As we wind down for the summer, I just wanted to give you another update on what I have been up in the constituency
They say a dog is a man’s best friend. Animals and pets definitely mean a huge amount to me and to British people. We have had a number of political issues that over the last few weeks my office has been dealing with including the fox hunting bill and petitions around Cecil the Lion. Animal cruelty and maltreatment is atrocious and should never be tolerated. Many animals in the UK are neglected and abused. Charities like Dogs Trust are vital in ensuring that some of those these animals are protected. Often an animal is at risk when they are in the hands of the wrong owner or when an owner realises they can no longer look after them. Last week I went to visit Dogs Trust to see their vital work in action. I met some of the dogs in their care, I also heard from staff at the centre on front-line issues including the importance of micro-chipping and neutering dogs, as well as the education work carried out by the charity in communities across the region. It was a very informative and rewarding visit.
Heighington Primary school
I am always impressed when I meet people like Mr Parker at Heinghington C of E school. This primary school is part of a multi academy BrandH Academy comprising of two schools, Heighington CE Primary School and Bishopton Redmarshall CE Primary School. In addition, they have a partnership arrangement with George Dent Nursery School. It was my pleasure to visit the school and hear of its success. The school has won various awards and has been highlighted to have an excellent ethos. You could sense this on my visit. What was also clear was their ambition to grow. It is excellent to see leaders with such vision and aspiration.
Local businesses are vital to a thriving economy. I am passionate about business and seeing them get on and succeed. This week I went with Natwest Bank to visit one of the local businesses in my constituency, Aylciffe Fabrications. This fantastic business were responsible for building the iconic steel head that is becoming a regional landmark for Newton Aycliffe. I was really impressed to meet Christine Bewley, the business owner. Christine is an impressive business woman who had worked her way up from the back office to running the whole organisation. They are now competing with companies all across the country for bespoke steel fabrication items and are seeing new growth.
Aycliffe Town Centre Forum
As the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield, Newton Aycliffe Town Centre has always been a priority for me. I’ve worked closely with Freshwater towards it’s regeneration. The Town Centre has undergone significant improvements and looks completely different now to what it did 8 years ago. The unsightly concrete ramp and oppressive shop canopies have been removed and new paving, seating and a spiral staircase have been installed.
My next priority is to support existing retailers and look at how we work with Freshwater to bring in new retailers into the Town Centre. Last week I had my first retailers forum. The idea of the meetings are to bring retailers together to support each other but also look to how I can support them and the Town Centre better over the coming years. Some great ideas as well as concerns were shared. I am now on with taking action on some of these ideas and concerns.