Today I held an AskCharlie public meeting in Shepherdswell.
It was good to hear about the things that concern people. In particular the local gas drilling proposals. I oppose this as I worry about the drinking water aquifer that lies below us. We need to ensure our water supply is safe and secure.
It was great to join Kerry Rubins and her fundraisers today to celebrate their fundraising total of £73,000!!
Kerry is an inspiration – well done to all involved, and thank you to everyone who has donated or given their time for this excellent cause.
I have always supported the wonderful Guide Dogs for the Blind, and have done lots with them locally. Today though was a very new experience for me – and one that really brought home to me just how special this charity is.
This morning I met representatives from the charity – along with two lovely Guide Dogs. The aim was for me to experience what life is like for a blind or partially sighted person. Firstly I was blindfolded, then given a white stick. I walked from Queen Street in Deal to the High Street, and it was incredibly difficult and disorienting. Luckily I had someone there to help guide me, but the visually impaired wouldn't necessarily have this. As a politician it made me appreciate how we can continue to help make things easier.
I was then given Aero the Guide Dog to walk with. The difference it made having Aero was quite extraordinary – he led me along and I felt quite safe with him there. Even the torrential rain didn't put him off!
It was a really worthwhile morning and I would like to thank Guide Dogs for the Blind for giving me the chance to do this.
Today I judged the Parliamentary Dog of the Year competition. Star won last year so it was my role to judge this year. Star and I are pictured left.
The winner this year was Alan Duncan MP's lovely "cockapoo", Noodle!
It was a great day and a chance to remind people of the excellent work of the Dog's Trust.
The possibility that much loved Deal Hospital might close has spurred the community into action. I held a packed public meeting with health chiefs earlier this year and distributed a survey amongst all residents - the responses made clear that closure is not an option.
Health chiefs have listened to this and I have been making the case to them in private meetings. Today whilst I was in Deal I gave my further support to safeguard our hospital.
Together we will protect it for the future.
I have supported local Deal group Talk It Out since it was founded in 2011. It is a fantastic support or those suffering from depression or mental illness-illnesses that don't always get the support they need.
I was delighted then to go along and join the group to celebrate their second birthday today-well done everyone involved!
There has been much concern through Shepherdswell and the surrounding areas at the application for test drilling to take place locally, with a view to Fracking.
Tonight there was a packed public meeting at Shepherdswell village hall, where residents could discuss their concerns and opposition.
I was there to listen to the arguments and have the case made to me that fracking here would not be safe. I am pictured left with Richard Knox-Johnstone of CPRE.
The safety of the water table is of prime concern to me, and it is clear that in East Kent any drilling for shale gas would risk spoiling the aquifer. This is too great a risk. I made clear that I opposed this application, and I'll fight against this with the villagers.
Here you can read about local news matters and what I've been up to. You can make comments too. I'd welcome your feedback, so please do feel free to comment!
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