As Parliament is now in recess, it has been wonderful to spend more time here, write Julian Smith MP.
I have travelled the length and breadth of the constituency, holding a number of busy surgeries.
Since I was first elected, I have been committed to making sure my surgeries cover the full stretch of this large constituency and on sunny days, it is a joy to travel across the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, but it is also a fitting reminder of the challenges posed by living in a rural and diverse area.
And I was pleased to attend the Google Digital Garage in Skipton earlier this month, which specifically focuses on more rural areas like ours.
The Digital Garage offered people free advice and coaching on digital skills to help grow their business.
It also follows up on the excellent work Superfast North Yorkshire have already done to improve connectivity in our area.
The training was tailored to local market traders to help them reach new customers beyond the local area and grow, and it was a pleasure to meet with the team at Skipton Castle.
I also had the opportunity to meet with the Chief Executive of Craven District Council this month to discuss the local plan, the canal towpath and schools in our area.
It’s important to me to stay in touch with local council leaders and executives to ensure that we are offering the best services for residents and I look forward to similar meetings in the coming months.
Indeed, I was delighted to hear that Children Services at North Yorkshire County Council had been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
They are the first and only authority nationally to have received an ‘outstanding’ grade in every category under a new and challenging social care inspection framework which focuses on the effectiveness of frontline practice.
This is a real achievement and it is testament to their efforts in this area; I am very fortunate to work with such a hardworking and committed Council. They are providing the best support for the most vulnerable in our community and it is exactly these kind of local services that make North Yorkshire such a desirable place to live.
In recognition of this, I was glad to see Ripon featured in the Sunday Times’ ‘Best Places to Live in the City’ this weekend! They paid particularly worthy tributes to the 36 Bus, Cathedral and local schools.
As ever, I will be holding surgeries across the Skipton and Ripon area. For more details on these, please visit my website at www.juliansmith.org.uk or contact my office on 01756 795898.