On Sunday 25th October 2009, I was delighted to be selected through an open primary to be the Conservative Party’s candidate for Penrith and The Border. I’m unbelievably happy and honoured to have this opportunity. This selection process and to be chosen as the candidate for such a beautiful constituency has been a life-changing experience for me. I’m very much looking forward to living in the constituency and getting to know everybody. I’m planning to rent a cottage on a working farm at Dufton so I can better understand the issues facing communities in Cumbria. I know farmers have had a tough deal from Westminster and have been hit hard in recent years by the foot and mouth outbreak, the BSE scare and now the economic downturn. Beyond agriculture, rural areas as a whole have been neglected under the labour Government. As your representative, I would work very hard to make sure that everything from post offices to bus stops are maintained in this constituency.