Tessa started her season of local Harvest Home celebrations when she attended Worth Harvest Home this weekend.
Tessa visited the Rifles, Somerset’s county Regiment, at their HQ in Taunton for a presentation following their return from a tour in Afghanistan.
The speakers gave a fascinating insight to the Regiment’s varied work in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand Province. The troops, whose motto is ‘Swift and Bold’, worked closely with the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police in disrupting insurgent activity, assisted with the final stages of training for local forces and helped local politicians and elders get together for a local ‘shura’ or meeting. Building a sense of community is invaluable for the future, when British and coalition troops are withdrawn and the Afghanis have to pull together without outside help.
Never a village to be left out, Godney put on its own Olympic celebration last weekend and Tessa was asked if she’d join in.
There was no need for a celebration of Glastonbury Tor at Godney’s opening ceremony – not with the real thing in the near distance! And despite the lack of input from Danny Boyle and Seb Coe, there were no empty seats or corporate sponsors to worry about.
The kids’ Olympic events were of the more traditional sort: ‘welly wanging’, sack races, 3 legged racing and egg and spoon races – with what could be called a ‘wide’ age range. Read the rest of this entry »
Tessa Munt MP had an interesting and informative day out with the RSPCA when she joined Chief Inspector John Pollock “on call”, discovering what Inspectors face when they go about their essential work in the locality, protecting animals who cannot help themselves.
The RSPCA centre at West Hatch, near Taunton, is the base for a team of Inspectors who respond to calls from across the County about suspected animal cruelty, lost pets and injured animals. Tessa spoke with the team, toured the whole site and then headed off with the Chief Inspector on some calls.
Tessa said: “Animal welfare has always been one of my passions and I was keen to see how the RSPCA responds to calls here in Somerset. I have been alerted to cases of potential mistreatment by concerned local people, and it was fascinating to learn what the RSPCA does in these instances.”
Local MP Tessa attended the ‘League of Friends of Shepton Mallet Hospital’ Fete at the Park Surgery last Saturday to meet with local people and show her support for saving hospital beds and other much needed facilities.
The Fete raised much needed money for the campaign to save Shepton Mallet Community Hospital which Tessa has been a big supporter of.
The hospital, which is under threat of closure, includes important services such as in-patient bed facilities, a minor injury unit, an outpatient department, and radiology and physiotherapy services.
Tessa said “The services which Shepton Mallet hospital currently provide are valued and used greatly by the local community and should be preserved for them. Read the rest of this entry »
Tessa led a group of Somerset MPs (David Laws MP and Jeremy Browne MP) and members of the Somerset Schools Forum in lobbying Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, for fairer funding for our local schools.
At a meeting last week, Michael Gove accepted that the national funding formula did not reflect the particular needs of rural areas like Somerset and said that in a different financial environment, the formula’s failings would need to be sorted out. Here we have several types of schools – primary, junior, first, middle, secondary, upper – according to the size of our communities and the pattern of provision for local children, and many small village schools.
However, at a time of austerity when there is no extra money to increase the budget for Somerset to remove the funding anomalies, Michael Gove stressed that he could not address the fundamental flaws in the formula at this time. When the economic situation became easier, he hoped to correct the formula to bring areas like Somerset up to the funding levels enjoyed by more fortunate areas of the country.
Following her support for the Farmers for Action and National Farmers Union (NFU) campaign to highlight the reduction in milk prices paid to farmers, local MP Tessa Munt wants to investigate a Fairtrade milk scheme for UK dairy farmers.
Tessa went along to meet the 1,100 local farmers at the blockade of Robert Wiseman’s distribution centre in Bridgwater on Sunday evening to show her support for dairy farmers in her patch. She pointed out that The Fairtrade Foundation currently works to support farmers in the developing world to ensure that they get a fair price for their products, but there is clearly a need to do the same ‘at home’ in the UK.
Tessa is supporting the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) in its campaign to highlight the recent drastic reduction in milk prices for dairy farmers this year, calling for a reversal in the cuts in Parliament. Tessa attended the recent demonstration at the Wiseman Dairies site in Bridgwater.
Up to a 2p per litre cut in the price paid to farmers has been announced by the four leading dairy processors, affecting 27% of milk producers from 1st August. Earlier in the year another 2p per litre was sliced of the price. Farmers rightly feel that they have no control over the price they receive, and many more will abandon milk production and worse still, leave farming completely. Half of Britain’s dairy farmers went out of business between 2000 and 2010.
Tessa has discussed milk contracts with James Paice MP, Minister for Agriculture and Food, who pointed to the welcome news that the new Grocery Code Adjudicator (GCA) a long held Lib Dem priority, will be introduced by mid 2013. The GCA will act as an Ombudsman for grocery suppliers, ensuring supermarkets treat their contractors fairly, enforcing the Groceries Code, investigating alleged breaches of the Code and have wide-ranging powers to obtain information during the course of an investigation. The GCA will act in the interests of both farmers and consumers. Read the rest of this entry »
The event, which is part of the Somerset Land & Food Project was held to celebrate locally produced food and community growing in Somerset and has been managed by Somerset Community Food for the last three years. The purpose of this project has been to bring together landowners and groups looking for land to grow food to feed and sustain their communities. Read the rest of this entry »
Robert Rogers is the Clerk to the House of Commons and he has accepted Tessa’s invitation to see a busy MP at work in her constituency. Read the rest of this entry »