example of what can be done when communities come together.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Welcoming Michael Gove to Northumberland

I was pleased to be able to welcome the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, to the Hexham constituency earlier this week, following the Cabinet's meeting in Gateshead. Mr Gove visited Northumberland National Park's The Sill and Housesteads to mark the beginning of National Parks Week, which takes place throughout this week. The Secretary of State also took part in a discussion with local upland farmers and forestry experts on the positive future for the Borderlands.

I was delighted to be able to show Mr Gove the wonderful National Park that we have on our doorstep. His visit was a valuable opportunity for our forestry experts to make the case to DEFRA for the need for more forestry and timber to support rural jobs and future prosperity, and to stress once again the importance of farming and agriculture in the Hexham constituency.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Boost for local flood defences

Flooding can be devastating for families, businesses and farmers, as the damaging floods of 2015 showed. I therefore welcome the Environment Minister Therese Coffey’s announcement last week that thousands of properties across England will be better protected against the threat of flooding thanks to a multi-million pound investment by the government. 13 flood schemes across the country will benefit from £40 million of additional funding, including the Corbridge Flood Alleviation Scheme, which will receive £140,000. This is one of five flood schemes in the north of England that will receive nearly half of the funding in a boost to the Northern Powerhouse. This is great news, helping to protect communities and help them to grow and prosper.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Voice and Vote: Women's Place in Parliament

2018 marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act 1918 extended the right to vote to all men over 21 and the first women, and the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 allowed women to become MPs. It is also 90 years since the Equal Franchise Act 1928 gave all men and women over 21 the right to vote. To mark this, the ‘Voice and Vote: Women’s Place in Parliament’ exhibition is currently open to the public free of charge in Westminster Hall. The exhibition tells the story of women in Parliament over the last 200 years and the many brave people who fought for democratic equality. It also encourages people of all ages to get involved with politics today and have their say. 

In this very important year, I would encourage you to go and see this excellent exhibition. If you’re visiting London over the next few months, it is definitely worth a visit!