Monthly Archives: October 2017


Rory Stewart MP raised awareness of the first-ever national Libraries Week with a visit to Penrith Library, where he met with Community Services Manage Kay Metcalfe to talk about a number of new initiatives in the library.
In this inaugural Libraries Week, Rory’s visit helped to celebrate all the creative, innovative and diverse activities that British libraries have to offer – from code clubs, to play areas, to supporting healthcare initiatives with shelves dedicated to cancer and dementia.
Rory Stewart MP said: “I always enjoy visiting Penrith Library, which has such a great atmosphere, excellent staff, and is always filled with keen readers. Not only that, but it has one of the best sections on local history that I have seen, and is just a brilliant community resource. Kay and her team are clearly doing something right, given how many engaged people I have seen in here today. This just goes to show how important libraries are to our communities.”
Libraries support a range of agendas including increasing reading and literacy, improving digital access, greater prosperity by supporting entrepreneurs and people seeking work, supporting lifelong learning, and providing cultural and creative experiences. Last year, 250 million visits were made to the UK’s libraries, more than cinema and theatre visits. More than 50 per cent of us have a library card, and three out of four people agree with Rory that libraries are essential to their communities.



Rory Stewart MP was invited to visit the Ullswater Yacht Club at Howtown, to meet with the club’s Commodore Peter Lewis and staff, and to look at plans for the club’s restoration following damage sustained during Storm Desmond in 2015 when the water level rose at a rate of 58 gallons per inch.

Established in 1958, the Club is one of Ullswater’s great assets, offering a wide range of activities for the amateur and professional sailor. Treasurer Marion Marshall and Sailing Development Officer Edmund Clarke joined the meeting, to tell Rory about the Club’s membership structure, its sailing school activities, and its moorings policies. The Club was named ‘Club of the Year’ 2017 by the Royal Yachting Association, and by the Yachts and Yachting Club.

The new refurbished clubhouse is expected to cost in the region of £1.2m, and Rory has pledged to support the initiative as local MP.

Rory said “Ullswater Yacht Club is an amazing place, staffed by really impressive officers and volunteers, whose passion for sailing – and encouraging people to discover sailing as a hobby – is really fantastic. The damage sustained during Storm Desmond was clearly extensive and devastating to the Club, which relies on social events and memberships to keep it going. It is vital that this restoration work is done to not only keep this Club going, but to enhance it and help it to become one of Eden’s finest examples of how the outdoors industry can be a major driver in our local economy.”

Commodore Peter Lewis said: “We’re really grateful for Rory’s interest and for using this visit to help raise awareness about the Club and our plans for the Club. The restoration work is absolutely vital, and in a location where we can ensure we are not faced with the same problem again. We will also expand facilities and create a real resource for the wider community and visitors as well as our Club members.”







Rory Stewart MP and Flood Envoy for Cumbria and Lancashire, has been engaging with local businesses to discuss how flood recovery and resiliences measures are being implemented locally, and strengthening the business community ahead of any future flooding events.

Rory visited Granny Dowbekin’s Tearoom and Garden at Pooley Bridge in his constituency to chat with proprietor Colin Hindle about the installation of a groundwater pump. The system was funded with a £5,000 grant from the government’s £5m flood recovery fund and installed by local Hackthorpe-based business Cumbria Pumps, and comprises a network of underground pipes to pump floodwater away from the premises – radically improving the business’s ability to withstand future flooding events.

Colin Hindle thanked Rory for his support throughout and following the devastating Storm Desmond, during which the tearoom suffered extensive damage. He said:

“The government fund has really helped us to make immediate improvements to our flood resilience measures, ensuring that we have a long-term plan for any future flooding. Rory’s support has been brilliant, and we encourage any other local businesses in a similar position to take advantage of the funding available to support us.”

Rory said: “Granny Dowbekin’s, and indeed Pooley Bridge, is​ one of the success stories to come out of Storm Desmond, ​where effort and good communication​ have highlighted how ​businesses and small entrepreneurs can be supported to access the tools and funds available to them to get back on their feet. Storm Desmond was a truly horrific time for ​this county, but the resilience and determination to ​get going again has been inspirational. It is great to see that Granny Dowbekin’s has been able to come back stronger after the floods, and their gingerbread is delicious too!”



Rory, in his capacity as Minister of State at the Department for International Development, answered International Development Questions in the House of Commons on 18 October 2017. Topics discussed included the means of boosting development in Commonwealth countries. Watch it here:


Statement on the Boundaries Review


“I very much welcome today’s announcements from the Boundaries Commission for England, which by and large retain the counter-proposals that Cumbria’s communities worked hard to provide over the course of this consultation. In fact I have been impressed throughout by the BCE’s willingness to listen to communities, and to convert that into workable proposals. I have written to them today to thank them, and to endorse the final outlined proposals. In addition, I encourage all constituents to visit the BCE’s proposals online and to submit their own endorsements as part of this final consultation period, ending on December 11th. And, naturally, my thanks go to everyone in Cumbria who has engaged in this important process so far.”



Friday 27th October 2017

1540 – 1640 The Community Centre, Longtown

1700 – 1800 The Conservative Club, Brampton

No appointment is necessary, and all constituents are welcome. More information can be found at or by calling 01768 484 114.




Please note that Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border will be holding a drop-in surgery at the George Hotel in Penrith on Friday 13th October from 5:30pm-7:00pm.

No appointment is necessary, and all constituents are welcome. More
information can be found at

For more information please call 01768 484 114.


Rory joined the panel of Any Questions to take questions from the audience, on topics including Brexit and Universal Credit.