Saturday, 24 February 2018

I pledge my support to #ShockinglyLegal electric dog collars

This week I attended a Dogs Trust event at the House of Commons to pledge my support for a ban on the use and sale of electric shock collars. Electric shock collars are training devices that deliver an electric shock to the dog via metal protrusions from the collar making contact with the neck, with the aim of reducing unwanted behaviours such as livestock chasing or crossing property boundaries. The collars can be activated by remote control or automatically. Despite being cruel and causing distress and anxiety to dogs, the collars are #ShockinglyLegal and England is lagging behind both Scotland and Wales, which have both banned their use. There is simply no need for this type of dog collar when there are so many positive training methods available, and so I am delighted to pledge my support to Dogs Trust in calling for a ban on the use and sale of these out-dated and cruel electronic dog collars. This is a hugely important issue for dog welfare and I hope my support will help make a difference.

Friday, 23 February 2018

My formal response to Northumberland County Council's consultation on education in West Northumberland

IMPORTANT: Education in West Northumberland Consultation- I cannot support any of the proposals outlined in the County Council's consultation. This is important for my community, please read my formal response here:

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Hidden Treasure in Horsley

I recently visited Graham Smith Antiques in Horsley, a family-owned antiques business specialising in furniture which was a one of the winners of my Small Business Awards in December to celebrate Small Business Saturday. I really enjoyed meeting owner Graham Smith, who personally sources and chooses all of the antiques on sale. With furniture, clocks, ceramics and more, there is an incredible selection of antiques for sale, both in the shop and online. I was especially interested to hear about the wide range of places Graham has sold antiques to online- from Tasmania to Alaska. 

The Horsley shop is a treasure trove of antiques- there is something for every taste. It is so important to me to support local businesses and I would definitely recommend taking a look at the antiques currently for sale here-

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Not long left to spend your £10s

Empty your purses and piggy banks and look under the sofa, because there is not long left to spend your £10 notes. On Thursday 1st March the Bank of England will withdraw the legal tender status of £10 notes, which will be replaced by a new polymer note including new anti-fraud features. The notes can still be used as normal until 1st March and you can exchange them at the Bank of England. According to the Bank of England, there are still at least £2.1bn worth of old £10 notes needing to be spent or exchanged, so make sure your notes don't go to waste!

Monday, 19 February 2018

Keep Britain Tidy!

Litter is a problem in many of our communities, and has been of particular concern for residents in Prudhoe. I am therefore pleased to learn that residents on Neale Street in Prudhoe have finally had some wasteland cut back on land backing onto their homes that had become overgrown and was attracting rats. Northumberland Estates, who own the land, have been out to clear the area in the last week, so there is finally some good news for the street’s residents.

We all have a part to play in making sure that our local areas are kept clean and tidy. The Great British Spring Clean, Keep Britain Tidy’s annual national clean-up, takes place on 2nd-4th March, and individuals, families, schools, businesses and groups can get involved to clean up our local streets, parks and beaches. Last year the campaign saw more than 300,000 volunteers collect 70,000 wheelie bins of rubbish over one weekend, and this year they want more people than ever to get involved. Littering has a devastating impact on our countryside and wildlife. I will be out and about next weekend helping to clean up our streets- it would be great if you joined me!

To register your participation visit- 

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Funding boost for the Battlesteads

The award-winning Battlesteads Hotel in Wark has been granted £1.25m in funding from HSBC to expand and create jobs. The hotel, which is considered to be one of the finest hotels in Northumberland and was named Hotel of the Year at the 2017 North East England Tourism Awards, will use the funding to acquire two residential properties and add to its management team. Battlesteads is a hotel, restaurant and pub, championing Northumberland with much of its menu serving local produce, and it is the only hotel in the UK with its own observatory. Battlesteads is also an eco-hotel, and thanks to the new funding, its two new properties near to the hotel mean that staff can live nearby and not have to drive to work, lowering its carbon footprint. This funding is great news, ensuring that Battlesteads only continues to get better!