Nick went along to Tesco Bourne Superstore to present the Tesco for Schools & Clubs equipment to Bourne Abbey Primary School, Bourne Westfield CP School, Thurlby Primary School and Morton C of E (Controlled) Primary School. Here he is with the lucky recipients.
Nick recently went along to Grantham Hospital to see a Community Payback team in action clearing back overgrown bushes at the back of the hospital site. Here he is pictured uprooting an old tree trunk.
Nick was delighted to visit Morton C of E Primary School. Here he is pictured with Mr George Trafford, the Headteacher and members of the School Council.
Andrew and Julie Jones, the proprietors of Morton Post Office & Stores, were recently the winners of the My shop is Your Shop Community Retailing Award. This prize was awarded for providing services to their community and supporting their neighbourhood in ways that the national chains struggle to manage. It includes taking care of elderly customers, arranging events and parties, responsible retailing of age-restricted goods, helping to tackle anti social behaviour and playing a role in local decision making. Nick and Cllrs Sue Wooley are pictured here presenting the certificate to Mr and Mrs Jones.
EnvironCom is one of the largest and most advanced recycling specialis in Europe and has a 10 acre site on the outskirts of Grantham. Nick is seen here with Sean Feeney, the Chief Executive.
Nick visited Grantham Hospital recently and is seen here with some of the members of staff.
Nick was delighted to visit South Witham Community Primary School where he was treated to a wonderful sing-along, with all pupils taking part. Afterwards, the elected school councillors had the opportunity of interrogating him on various subjects.
Nacro is the largest charity in England and Wales dedicated to reducing crime, helping over 83,000 people each year. Their team of over 2,000 staff and volunteers work with a network of partners through projects in 300 communities. Nacro want to do something about the destructive impact of crime on individuals and communities and feel that by changing lives they can reduce crime and by reducing crime they change countless more lives for the better. Nick recently visited the Stamford branch of Nacro and is shown here with Jordon Wass and some of the other young people using the service.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is an award-winning debt counselling charity. CAP's headquarters are in Bradford and there is a growing network of over 150 centres through the UK. Nick was delighted to be welcomed in to the Stamford CAP centre. Here is Nick with debt coach, Lisa Garwood, and CAP centre manager, Simon Jary.
Nick invited Professor Alistair Burns, the National Clinical Director for Dementia, to talk to carers and sufferers of Alzheimer's in the constituency. The meeting took place at the Guildhall Arts Centre in Grantham.
Nick was delighted to be invited to open the new classroom block at Bourne Westfield Primary Academy.
Nick cut the ribbon during a ceremony in the summer to officially open the Evergreen Care Trust's new offices. The Trust has expanded to take over four extra rooms at Stamford Hospital. The Trust looks after elderly and vulnerable people by providing cleaning, meals and befriending services.
During the summer, the Grantham Journal launched a campaign demanding help for Grantham's struggling traders. They asked their readers to sign a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron and return it to the Journal so that they could send a message to the Prime Minister to say that something needs to be done to save towns like Grantham before it's too late.
The petition attracted a great many signatures. Nick and Bob Hart, of the Grantham Journal, presented it to No. 10.
Nick risked life and limb when he went along to Lincolnshire's first National Citizen Service scheme which was held at the PGL Centre in Caythorpe. He had a great time when he joined in with a group of young people climbing the Jacob's Ladder. The National Citizen Service will give 11,000 16-year-olds the chance to learn new skills and get involved in their community in summer 2011. The scheme took place in a number of different locations across England.
It is not often that MPs are asked to play dead and I expect that many readers wish they did so more often. Nick was at the King's School, Grantham to witness a lesson on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that was delivered by Steve Hyde from the amazing local charity, LIVES (Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service). Nick quickly realised that what he really needed to do was to stop talking for once and let the boys use his supine form to practice the recovery position.
If members of the public learnt about CPR and felt confident using a defibrillator, it could make the difference between life and death for hundreds of people every year. Increasingly, defibrillators are being installed in public places – for instance, in old telephone boxes – and in the offices of many large institutions. But the problem is that most of us in Britain have no idea how to use one so would never dare try. In Sweden, by contrast, every child receives a CPR lesson before they leave school and they feel confident enough to help people who have collapsed. As a result, the chance of an unresponsive person, who is not breathing, surviving long enough to get into hospital is 55% in Sweden while, in the UK, the equivalent figure is less than 5%. That is why Nick is supporting LIVES' campaign to persuade every school in Lincolnshire to arrange lessons on CPR for every student.
Nick had heard so many wonderful things about the Lincolnshire housing association, LACE, and the remarkable community in Grantham called Brick Kiln Place that he asked to be allowed to visit. This complex is one in which every resident has his or her own front door and a kitchen window looking out onto the internal "street". They can take lunch with friends at their in-house restaurant, book in for a hair do at the in-house salon and buy essential items at the in-house corner shop. This is a place that tells people that growing old need not mean losing their identity and that it is possible to support and care for the elderly without treating them like children. In the photograph you will see Nick sunning himself with Annie Gibb, one of the residents.
Nick said, "God alone knows whether I will live to a grand old age. But if I do, I hope to end up somewhere as warm and personal and upbeat as Brick Kiln Place."
If you are retired, semi-retired or about to retire you are eligible to join the Grantham Branch of the U3A. The Grantham U3A was formed in 2001 with an initial membership of 15 and has grown steadily to their present membership (as at October 2010) of 301. They are all volunteers and are a self-help organisation with charity status. U3A provides opportunities for education, recreation and companionship and hold meetings for members in Grantham every month.
It was at one of these meetings that Nick was invited to speak to the members. He thoroughly enjoyed himself even though he was given a thorough grilling and escaped unscathed!
Vacu-Lug was founded in 1950 by Louis Morley, a Grantham motor engineer, and remains in the private ownership of his two daughters and their associated family. The company manufactures retread commercial and off-road tyres primarily for the UK market. Nick was invited by the Managing Director, Tim Hercock, to visit the 11 acre site at Gonerby Hill Foot, where he presented the recently awarded ISO 14001 Environmental Certificate.
Nick recently went along to New College Stamford and called in at the Equality Shop, which provides students with learning difficulties and disabilities the opportunity to learn communication and social skills. It also allows them to observe appropriate mainstream behaviour and to interact with visitors and staff. For mainstream students, it encourages them to interact with the students with learning difficulties and disabilities and to accept them as an everyday part of the community. Nick was really impressed and thought that the initiative was inspirational.
Nick was invited to visit Education Management Direct (EM Direct), an important employer in the constituency. EM Direct is an independent provider of training and assessment in the areas of initial teacher training, continuing professional development for the school workforce and child care in the early years. He met Tony Cook, Managing Director, Kathryn Stafford, Operations Director, and Mike Newton, Chairman.
Since the launch of Sport for Schools & Clubs in 2005, Tesco has given away £26m worth of sports gear throughout the UK. Tesco for Schools & Clubs is a Tesco initiative to provide free equipment for UK schools in return for free vouchers collected in Tesco stores. Thousands of schools and clubs across the UK have benefited. Nick was thrilled to be invited to go along to the Tesco Metro store, Stamford to present equipment to eight pupils from:
Nick was recently invited to meet with members of the Grantham Magistrates' Bench to discuss the proposed closure of Spalding Magistrates' Court and its impact on Grantham, to which its caseload would be transferred.
In June, Spalding Magistrates' Court was on a list of 103 magistrates' courts which are "under-used or inadequate". Nick fully supports the Government's plans to cut spending on the Courts Service but is concerned that the closure of Spalding Magistrates' Court will compromise the delivery of local justice to people in Lincolnshire without, in fact, delivering the overall savings in public expenditure that were projected.
Nick has written to Jonathan Djanogly MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, to ask him to reconsider.
Nick was amazed to hear that the four hundred seat Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre had been refurbished almost entirely by volunteers over a period of ten years and is run by volunteers all year long! When he visited the theatre on 24th September, he went along totally unprepared for what he found. "Wow! What a fantastic place. I can't believe how much work has gone into this project!" He particularly liked the fact that the gap between the rows is much wider than usual and that even he, at 6' 6", can sit comfortably.
On Friday 24th September, Nick was invited to inspect the incredibly muddy building site which is to be the fabulous new St Barnabas Hospice in Barrowby Road, Grantham. It was formerly GIFTS Hospice, who recently joined forces with Lincolnshire based St Barnabas Hospice to pool their resources and utilise St Barnabas Hospice's assets and management expertise. St Barnabas Hospice cares for people with terminal illnesses and those approaching the end of their lives. Nick said, "I very much enjoyed visiting this project. It is a wonderful charity which makes such a difference to the lives of the patients and to their families".
"Who do you think will make the best Labour Party Leader?" was one of the questions asked of Nick when he visited Stamford School on 24th September to address the sixth form students. "Where do you see yourself in fifteen years time?" was another. After talking to the students about the new coalition Government, and other aspects of politics, he very courageously allowed them to ask him all sorts of probing questions, which he managed to fend off without too much blood spilt!
Nick Boles arrived in Westminster today for the start of his induction as a new MP. "It's been an extraordinary day", he said. "David Cameron came to see all the newly elected Conservative MPs at lunchtime and told us he didn't have anything to do, as he was waiting to see if William Hague and George Osborne had pulled off a deal with the LibDems. By the evening, he was Prime Minister and at 10 o'clock, we all trooped off to a meeting of the parliamentary party to greet the new PM and hear about the terms of the coalition agreement. My only worry is that my first day in Parliament may turn out to be the most exciting one of all!"
Last Thursday, Nick Boles was elected as the Member of Parliament for Grantham and Stamford. He received over 26,000 votes and a majority of over 15,000. After the result was announced, Nick said that he knew that being elected was "just the beginning of the process of earning the trust of the people who live in south-west Lincolnshire." He paid tribute to the other candidates and promised to learn from the Labour candidate's commitment to "justice for working people in Grantham", from the Liberal Democrat candidate's "passion for Stamford" and from the Independent candidate's "defiance in defence of everything uniquely Lincolnshire."
On Tuesday 27th April, Nick Boles visited Grantham Foyer which gives young people, who have been chucked out of the family home or find themselves homeless for other reasons, a place to stay and helps them getting into employment or training. Nick said, "This is an excellent facility, helping young people, who are going through difficult times, to get back on their feet and build their independence. I am passionate about helping to create better opportunities for young people in our area and I think Grantham Foyer is a vitally important part of the solution."
Roger Helmer, a leading Conservative MEP and campaigner for British interests in Europe, joined Nick and local County Councillor, Sue Woolley, to meet local residents in Dyke on Wednesday. Nick said, "I admire Roger enormously for the way that he stands up for British interests. If I am elected to Parliament, I will follow his example and always put our country first."
A large crowd gathered at Springfield House on Tuesday evening to hear Nick Boles answer questions together with Mark Bartlett, the Labour candidate for Grantham and Stamford, and a local Liberal Democrat at a hustings organised by the Grantham Business Club and the Grantham Journal.
Nick Boles took the opportunity to outline his plan for South Kesteven District Council to transfer powers over truly local issues to town and parish councils and backed the establishment of a town council in Grantham. He also threw his weight behind the plans for an East-West bypass, the partial pedestrianisation of the Market Place and the development of modern offices to attract new businesses to Grantham.
There's no better way to get an insight into the way British people live their lives than knocking on doors and Nick Boles says that he has seen most things in the last two years as a prospective parliamentary candidate for Grantham and Stamford. But one house in the village of Gunby had a particularly pleasant surprise in store for the Conservative hopeful on Tuesday 20th April: its own fully-stocked bar. The proud owner used to run a pub in Basingstoke and decided that no home would be complete without a little pub in the front room. Enjoying a swift half of locally brewed ale on a warm spring morning, Nick Boles said, "When I walked in, I thought I must have died and gone to heaven. This is definitely going to put tiger in my tank for the rest of the campaign!"
It was a warm, sunny morning in Grantham when Nick and his team set up a stall at the corner of Welby Street and Wide Westgate. "I love coming to Grantham market", said Nick. "But I think it will be even better when they pedestrianise the area around the Market Cross."
"If I am elected, I will support the efforts of the local council and organisations like the Grantham Business Club in making the whole experience of coming into Grantham town centre easier and more pleasant for families, older people and teenagers alike."
Nick was at Bourne Market on Thursday. He talked to local residents about the need for a new shop to occupy the old Budgens site and revive Bourne town centre. But the highpoint of the morning came when Bertie, the Great Dane belonging to some of the stall holders in the market, agreed to wear the blue rosette and bark 'Vote Boles, Vote Conservative' at passers-by.
The Grantham branch of the National Farmers' Union hosted the first debate between the Conservative and Labour candidates at a meeting in Boothby Pagnell on Tuesday evening. Nick Boles told local farmers of his own farming background – his family has a small sheep farm in Devon – and asserted his commitment to improving Britain's food security. Nick said, "It is crazy that Britain, a country with some of the best grass land in the world, imports milk. A Conservative government would help British farmers compete, by stopping people passing off foreign produce as British and making our schools, hospitals and armed forces buy only food that meets the animal welfare and environmental standards that British farmers have to meet."
On Monday 12th April, Nick Boles visited McDonalds in Grantham to meet staff and learn how to make a Big Mac. "What Grantham needs is jobs", Nick said. "McDonalds employs 90 people in Grantham so they make an important contribution to the community. The last thing Grantham needs is a hike in national insurance, which will make it more expensive for firms to employ people and stops them creating new jobs. I really enjoyed learning how to make a Big Mac. But I am afraid the branch manager wasn't very impressed by the results and advised me not to give up the day job. So I can reassure the people of Grantham that, whatever happens in the election, their Happy Meals are safe from me."
Posters have been springing up all over south-west Lincolnshire as Nick Boles kicked off his campaign to be elected Member of Parliament for Grantham and Stamford. Nick said, "People need to know that Quentin Davies isn't standing again and that they have a chance to elect a new Conservative MP – one who will remain loyal to Conservative principles and represent the views of local people."
The posters have gone up alongside most of the main routes in and out of Grantham, Stamford and Bourne. Nick said, "I am just hoping that they don't all share the fate of the poster in Manthorpe Road, which, within 12 hours of going up, saw me growing an extra appendage in the middle of my forehead!"
I'm proud to be a farmer's son. If you elect me, I will fight to stop foreign produce being passed off as British by introducing honest labelling of food. A Conservative government will give British farmers a level playing field when bidding to supply our schools, hospitals and armed forces.
We marched and signed petitions but couldn't stop Labour closing many of our post offices. If you elect me, I will fight to save our local hospitals, pubs, surgeries and shops and keep our towns and villages alive. A Conservative government will give local communities the right to take ownership of vital local facilities such as parks, community centres and playing fields.
I've run my own business and I know it can be tough. There are some fantastic businesses in our area. If you elect me, I will fight to keep taxes down, cut regulation and open up new international markets. And a Conservative government will scrap Labour's job tax and pay for it by cutting some of Labour's waste.
The future is bright for British engineering. This is the discovery that Nick Boles made on 22nd January when he visited Winfield Engineering, manufacturer of Red Rhino Crushers and winner of the Grantham Journal's 2009 award for Business Excellence. Winfield Engineering is a family business whose highly skilled employees pride themselves on being able to produce a wide range of fabricated metal products ranging from crushers to cherry-pickers and agricultural machinery.
On being shown round Winfield Engineering's state-of-the-art plant in Alma Park, Nick Boles said, "It is fantastic to see world class products being made on our doorstep here in Grantham and being exported all around the world. Winfield Engineering is holding its own against competition from India and China and showing what British engineers can achieve. We need the next generation of British engineers to follow the Red Rhino!"
The Xmas rush was hotting up at Asda in Grantham when Nick Boles went to find out how the town's biggest employer has weathered the recession. Nick met with a group of local employees and they had a lively discussion about plans for new housing, the bypass and the local hospital. Nick said, "Growth in Grantham is essential if we are to get high quality public services and revive our town centre. Some Asda colleagues were worried about the effect of a big increase in the town's population on our infrastructure – if I am elected as Grantham and Stamford's MP, I will work with the local councils to ensure that the town gets the facilities it needs to support a larger population."
Londonthorpe Wood near Grantham was the setting for a meeting between Nick Herbert, the Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Nick Boles and Sue Holden, the Chief Executive of the Woodland Trust, on 30th October.
Nick Herbert praised the work of the Woodland Trust in preserving Britain's ancient woodland and encouraging the planting of new woods to benefit local communities, wildlife and the climate. Nick Boles emphasised how important the Woodland Trust was to Grantham, not just for its trees but for the jobs it provides local people.
The Stamford Welland branch of the local Conservatives welcomed former Prime Minister, Sir John Major, as the guest of honour at its annual dinner on 23rd October. Sir John addressed a packed marquee at the Lady Anne's Hotel, covering the war in Afghanistan, the state of the economy and the chances of England retaining the Ashes in Australia. After the dinner, Nick Boles commented, "Sir John has reminded us that it is possible to have a Prime Minister who is sensible, decent and honest. The next election will give the British people a chance to restore these values to our government, by electing David Cameron to No. 10."
Lincolnshire farmers are wrapping up the potato harvest and, last week, Nick Boles joined the Levertons, who farm in the fens near Dyke, as father and son managed the harvest of a good crop from a field in Witham on the Hill. "The technology is highly sophisticated", said Nick, "with a screen in the tractor cab showing a real-time video of the spuds passing through the harvester and being gently shaken free of earth. It is a delicate job. With the ground so dry, there is a big risk of damaging the crop. I am always keen to lend a hand but somehow I don't think that the Levertons will be offering me a job next harvest time!"
Stamford Arts Centre, St Mary's Street, Stamford
Friday 4th June - 5pm to 7pm
Conservative HQ, 62 North Street, Bourne
Friday 11th June - 5pm to 7.30pm
Venue to be confirmed
Friday 2nd July - 5pm to 7.30pm
If you are one of Nick's constituents, and would like to discuss an issue with him in person at one of these surgeries, please call Andrea Webster on 01529 240748 to book an appointment.