A number of important events took place in May.
On 11th May, the State Opening of Parliament took place and, on 17th May, we took another step forward in the roadmap with new guidance for meeting family and friends and the reopening of indoor hospitality along with indoor entertainment and attractions, such as cinemas and theatres.
Julian continues to have very regular discussions with local officials and NHS professionals along with the Police about the pandemic and the latest developments locally. Positive progress has been made in vaccinating the local community and more than 75% of adults across the UK have now received their first vaccine dose.
Mid-month, Julian visited Ripon Cathedral and the Workhouse Museum.
At Ripon Cathedral, Julian spoke to Dean John Dobson and Colin Little about the past year and their plans for the year ahead. Julian also enjoyed a tour around the gardens of the Workhouse Museum, which had re-opened to the public. Points of discussion included the Government’s roadmap and the preparations they had undertaken to welcome visitors back to the museum. The Workhouse Museum is one of the three Yorkshire Law & Order Museums in Ripon. All three museums have now been able to welcome visitors inside again.
Julian also visited Econ Engineering, a second generation family run business in Ripon, which manufacturers gritters, snow clearance and highway maintenance vehicles.
Towards the end of the month, Julian met Jeremy Eaton, General Manager of CCM Auctions. The Auction Mart in Skipton has excellent facilities for selling a wide range of livestock, including dairy and store cattle as well as breeding rams. Julian and Jeremy discussed recent developments in the agriculture sector and how the pandemic has impacted auctions and changed the way business operates. CCM Auctions have already held their first online working sheepdog sale of 2021, which was very successful.
Julian also met Andy Lynan, Managing Director of the Mart Theatre. Located at Skipton Auction Mart, the Theatre is unique and usually attracts theatre-goers from all across North Yorkshire and beyond. It is also home to Arts in the Pen and Crafts in the Pen. Julian and Andy discussed the stark impacts of the pandemic on cultural and heritage organisations and our progress along the Government’s roadmap.
Throughout May, Julian spoke to pupils from a number of different schools in the constituency namely: Water Street Primary School, Skipton Parish Primary School, Kirkby Malzeard Church of England Primary School, Cononley Primary School, Kettlesing Felliscliffe Primary School, Sutton in Craven Church of England Primary School, Ripon Grammar School, and Dishforth Airfield Primary School.
The pupils asked a wide range of thoughtful questions about some of the most important issues facing the country, including about the pandemic, Brexit and climate change. They further asked about Julian's life and job before going into politics and what the job of being an MP entails along with questions to do with what advice Julian would give someone wishing to go into politics.
A recurrent theme throughout these talks has been how we can all help to combat climate change and what action has been taken within our community, such as discouraging littering and ensuring local towns and villages can see more charge points for electric cars.
Julian looks forward to speaking to more students next week and throughout the month of June.