Trudy's Whitehaven News column from June 7, 2023:
Looking back over the first five months of 2023, it’s been an extremely busy period, during which time I’ve attended many visits, meetings and events right across the constituency.
Ever since I was elected back in 2017, a highlight of my constituency time is visiting our wonderful schools, and this year has been no different. I am frequently invited to deliver assemblies or meet with school councils to tell the pupils more about how Government works, my role as an MP, and latterly, what it involves being a Minister in Defra.
Every time I meet with our young people, I am consistently impressed by their level of knowledge and interest in current affairs, the Government, and particularly nature and the environment - and their questions are always well thought-out (and to the point!)
School Councils have been a tremendous addition to the offer in schools in recent times, and they give young councillors an insight into democracy, campaigning on issues, and representing their peers in the decision-making process.
I’d like to extend my thanks to St Bega’s, Seascale, St James Nursery and Infants, and St Bridget’s (Parton) for inviting me into school over recent months, or in the case of St Bega’s to an outdoor learning session at Muncaster Castle, and I look forward to continuing to meet with as many pupils as possible throughout this Parliament.
It was also a pleasure recently to meet with some of the young people involved in the Bright Stars challenge, organised by the Centre for Leadership Performance. I have always been a big supporter of this young entrepreneur scheme and I look forward to learning more about their projects as the year progresses.
As both MP for a rural area, and a Defra Minister, I have had a strong focus on the farming industry over recent months. From my four evening get-togethers in Lamplugh, Bootle, Braithwaite and Gosforth, to our round-table discussion with Farming Minister Mark Spencer in Nether Wasdale, to farm visits in Whicham, Muncaster and Haile, I am always keen to engage with our farming community to discuss the challenges and opportunities within the industry at present.
Also on my agenda this year has been to tour the site of the exciting ISH project at Cleator Moor, to support the launch of the Making Everyone Equal (MEE) trauma treatment centre in Whitehaven, and to hold my fourth Skills and Careers Fair in the Civic Hall.
And while much has been accomplished this year, there is a lot to look forward to over the coming months, as the second phase of the West Cumberland Hospital continues to take shape, the Town Deal and Levelling Up investment in Cleator Moor (and the aforementioned ISH development) and Millom continue to progress, and the major upgrade of the A595 at Howgate is completed. The level of Government investment in Copeland is unprecedented and we are now seeing the results.