D&S column: pre-school excellence at Osmotherley

I found the huge bin of old-style milk bottle tops quite irresistible and I plunged my hand deep into the silvery pile of crinkly foil.

It made a very satisfying noise and reminded me of the days when everybody had milk delivered to their doorsteps in glass bottles with tops like this.

D&S column: four months at the Minister's desk

IT is just over four months since I sat in the famous Cabinet Room in Number 10 Downing Street and was invited to serve in Her Majesty’s Government by the Prime Minister.

D&S column: I've been spending time in the pub

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the pub lately.

I should perhaps clarify that this has all been strictly work-related activity! It is part of my efforts to get the fullest understanding of this vital industry so that I can do all I can to support it in Westminster.

D&S column: a fantastic Tour de Yorkshire and my Any Questions debut

I recently made my debut on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions panel discussion.

For those not familiar with the long-running programme, it’s the radio equivalent of television’s Question Time, the Thursday night political discussion show chaired by David Dimbleby.

D&S column: saluting our volunteer rescue heroes

IMAGINE a glorious early spring day in the Dales, ideal for a brisk walk to blow away the cobwebs of a hard winter.

You set out with the appropriate clothing, map, compass and mobile phone, having let a loved one know where you are heading and roughly how long you will be.