Julian Smith MP

Julian Smith MP at Black Sheep Brewery
Julian Smith MP at Black Sheep Brewery

At the beginning of November, I was delighted to be appointed Government Chief Whip by the Prime Minister.

I am looking forward to serving in the Prime Minister’s cabinet and continuing my work in support of this Government.

My new position means that I will be required to steer the EU Withdrawal Bill through the committee stage over the next few weeks, and I will be doing everything I can to ensure the UK leaves the EU in a smooth and orderly way.

I have also had several packed days in the constituency in the last couple of weeks. I have been pleased to travel the full stretch of our area to meet with businesses, schools, constituents, and residents’ groups and, of course, to lay a memorial wreath at a Remembrance Day parade.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of visiting two wonderful food and drink businesses in and around Ripon. On a lovely sunny morning, I got a tour of Black Sheep Brewery, a major employer in Masham, which produces cask, keg and bottled beers and creates new and experimental brews. It is a great family business with six generations of brewing expertise, and it was a pleasure to meet their new chairman.

Separately, I met with the co-founder and managing director of Farmison & Co at their premises in Ripon to discuss the British meat sector and their work. Farmison & Co was set up as an online butcher in Ripon in 2011 and offers UK-wide delivery for online orders. I really enjoyed our discussion and I was especially pleased to hear about their plans to move to a new, larger location in Ripon next year. The visit was topped off when the following week I found out they had won Online Butcher of the Year award for the second year running.

I am always glad to hear about local business success and I was similarly delighted to hear that Black Sheep had won the British Beer and Pub Association “Beer Champion” award for 2017, beating off stiff competition from larger businesses. I believe celebrating this kind of business success is a really important part of making the case for this wonderful area.

And finally, it was great to also see that Ripon Racecourse, who I visited last month, was named as a finalist for the prestigious Showcase & Awards, hosted by the Racecourse Association.

As ever, I will be holding regular surgeries over the coming weeks in Ripon, Skipton and other locations. For more details on these, please visit my website at www.juliansmith.org.uk or contact my office on 01756 795898.