Thursday, 11 August 2022

The Coach & Horses in Hexham has reopened after investment

I am delighted that the Coach & Horses has reopened. 

It was awarded £240,000 as part of the Hexham High Streets Heritage Zone scheme - a Government Funded scheme designed to secure lasting improvements and rejuvenate historic high streets.

I look forward to continue working with Northumberland County Council and Historic England to deliver on the funding secured for Hexham Town Centre.



Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Cracking down on litter

The Government has announced new measures to assist councils tackle fast food litter at its source.

Litter is a blight to our streets and a source of frustration to local residents. 

Updated guidance will clarify the powers councils in England have to set stricter litter rules for new hot food takeaways when considering planning applications, including making sure that more bins are installed to reduce rubbish in the surrounding area.

The move will help create cleaner town centres across Tynedale and Ponteland, with figures showing that fast food items are the fourth most common type of litter found on UK high streets.

The guidance will give councils clear and consistent advice on what rules they can enforce when new takeaways open, such as ensuring they install more bins and anti-litter signs around shops or have staff members pick up litter regularly. Failing to adhere to these rules could result in financial penalties.

This is part of wider measures set out in the Build Back Better High Streets Strategy to improve the public realm and create safer and cleaner spaces.



Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Investment in the Great Northumberland Forest

I am delighted that the Government have announced further investment into the Great Northumberland Forest. 

The project, announced in 2019 as part of plans to slash carbon emissions, will see trees of various types planted in locations up and down the county.

The government has announced millions more trees will be planted across England following investment to expand woodlands.

England’s 13 Community Forests, as well as partners including the Northern Forest and Great Northumberland Forest, are all set to receive funding.

As part of the government’s £750 million Nature for Climate Fund, these projects will expand woodlands near cities, towns, villages and rivers.

Collectively around 2,300 hectares of trees – equivalent to around 3,220 football pitches – will be planted as part of this year’s £44.2 million funding allocation, playing an important role in Government ambitions to treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament and reach net zero.

It is estimated the planting announced will see 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide absorbed by 2050, valued at nearly £100 million.

More trees will help to reduce flood risk in vulnerable areas and the funding will also create more green jobs within the forestry and environmental sectors.

I am proud that Northumberland is leading the way. The Great Northumberland Forest will tackle climate change, create more jobs and support our local timber industry.




Friday, 5 August 2022

Freedom of Northumberland for Lucy Bronze!

I am delighted and fully support Northumberland Cllr Guy Renner-Thompson proposing Lucy Bronze to be granted the Freedom of Northumberland.

Cllr Guy Renner-Thompson said:

‘‘Following the magnificent victory of the Lionesses in Euro 2022 we would like to propose the Freedom of Northumberland is bestowed on Lucy Bronze.

The former Duchess High School Student was born in 1991 in Berwick-upon-Tweed and went on to live on Holy Island, in Belford and in Alnwick.”




Wednesday, 3 August 2022

The Tynedale Jobs Fair is back!

The annual Tynedale Job's Fair is returning on 20th October 2022!

Every year, I host the Tynedale Jobs Fair. The Tynedale Jobs Fair brings together many of Northumberland’s biggest employers with local residents who are searching for their next job.  The jobs fair is a great opportunity for those who are currently out of work or for someone looking for a change of career. 

The 2021 Jobs Fair was our biggest yet, with over 75 employers in attendance, Attendees included Prudhoe-based manufacturer Essity, Northern Rail, British Volt, Aldi, McDonalds and many more. 

The Jobs Fair is organised in collaboration with the Hexham Jobcentre Plus, ensuring job coaches are there to assist those on Universal Credit. 

The 2022 Jobs Fair is once again being held on Thursday 20th October 2022 at the Wentworth in Hexham. If you are an employer, and would like to showcase your business, please sign up using the form HERE




£400 Energy Bill Discount for homes off the grid and park homes

I am delighted the Government has listened to the concerns of residents living in park homes and those living off the electricity grid. 

Homes not connected to the energy grid were ineligible to receive the Energy Bills Discount as they do not have a domestic electricity meter and a direct relationship with an electricity supplier.

However, the government has now confirmed that further funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for those who will not be reached through the discount.

I look forward to seeing more details on how and when these payments will be made in the autumn.

Monday, 1 August 2022

Welcoming Christopher Coleman Opperman

Welcoming Christopher Coleman Opperman, who has been called Kitto for many months, to this wonderful world. 

Know that you will always be loved little man. 

Massive thanks to St Thomas Hospital, after a long journey to this place, and a long week in hospital. Huge thanks to all the team from IVF to delivery. Mum and babe doing fine.

Kitto will always be our third child. 

Sadly our twin boys did not make it, being born too soon for this world. They are loved, and never forgotten but, for now, we celebrate a long journey to parenting 👍