• Busy

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    02 January 2015

    As Christmas approached I kept up the pace making a number of visits across my vast constituency. It takes over an hour to drive across it. This year I once again held a competition amongst my 43 primary schools to see which primary pupil could produce the best Christmas drawing for the front of my Christmas Card. My congratulations go to Matilda Clothier aged 9 of Bickleigh on Exe C of E Primary for her magnificent representation of the Houses of Parliament. I was delighted to present a framed card along with a painting set to Matilda at her school and to wish her teachers and fellow pupils a very Happy Christmas. I also visited the runners up in this competition, Jessica Elgie (aged 10) from Landscore Primary in Crediton and Bethan Thomas (aged 6) from Tedburn St Mary Primary. My thanks to both these schools for making me feel so welcome. And also my thanks to competition sponsor Rex Rozario, Managing Director ofnGraphic Plc - Crediton – a highly successful high-tech international business. I also held surgeries in Bovey Tracey and Lustleigh. Since my election I have held around 250 MP surgeries (averaging one a week). I also held an important meeting with campaigners against the Denbrook windfarm. My firm view is that these 9 proposed onshore wind turbines will significantly detract from some of the most beautiful views from in and around Dartmoor. I have agreed to take up various issues with government both locally and nationally. Later I held a Q and A for the Crediton Chamber of Commerce. Issues raised included business rates, the funding of public services (especially mental health) and planning. I am very grateful to Demetri Coryton for organising such a well attended and well informed event. I also spent a very interesting evening at the Okehampton Conservative Club for the Okey Branch’s Christmas Party – my thanks to Mike Davies and his branch committee for organising this. I was pleased to be invited to address local members and to take part in an extensive and wide-ranging Q and A session. Further details on the club can be found at Finally, I had the enormous pleasure of meeting up with Ruth Preater-Gillard at the new Newcome’s Play Area in Crediton. I first met Ruth back in March to discuss her and her campaign group’s plans to upgrade the facilities for local children. The fact that she and her fellow campaigners have successfully overseen the fundraising and specification of what is now a wonderful new facility for local children is a great testament to their immense hard work. Whilst at the event I took the opportunity to chat with a number of the many parents who turned out to see the site officially opened. Opened by who? Me? No, certainly not. That honour, quite rightly went to Father Christmas, who despite his very busy schedule at this time of year did so in great style.