Saturday, 28 December 2013

2013 in Review - March April + May

In March I ruined a good shirt in a great cause at the Whistle Stop Art Project in Haltwhistle. Alison and her team do a great job for the local community. Also the Falkland Island Referendum came good - a great result that I debated in the House of Commons. The full debate from March 12 is here:
This period of time featured the Local Elections. I am pleased to say that we did really well in Ponteland and Tynedale, after a huge effort by so many supporters, friends and activists from 15 to 85. My thanks to everyone who stood, or supported us. Sadly it was not enough to take the Council - which is now controlled by the Labour Party with support from independents.
Over the spring we did a lot of fundraising for the National Brain Appeal, the charity that supports the NHS hospital I was in when I was cured. The surgeon who saved my life, Neil Kitchen, came in to the house and I handed over the cheque, that arises out of royalties from the book, Doing Time, and a charity quiz I held. I appeared at the Hexham Literary Festival, which was great fun but very nervous making! I held many meetings but probably the most important one was with the If campaigners: you can read my specific blog on this issue here:
Finally my favourite visit of the year was by the three young women from Hexham Middle School, and their maths teacher. They came to meet Liz Truss, the education minister, after they transformed maths teaching by their input.