It’s been a busy week.
Last Tuesday and Thursday young people over the Forest of Dean received their A-Level, T-Level, BTEC and GCSE results. I know from all those who have written to me and from the schools I have visited (virtually and physically) that the last 18 months have been tough. I would therefore like to extend my congratulations to all those students receiving their results, and my appreciation to the parents, teachers and other staff who have helped support them through a very challenging period.
Best of luck to every student as they take their next step, whether it be work, an apprenticeship, college or university.
On Friday, I had the pleasure of joining Helen O’Kane, Co-Chair of Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tourism, as she took me around some of the most exciting leisure attractions that the Forest has to offer. Our day started with me trying my hand at a spot of archery at ‘Forest of Dean Adventure’ near Berry Hill, before cycling to (on state-of-the-art e-bikes kindly provided by Wye Bikes) the Forest Driving Range just outside Coleford where I discovered that I could probably do with a little more practice!
We finished the day at Helen’s internationally renowned site: Puzzlewood. This beautiful location has played host to film and television productions including Star Wars, Doctor Who and Merlin to name a few. My visit happened to coincide with the announcement that Amazon’s Lord of the Rings will be relocating filming to the UK. I hope that they seriously consider Puzzlewood as I can think of no better location to encapsulate the magic of Middle Earth.
Finally, you may be aware that the House of Commons has been recalled to debate the situation in Afghanistan. I have found the scenes of recent days to be extremely distressing. As the MP who represents Beachley Barracks, home to 1st Batallion The Rifles who sacrificed so much serving in Afghanistan, I will be in Parliament today holding the Government to account over how we got here and what should happen next.