In March we got the report back on the Boundary Commissions consultation to remove Haltwhislte, South Tynedale and Ponteland East from the Hexham Constituency. I was overwhelmed by the backing our campaign got to retain them. For the entire North East [29 seats] there were 1950 representations, of those 950 related to the Hexham constituency alone. Later that month I put the cat amongst the proverbial pigeons by backing a Mansion Tax, asking "Since when did helping those on the lowest incomes be something only the Lib Dems and Labour talked about? What has happened to our party?" In March I also hosted a two hour meeting to support the Hexham River Hydro project. I also launched the campaign for an elected Mayor of Newcastle. Safe to say one was more successful than the other.
April was another busy (and diverse) month, spending time visiting Community Projects in East Hexham to opening a petrol station in Kielder! I made a speech in the House of Commons in favour of Assisted Suicide. Locally we held the Gilesgate seat in Hexham where the Lib Dems went from 2nd to 4th. April also brought sadness with the passing of Lord Ridley; he was truly good man and a great voice for Northumberland.
May saw some tough local election results for the Conservative Party in Newcastle but Boris Johnson's fantastic re-election victory rightly dominated the news. In May I also met with our ambassadors Jane Owen [Norway] and Paul Johnston [Sweden] to see how we can boost trade with our region, it's a theme I will be returning to this year. May also saw success for Cllr Jean Fearon and our campaign to keep Palliative care in Corbridge. The icing on the cake in May was the news that all our lobbying had paid off and Prudhoe High would be getting the rebuild we had been fighting for. It is fair to say Micheal Gove will rest easy if I never badger him about it again