Friday, 18 January 2019

Big Energy Saving Week

Next week is Big Energy Saving Week (21-27 January), an annual campaign run by Citizens Advice in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Citizens Advice Northumberland will be holding three  drop-in events in the Hexham constituency as part of the week, aiming to encourage local residents to find out more about how they can save money on their energy bills.

Hexham Library- Tuesday 22nd January, 10am-2.30pm
Haltwhistle Library- Thursday 24th January, 10am-2.30pm
Hexham JobCentre Plus- Thursday 31st January, from 1pm

Ahead of Big Energy Saving Week, I have launched my 2019 Energy Guide, which is full of information about how you can keep warm this winter whilst reducing your energy bills. It's packed full of changes you can make, from small things like installing energy efficient light bulbs or a boiler jacket, to bigger changes like cavity wall insulation.

You can read the full guide below:


Thursday, 17 January 2019

Best in Britain

I may be biased but I believe that Northumberland is home to the country's best pubs. I'm so pleased that one of them, The Rose and Crown in Slaley, has been named as one of the 50 best pubs in the country by The Guardian. Highlighted as one of the ten best community-run pubs in the UK, The Rose and Crown has been under community ownership since 2013. Situated in a fascinating historic building, it's a great place to go for local and rural food and drink, and I will definitely be paying another visit before too long!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

More success for The Sill

Since its opening in 2017, The Sill has become one of Northumberland's top tourist attractions, and I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting the National Landscape Discovery Centre there on several occasions. I was therefore delighted to hear the news that The Sill has been named as one of four winners of the 2019 Selwyn Goldsmith Awards for universal design, in recognition of its accessible design that allows everyone to enjoy this wonderful facility. The award will be presented at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester in March. It is great to see The Sill recognised for being accessible for all and I hope that the fantastic building will continue to be enjoyed by everyone for many years to come!

Monday, 14 January 2019

Cross-border cooperation

Working together is vital in an emergency. That's why I am delighted that Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service have signed an agreement with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to ensure that there will be cross-border assistance and aid in all types of emergency. Whether it is a water related incident, a road traffic collision or adverse weather conditions, it is brilliant to see our Fire and Rescue Services working together to deliver the best possible response in cases of emergency.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

A weekend at the market

A reminder that the first Hexham Farmers' Market of 2019 is taking place today. Held in the town's historic Market Place, there will be a fantastic range of locally produced products on sale, giving you the opportunity to buy some great quality products whilst supporting the local farmers and producers behind them.

If you can't make that then why not go along to the Greenhead Farmers' Market on Sunday? From 10am-2pm you can buy top quality local food and crafts at Greenhead Village Hall- it's definitely worth a visit!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Daft as a Brush

The Daft as a Brush Charity provides free transport to and from the Freeman and RVI Hospitals to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment. The charity provides a vital service for many in the Hexham constituency, with transport often difficult to come by for those in the most remote parts of the area.

I was therefore really interested to read about the charity's founder, Brian Burnie, who is currently undertaking a 7000 mile challenge to raise awareness of the need for free transport for cancer patients, with the aim of encouraging the rest of the country to follow Daft as a Brush's lead. This is an incredibly challenging and admirable task and I wish Brian the best of luck as he continues his challenge. I would encourage you to find out more about Daft as a Brush and what you can do to help by visiting here-

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Love Parks

Last year Northumberland County Council was named as winners of Keep Britain Tidy's Love Parks initiative, and this year they are nominated once again thanks to their online campaign on the theme of 'It started in a park'. The campaign that ran during Love Parks Week features the Duchess of Northumberland, Carol Malia and many other local people as they share their personal memories and stories of Northumberland's parks. Love Parks aims to protect and celebrate our local parks, whilst encouraging local residents and visitors to make the most of their local green spaces. The winner will be announced in February- I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for NCC, as well as the Morpeth Litter Blitz group and Dai Richards who are nominated in the Litter Heroes category.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Wylam's warming up for the Winter Tales

It's one of the highlights of the year in Wylam- in just a few weeks time Wylam Winter Tales will be back with a packed programme of events to suit every interest and taste. From 24th January- 1st February, events including music, film, comedy, storytelling, food and drink and much more will be taking place around the village- please make sure to book your tickets in advance though.

It promises to be a week to remember in Wylam- there really is something for everyone. To find out more about what's on at Wylam Winter Tales and how you can get your tickets visit here-

Monday, 7 January 2019

Northumberland Community Bank- here to help

In November 2015 the Northumberland Community Bank was launched to provide low cost credit to those who need it the most, providing a better alternative to payday lenders like Wonga. The Bank held a showcase at Northumberland County Hall recently to demonstrate what it has to offer, and Northumberland employers are signing up to the payroll deduction scheme to benefit their employees. It is similar to other high street banks- it is fully accredited and you can apply for loans and manage your account online.

The Northumberland Community Bank is there to help everyone; to become a member or to find out more visit here:

Sunday, 6 January 2019

A true Community Champion

It was a pleasure to meet Denis Peel from Wylam to present him with a Community Champion Award. I started the awards, sponsored by Red Hot Property, in 2017 to celebrate the people who work tirelessly to make a difference to our local communities. Denis is a stalwart of Wylam- he picks up litter, is a trustee of the Wylam Institute and is always willing to help friends and neighbours in need. Denis was nominated by neighbours in the village who are grateful for all he does. My thanks also go to Denis- villages need people like him.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Celebrating Village Halls Week

Village Halls Week is just around the corner, and our wonderful local Village Halls have some great events planned to celebrate. Village Halls Week was held for the first time last year, organised by ACRE and the ACRE Network to celebrate village halls and other community buildings at the heart of our rural communities. There are around 10,000 village halls across the country, run by volunteers, groups and organisations, and the week aims to celebrate them. You can find more information about two events taking place in Village Halls Week below, including a celebration of Northumberland's Village Halls taking place in Stannington. Village Halls are such an important part of our local communities- it would be great if you could go along to an event and show your support.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Looking ahead to 2019

I would like to wish you all a very happy new year. There is so much to look forward to in the Hexham constituency in 2019- here are just a few dates for your diary:

Sunday 26th May- Northumberland Day,

Monday 27th May- Northumberland County Show,  

Thursday 13th- Saturday 15th June- Tynedale Beer Festival, visit to buy your tickets now

Thursday 11th- Sunday 14th July- Scoop Music Festival in Stocksfield,, buy your tickets here.

It looks set to be a great year!