Monthly Archives: March 2016


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Rory Stewart MP  joined in with the historic national effort ‘Clean for the Queen’ litter pick this past weekend in London’s Earls Court. As Environment Minister within DEFRA, and an active campaigner for the tidy-up efforts, Rory was thrilled to join local MPs; The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s (RBKC) Head of Waste and Street Enforcement, Matthew Lawrence; RBKC Council Leader, Nick Paget-Brown; and Clean for the Queen campaign backer, McDonalds.

Litter is an ongoing problem in the UK, costing almost £1billion to tidy-up each year. Rory said: “It was a great honour to be part of such a united community effort to combat this growing problem. The nation ‘Clean for the Queen’ campaign for 2016 was the biggest-ever community clean up effort in a grand celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday, which I wholeheartedly support.”

Rory hopes that the enormous success of this campaign, combined with inspired continuing action against litter, will lead to lasting tidiness in the UK’s many and valued parks, streets, and wildlife areas.


Rory Stewart MP has visited constituents in Bewcastle to discuss the success of the ‘Bewcastle Fund’, the £10,000 fund donated personally to the community by HRH Prince Charles, to support farmers in the Roadhead area. The local MP has pledged to continue supporting the community in its numerous projects.  Details of the grant, made in 2014, were made public recently. Since its inception, the fund has supported a travel bursary for local young farmers to attend Newton Rigg, a subsidised chemical spraying course to help farmers in precision-spraying techniques, and two major fundraising balls, which have helped to replenish the initial fund, creating further opportunities.

Rory met with local farmer Steve Pattinson and Bewcastle parish council clerk Catherine Leach at Kinkry Hill Farm to learn more about the scheme, and to pledge further support.

He said: “The challenges facing farmers at the moment are many, and farming communities in the far north of the constituency, such as in and around Roadhead, are finding things especially hard. The Prince of Wales’ recognition that the problems are real, was very welcome. Steve and his committee are doing a brilliant job of making this money sustainable, recycling it by fundraising at the excellent annual ball, which has been a huge success. I would now like to help Steve and his fellow farmers look at branding produce from the area, which is one of the wildest and most beautiful parts of Penrith and The Border.”


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Rory Stewart MP has visited the newly re-opened Post Office, and the new branch of local butcher and grocery store Cranstons, in Brampton in his constituency, celebrating “the exciting regeneration of one of this constituency’s finest historic market ​towns”.

Together with local councillor Mike Mitchelson, Rory tour began at the modernised post office branch on Front Street, which had closed for two weeks on New Year’s Eve to undergo the transformation as part of a modernisation programme by the Post Office. He met and chatted with staff, admiring the new open-plan layout, three counter positions, two secure positions and a combi-counter with the Post Office terminal next to the retail till. It is also extending its opening hours, including on a Saturday when it will close at 5.30pm instead of 12.30pm.

Rory said: “The new Post Office is a fantastic new environment for the people of Brampton, and all the surrounding villages it caters to, such as Hallbankgate, Low Row and Gilsland, which have recently lost their postal services. It shows just how vital these local services are, and it’s great to be celebrating the enhancement of an existing service rather than their​ erosion​.”​

Rory then visited the new Cranstons food shop, in the former HSBC Bank also on Front Street, where he met with Mark Mallinson, the manager, to discuss the local food business’s expansion into the town, and the producers it supports.

“I join Brampton in welcoming this new Cranstons store in the town, and think it does a brilliant job of supporting local communities by sourcing local produce, and of course in setting such a brilliant example in its training and employing of apprentices from the neighbouring area. I hope it will be very successful indeed, and look forward to visiting often.”


Rory Stewart MP has welcomed technical advances at Eamont Bridge following the news that a submarine from Cumbrian firm Seatronics, which uses 3D sonar imaging ‘BlueView ‘technology, has been used to film the damage, allowing for the teams working on the project to design the vital repair block off-site, while they wait for water levels to drop.

Rory Stewart said: “Continuing rainfall and high water levels are presenting many challenges for the teams working to repair the bridge, and this is very frustrating for all involved. However, I am delighted that we have now been able to use a local company and some innovative technology to assist us in reopening the bridge as soon as possible.”



Rory Stewart MP is encouraging residents of Penrith to join Eden District Council’s Community Wardens for a litter pick around the Pategill area on Saturday 12 March 2016 in the national ‘Clean for the Queen’ campaign. The Pategill litter pick is part of the tidy-up ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday in April 2016.

The campaign, backed by organisations including the Women’s Institute, the National Trust and the RSPB, as well as businesses including McDonald’s, Costa, Greggs, KFC and Wrigley and anti-litter charities such as Keep Britain Tidy and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is the biggest community-led clean up the country has ever seen.

Rory, who is also Environment Minister within DEFRA, and speaking at a reception in the House of Commons to launch the tidy-up, said: “Her Majesty the Queen is an inspiration to all of us. Her 90th birthday is a unique opportunity for people to come together in celebration of Her Majesty’s long service and dedication to this country. Everyone has a responsibility to keep their community tidy and this campaign provides us with a great chance to protect our wildlife and improve the quality of our streets and public spaces. I hope it will help lead to a lasting legacy of a cleaner, tidier Britain.”

Litter is a problem that councils across the UK spend the best part of £1billion clearing up every year. By taking part in Clean for The

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Queen and clearing up the country, individuals and communities will not only be giving The Queen a suitably impressive gift to mark her 90th birthday, they will also be giving themselves and their area a present – a clean space in which to live, work and play.

Anybody wishing to take part in the litter pick is asked to meet at the Pategill Playing Fields, off Prince Charles Close at 10am.

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All litter picking equipment will be provided and those taking part are advised to wear sturdy footwear and suitable warm, waterproof clothing. Any children must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information About Clean for the Queen in Eden contact Eden District Council’s Contracts Team telephone: 01768 817817 or email:[email protected]


Rory Stewart MP and Defra Minister for floods has welcomed news that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has completed the application for EU support funding for recovery and repairs following the devastating floods in the UK over December and January. The funds will be in addition to the significant funds already committed by the British government.

The responsibility for recovery, including matters relating to the European Union solidarity fund, lies with the Department for Communities and Local Government, and Rory explained that officials in DCLG had been working hard throughout the past two months on working out the details of the of the package and its administration.

Rory said: “I am very pleased that the government has recognised that the immediate priority is to respond to the urgent needs of those affected, which is why we have already provided more than £200 million to help those affected in terms of support, recovery and repairs. It is great that we will be augmenting this support with the EUSF, which was set up to respond to major natural disasters. The fund was created as a reaction to the severe floods in central Europe in the summer of 2002. Since then, it has been used for 70 disasters covering a range of different catastrophic events, including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought. The only time the UK has applied to the fund was following the flooding of 2007, which saw widespread and significant damage across large parts of England. Member states have 12 weeks from the start of an incident to register their intent to claim. Once we have confirmed our intent, there is time to consider, with the Commission, the elements of assessment. That is why this decision was not communicated earlier, since a great deal of complex discussion has been going on in preparation for release of the fund. I am glad, however, that concerned constituents now have a definitive answer on our application for this solidarity funding.”

DCLG Minister James Wharton said: “I want to pay tribute to all those who have supported the many places that were flooded in December and early January; the local authorities, the emergency services, the Environment Agency staff, the community volunteers, the military and many others made a significant contribution to supporting communities affected by the terrible events that we saw over Christmas, in December and in early January. The whole House will want to recognise the enormous effort that has gone into supporting households and businesses, not just the initial response to the floods, but the ongoing work to get residents back into homes and businesses open.”