Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 in review; June, July and August

This is the third part of my review of 2012, this time we look back at those jubilympic summer months...

June saw another step forward in my campaign for local banking, when I met FSA chief Hector Sants. The June Bank holiday saw a fantastic County Show in Corbridge where I took the role of judge in three sections. June was also the month of the wonderful Prudhoe Street Party - it was great fun and Rev Charles Hope and his team did amazing work to pull it off. I was also named the first MP of the week by Petrol Promise for my campaign against fuel duty and the big oil companies. We got the fantastic news of the go ahead for the new Haltwhistle Hospital and saw the Olympic Torch travel through Northumberland. I also became the first Conservative MP to come out against Regional Pay. June also saw us take forward in our campaign for Air Ambulances to recover the VAT when I secured a debate on the issue. June came to a wet end with the #ToonFlood. I got stuck in Newcastle and literally had to start the long walk out of town as the place was gridlocked.

July saw the news that our campaign to keep Kielder Forest and the rest of the UK's woodlands in public hands was a success. It was also the month that saw my local constituent Doreen Soulsby have success in changing the law on sex crimes after we visited the Director of Public Prosecutions. We had another wonderful armed forces day in Hexham. The doyen of North East Journalism Adrian Pearson wrote that my approach just might help the Conservatives make progress in the region. July also saw Milk Prices on the agenda, as I launched my campaign for a Fair Deal for Tynedale's farmers and called for a boycott of Supermarkets ripping off dairy farmers. We pulled off a sensational victory in West Hexham winning the seat from the Lib Dems and setting up Colin Cessford to hopefully win the County seat this coming May. July finished with the Queen jumping out of a helicopter for the best Olympics ceremony ever seen.

My main memory of August is being very wet and very tired. I spent the first two weeks of August covering the ground between Sheffield and the North East on my charity Walk of the Pennine Way. 275 miles later, after stop offs in Slaggyford, Haltwhistle, Halton Lea Gate, Wark, Haydon Bridge, and Byrness I finished the walk on the 24th August. I was Knackered but we were able to raise thousands of pounds for the Great North Air Ambulance. I finished August toasting the success of my apprentice, Jade, after she became one of the first ever to complete an apprenticeship with an MP, and gave her a job in my office. We also packed in a dinner at the Valley with Northern Rail and a meeting with the TVRUG concerning rail transport in Northumberland with Robert Forsyth and other local enbthusiasts. The Valley were on great form throughout the year and came to London to come fourth in the annual Tiffin Cup - a contest for all the curry / asian restaurants in the UK. Its a unique restaurant on so many levels.