Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans visits his constituency to discuss the provision of health services, he visits Taiwan and attends a birthday party at Grosvenor House where he sees Lionel Richie perform
I had a meeting with Ribble Valley leader Cllr Stephen Atkinson and Chief Executive, Marshal Scott. We spoke of many issues including the provision of health services in the Ribble Valley. We discussed all areas including Clitheroe, Longridge and Whalley but the major concern was Slaidburn.
The much-loved health centre was under some doubt as new providers were being sought. This was clearly a tense time and I met many local users of the service on my summer tour of the Ribble Valley. The Hark to Bounty became home for scores of locals, who spoke endearingly of the centre.
I was able to discuss the service with Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health in the garden of Downing Street, and I even managed to raise it with the PM, Boris Johnson. The good news is a new contract has been signed for two years and in the meantime, we must secure its future for generations to come.
I travelled to Wilmslow for Radio 4’s Any Questions and I took to the airwaves again from Broadcasting House with the Today programme. Justin Webb was the presenter, and while he is challenging on the question of Brexit, he was rather a nice chap and we had a cup of tea discussing the turmoil that is British politics more informally, after the show.
Next up was the NFU exhibition at the Commons to give my support to a most important part of the Ribble Valley. With all the talk of food shortages after Brexit, I really do think we underestimate our own local produce and quite frankly I’m amazed we import so much food when we have such great homegrown produce. I know our farmers will step up to the plate to fill our plates!
I attended the birthday party of Lady Susi Ashcroft at Grosvenor House. It was good to chat with former PM Theresa May, and it was also wonderful to see Lionel Richie perform – we danced ‘All Night Long’! What an epic entertainer.
This month I also visited Taiwan to meet President Tsai, who is a former student of the LSE and her ties to the UK are solid. We discussed all sorts of trade opportunities, post Brexit, and the great news is that our exports were up 40 per cent last year alone.
I finally met the chief of the Hong Kong and Taiwan British Council, which specialises in the promotion of UK education as an export to the region. I told him of the importance of Stonyhurst and Moorland schools, which take many foreign students and that Stonyhurst is about to have an alumni reception next month in Hong Kong. We forget sometimes that we really are a great nation for education and examination excellence.
Let’s hope that with the changes in the visa system for foreign graduates, we are able to attract even more youngsters to the region who will take back their experience to all four corners of the world. They will be our new ambassadors selling our area to their compatriots in their own countries.