This month Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans celebrates a deal with the Government of Taiwan to import British pork and he visits the hugely successful Royal Lancashire Show
I welcomed the Speaker of the Taiwan Parliament to the UK House of Commons. Relations are great between our two countries and this has just been boosted by the Government of Taiwan opening its door to imports of British pork with an estimated value of £50 million. Great news for our farmers!
I visited the Recycling Lives plant near Preston. This is an amazing project, which helps many who have landed themselves in prison, to rebuild their lives by recycling other people’s waste. Have you ever wondered where your old TVs and cars go? There is almost no part of your waste that this amazing enterprise cannot turn into something of value. The most important item which regains value are the people who leave prison and use the skills and opportunities that this firm gives them, to turn themselves around. Brilliant!
Also last month, I visited the Royal Lancashire Show – the crowds turned out in their thousands after the rain the day before. This great historic show faltered years ago but thanks to the dedication of a small number of people, it is steadily putting its imprint on our rural landscape once more. This is another boost after Clitheroe Food Festival. These all act as great draws to our tourism and jobs.
I made a guest appearance on the last edition of the BBC’s Daily Politics show. This is another institution which has served public well informing them about UK political life. It now needs a complete overhaul – the last show was very nostalgic for me though and it was an honour to be asked. Maybe I should get Recycling Lives from Preston to give them the once over!
Arnhem was my next stop with a number of MPs led by Colonel Bob Stewart. More than 1,500 British and Polish troops lost their lives during this failed mission and 6,500 were taken prisoner. But despite this, Arnhem is still remembered today as a great feat of arms and was immortalised in the 1977 movie A Bridge Too Far, which we watched on the journey to commemorate their sacrifice during WW2.
I took part in the Long Live the Local campaign at Westminster to trumpet the importance of the British pub. Not only do they employ a huge number of people, they act as a community focal point serving great British ales and spirits.
Last night the traffic in my village of Pendleton, which has its own local pub, was definitely slowed down in most unusual circumstances. The Royal Preston Morris Dancers gave an impromptu performance. This is a great group, who are keeping the traditional dances alive, which otherwise would be another lost treasure.
So whether it’s agricultural shows, the pub, food festivals, farming or simply our rural way of life, it is worth us thanking all those involved in securing unique traditional practices for future generations. As Recycling Lives have proven to me on my visits, everything has worth and value but it just takes a bit more effort to witness it in some cases. Let’s all make the effort to support those things that have value to us, and perhaps look a bit harder at those things we have discarded and think worthless.