This is one of the busiest times of year for Members of Parliament as we grind through the Parliamentary schedule but also accept the invitations to the many fetes happening locally.
These are such a British institution and every weekend there will be bunting flying somewhere in my constituency, tents and gazebos going up, bottles being filled for the “wine or water stall”, tombola tickets being stuck on the prizes (every five and zero a winner) and anxious eyes being cast at the sky.
I come from the ever-optimistic school of weather watchers, having spent the first 17 years of my life going on holiday in Skegness and Cornwall, so I know that a small patch of blue sky in a stormy cloudscape, as well as being enough to make a sailor a pair of trousers, is also a possible sign that the weather will blow over quickly and the ever-fickle sun will make an appearance.
While I was out and about in Potterne on Saturday morning it seemed as if the deluge would never stop.
However, by the time I made it to the Milton Lilbourne Summer Fayre later that day the sun was out and it was a glorious afternoon for the multitude of stalls, pig races, bonsai exhibition, vintage tractors and cars, birds of prey and the all-important dog show where it was my duty this year to award the prize for Best in Show.
Anything that involves judging animals or little children in fancy dress can be rather worrying for MPs as in making one family happy many potential votes can be lost, but given the superb efforts of the Milton Lilbourne team to raise money for the air ambulance and the Prospect Hospice I could not say ‘no’ and despite tough competition the basset hound/Cavalier King Charles cross was my pick.
There will be many more fairs and fetes to attend this summer but the serious work also continues and I was up early on Friday to see off the first commuter trains from Pewsey station and talk to passengers about the current franchise consultation.
As always the critical importance of our local rail services could not have been more apparent and I made that point clear in a letter to the Rail Minister which is available on my website claireperry.org.uk
I will be holding my regular advice surgeries around the constituency over the summer months and if I can help you with a problem then please telephone my local office on (01380) 729358 for an appointment.