Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Westminster Update

A late night yesterday seeing through the Academies Bill; taking part today in a debate on North East Health care

Monday, 26 July 2010

Update on Wark Bridge

Update from Cllr Heslop on the Wark Bridge campaign:

"The situation is that we have received the report from NCC as to the history concerning the bridge. I am now awaiting the report from the company who did the recent survey to find out exactly where we are and what is needed as well as the timescales involved.

When I have this I will discuss it with officers of NCC and some fellow councillors who are helping me as well as our MP. The plan is then for the Mid Tyne Community Forum to host an open meeting at Wark ( I guess towards the end of August). I am open to any suggestions but would envisage a group of 8 or 9 people with interest and relevent experience to be formed to take the cause on from there."

Any thoughts please drop me an email and I'll get them back to Cllr Heslop

Help the Heroes and the Youth Parliament

Spent yesterday playing cricket with the Army, and various cricket celebrities including the amazing Devon Malcolm, at a charity match in aid of Help the Heroes. An amazing day at Wormsley, organised by Tim Munton

Meant to record also the other big news of the week - when we voted that the Youth Parliament should resit in the House of Commons; despite some objections this vote was carried overwhelmingly. I look forward to welcoming Northumberland young politicians to Westminster soon. We have lots of young volunteers helping us on our various campaigns in Hexham.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Housing developments

A good piece on housing in the Journal


Westminster week

All week we have been debating the Academis Bill. I have spoken on several occasions - particularly on Monday and Thursday nights - see http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2010-07-22a.595.3&s=speaker%3A24962#g665.0

Meanwhile you have to marvel at the access we have to the most amazing people: only this week I have
- met for nearly 2 hours the Home Secretary, at the Home Office,
- shared a meeting with the Parliamentarians Against Poverty Group who had Bill Gates as their guest speaker
- dined with the Tote who are facing being sold
- and lobbied hard for both the A1 [see Scottish Questions] and our Magistrates Court, in meetings / conversations with the Justice Team

The most impressive by far was Gates - whose amazing capacity to spend money on our behalf in Africa has saved literally millions of lives

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Big Society

A great idea by David Cameron that is already in action in Northumberland
Went on Local radio and then wrote a piece for the Journal on the issue

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Meeting General Sir David Richards

An amazing 2 hour long session with Britains new general - held at the House of Commons.
He impressed me as a very practical 21st centruy general, but the enormity of the task in hand in Afghanistan and Pakistan in particular cannot be underestimated.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Tynedale Activities for Special Children

Tynedale Activities for Special Children (TASC) is a registered charity in my constituency. TASC provides weekend and holiday activities for children and young people in Tynedale who have physical and/or learning disabilities.

TASC provides huge benefits for the young people and their families but the Charity is facing real difficulties with its funding for their summer scheme. All charities are facing a tough time as the difficult economic conditions continue. The Charity is doing all it can by to try and plug the funding gap and they've just completed their latest bag pack.

If you can help TASC in anyway please either contact me or call them on 01434 600077 or email tascadmin@tiscali.com.uk

Monday, 12 July 2010

Update on Wark Bridge

You can click here to find out about the latest developments in the Save the Wark Bridge campaign after the County Council submitted its report to the West Area Committee last week.

You can also show your support for the campaign by joining the facebook group here

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Cutting the cost of politics...

The coalition has announced it is reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600, bringing our oversized House of Commons into line with legislatures across the world. This will save about £12m a year on pay, pensions and allowances alone.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Saturday 3rd July

Nice early start at 9am for our Supermarket Surgery. This time it was Waitrose in Ponteland with all four Ponteland Councillors; Mel, Peter, Veronica and Richard - all of them know their patch like the the back of their hand.

I like to try and do a mixture of Supermarket Surgeries, Office Surgeries, some down in the Community Centre and house visits as it means you get the best coverage of the constituency. Hexham is a very diverse constituency with many different people who all have different lives so this mix and match approach seems to work best.

Then it off for a cup of coffee and chat at the Merton Hall coffee morning. Connie and all the ladies were on top form as ever.

Ended the day by having the honour of opening the Wark Village Fete - luckily the sun was still shining!

Friday Catch Up

Another busy Friday in the constituency. Started the day with a visit to the Tyne Rivers Trust to find out about their work then off down to river to see it in action. They are a really dedicated bunch of people - who really know their rivers!

Then back to the Office for my MPs Advice Surgery - still very busy. Appointments are being booked faster than we can make them, but our next available slots are on Saturday 17th July. Give us a ring to make an appointment: 01434 603777

Then to round off the day a visit to Blachland to meet with Peter Samsom and Chris Woodley-Stewart, Director of the North Pennines AONB Partnership. We did a 3 mile walk from Blanchland; had a really good chat about the future of the AONB and got back to Blanchland at around 9pm. Just in time for a well deserved pint in the Lord Crewe.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Parliamentary work and budget debate

Spoke last week on the budget and have only just had a chance to download it
You can read the full speech here

Also now have a desk and office - hurrah!

Spoke also in the farming / defra debate asking questions of the minister on sheep ID scheme in particular and then in energy questions and the energy debate on matters in relation to egger