I am continuing in a long tradition of summer touring, which Lord Lampton in the 1960s and my immediate predecessor both actively participated in. Its a great way to get to all our 150 villages and hundreds of hamlets scattered acros North Northumberland.
My first week has taken me to Hauxley Nature Reserve to see how the new visitor centre build is getting on (no concrete, just rock, wood and straw); up the Coquet Valley and into Rothbury to host a broadband summit with BT and BDUK representatives there to listen to local community concerns about the slow pace of superfast broadband to our last 10% of homes.
I visited the northern reaches of the patch from the Chain Bridge - where I met my Scottish counterpart, SNP MP Calum Kerr on the famous bridge which crosses the Tweed into Scotland. We are both supporting the Chain Bridge Friends campaign to raise the £3million or so needed to restore the very first chain bridge ever built, back in 1820. We also had a quick stop at the marvellous Chain Bridge Honey Farm, makers of the most delicious Northumbrian honey.
Our tour covered Horncliffe, Norham, Cornhill, Etal & Ford one afternoon, and reached Bamburgh, Seahouses, Beadnell and Embleton another. It was great to meet up with many residents, some just for a chat, many with specific education & transport problems, housing, or broadband & benefit blockages for which they need my team's help.
I hope that the tour is helpful and I'm looking forward to the rest of the summer.
My favourite moment this week was a villagers' convention asking for my help to get the Queen to recognize a devoted charity fundraiser in their village. I will certainly do all I can for them- how lovely to know that a whole village longs to see their neighbour publicly acknowledged for his dedication.
My weekend was unexpected: we had a family outing to the Sir Tom Jones concert at Alnwick Castle, which turned into a total technical disaster. I am challenging the organisers to give compensation to show-goers who had saved up & travelled from afar, for a summer concert which turned sour. Please do email me if you were there.
If you want to know when we will be touring near you, or catch up on earlier Weeks In Westminster, you can find details at www.teamtrevelyan.co.uk (news section)