Monthly Archives: November 2017


Rory Stewart MP has met with local residents at Wetheriggs Country Park to look at the failing drainage system, which has caused sewerage to be washed up onto pathways and grass verges throughout the park, during heavy downpours.

The park, which is located between Clifford Road and the A66, is well used by families, dog walkers, sports clubs and schools, and residents are concerned about the risks to public health and safety. Previous attempts have been made to fix the problem, without success, since stakeholders have not been able to agree on an appropriate, affordable solution.

Adrian Todd (Con, Orton with Tebay), services portfolio holder for Eden District Council, said: “Along with the local community, the council are in contact with the United Utilities to report any issues and to ensure any clean up and reinstatement works are carried out as quickly as possible. We understand local people’s concerns and frustrations and will continue to speak to local residents and businesses in the area.”

A spokesman for United Utilities said: “We appreciate that this is an unpleasant issue and we are doing what we can to help residents. We regularly clean the local sewer network to make sure it is operating at full capacity, however during heavy rainstorms it overflows due to the volume of water. We will always attend to do a clean-up afterwards and we will also arrange to reinstate the damaged footpath. Unfortunately there is no quick fix to the problem and it would need a major engineering solution to stop the flooding. Our capital investment program has limited funds for tackling sewer flooding and we must prioritise the worst cases where homes are flooded internally. We constantly review our funding priorities, but at present there are no plans to carry out any capital improvement work at this location.”

Speaking after the site visit, Rory Stewart said: “It is important that United Utilities work together with the Council and local residents to find a realistic, feasible, affordable way forward. This is a public facility, and it must be safe and pleasant to use, and it is vitally important that there are no further delays in agreeing and implementing the right engineering solution. I will continue to work with local residents on this and will be meeting with Cllr Adrian Todd this week to discuss the options available.”



Rory Stewart MP last week paid a visit to the Rickerby Retreat, to meet with Spa Manager, Amy Bristo, and to look at how the spa and restaurant was recovering following damage sustained during Storm Desmond in 2015.

The family business, owned and run by Rachel and Daniel Ferguson was launched in 2014 and was only open for one year before the floods hit. The facility has now been closed for renovation work since December 2015, when Storm Desmond caused unprecedented flood damage. Water rose to nearly nine feet at the height of the storm, and everything on the ground floor was destroyed. The newly refurbished building – which includes a large swimming pool, steam room, sauna and jacuzzi – is due to reopen by the end of 2017, and will once again be offering spa days, and a range of spa treatments, and the bar and restaurant will be open to the general public.

Spa Manager, Amy Bristo said:

“It was lovely to see Rory again and to show him how well our refurbishments have came along, we employed 24 people before the floods and are looking forward to creating more jobs for the local area with excellent service alongside our new facility’s. We are excited to reopen again and aim to be better than ever with our brand new spa and restaurant with a newly designed pool area.”

Rory Stewart, who also visited the flooded site in 2015, said:

“I am amazed to see how different Rickerby Retreat looks from the devastated building I saw back in 2015. Rachel, Daniel​, Amy​ and their team have had to overcome some huge emotional and operational challenges to get to this stage, and this incredible transformation is testament to their hard work and resilience. Storm Desmond caused incredible distress to the Rickerby community, and I am pleased to know that one of its great assets, and a wonderful, local, family business, will soon be able to reopen its doors. My job now, as MP and Flood Envoy, is to help make sure flood resilience is improved for Rickerby, and I will continue to support Rachel and Daniel, and the local flood group, to push for progress on this complicated issue.”



I have been horrified to find that someone has inserted my name into a fake list or spreadsheet, that claims to be about MP harassment. This list has then been emailed around and shared on twitter, without any attempt to check whether it was true. I have no idea where this list originally came from, who compiled it, or why someone put my name on it. It is, for the record, completely untrue and deeply hurtful.

This list linked my name to Sophie Bolsover, who was my researcher in Westminster. She has also issued a statement, here:

‘While I recognise the seriousness of the allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour, sexual harassment and worse, I wish to emphasise that nothing of the kind implied by my name being included on this spreadsheet ever took place. During my time working in Parliament, Rory Stewart was never anything other than completely professional and an excellent employer. Moreover the inclusion of my name on this list, by parties unknown to me and without my permission, has caused deep distress and anxiety.’

You can imagine the pain and embarrassment such lies cause also for me and my family.