This month Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans tours his constituency, attends his brother’s memorial service and sees the launch of a new London restaurant with local links
I completed the 27th surgery tour of the Ribble Valley last month. It takes a week but the sun shone and lots of people came to talk about their issues and problems. The number one issue without doubt this year was speeding traffic. It is quite frightening the speeds that some motorists feel safe to do. The fear that this strikes in local residents is awful. People think it has no cost because they know how to drive, but believe me this is not the case – speed kills but it also mortifies, so please slow down!
I also got to meet up with old friends like Janet Simpson from the amazing Gibbon Bridge, see the great setting of Puddleducks in Dunsop Bridge and experience the best scones in the world at Bolton-by-Bowland tea rooms. We are so blessed to have so many superb places around us. It’s no wonder we get huge numbers of tourists flocking into our area.
I met up with two constituents campaigning to have greater participation in organ donation. It is really important that we appreciate that our organs can give new lease of life to the living. Please have that conversation with your family and let them know you wish to donate.
Thank you readers of Live Ribble Valley for your messages of support after my brother’s death. A stressful and fraught time was made easier by your expressions of sympathy. We held a memorial for him at the Commons, which was well attended, and the music genius Paul Gambaccini spoke about the inspiration of the 1950s and why Barrie would have been so attracted to the music industry in that era. A joyous occasion made even more special by a prayer from the Speaker’s chaplain, Rose Hudson Wilkins.
I celebrated National Day with Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Justine, his wife along with Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP. It was an amazing day and thank you people of Gibraltar for your wonderful welcome.
Finally I attended the opening night of Maison Bab in Covent Garden, London. The inspiration behind this tremendous venture is Lancashire lad Stephen Gamst Tozer. Stephen came to work in my office from Clitheroe Royal Grammar School. He is a foodie obsessive – isn’t it wonderful to see local talent excel in a hugely competitive market with a unique offering! We had a great night and met up with his parents and family.
I haven’t been to Australia for over 15 years, but I decided this was the year to renew links. Despite it being their spring, the sun mostly shone and I met some great people. There are over a million Brits living there including my cousin and his family. I talk a lot about trade deals with the Australians, who are really keen to cement closer relations. It’s great to see such enthusiasm and that our Commonwealth cousin wants to reignite the old flame which, let’s be fair, was never extinguished!