LAST week I felt extremely privileged to attend the preview of the Purbeck Film Festival at the Rex Cinema in Wareham.

The festival runs until October 25 and offers an amazing collection of films in locations in Purbeck villages, Wareham, Swanage, Bournemouth and Poole.

The Purbeck Film Festival is the longest running rural film festival in UK and is now in its 18th year.

The Rex Cinema also has a long, proud history, and is run by the Purbeck Film Charitable Trust.

I enjoyed the showing of Effie Gray immensely and look forward to attending more films next year in my retirement.

I hope readers will be able to take advantage of the rest of this year’s fantastic programme.

The party conference season is now over, two significant by elections have taken place and Parliament returned this week for a busy session up until Christmas.

I didn't attend my party conference in Glasgow but spent the time making visits to different parts of the constituency.

I was pleased to visit an optician’s in Wareham to learn about some pioneering work in relation to vision, with particular relevance to children and older people. I have spent some time with the RNIB during my time as an MP focusing on the implications of visual impairment for children and I am vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Eye Health and Visual Impairment, hence my interest.

I also met with the the chief executive and chairman of the Dorset Healthcare University Trust to discuss provision for those with mental health conditions. I had been shocked to learn of two young female constituents being placed in settings in Bradford and London.

There is no doubt our mental health services in Dorset face many challenges and I hope that with greater emphasis on these services nationally we will see more investment and better support available locally.

I also paid a visit to the Arts University Bournemouth and was reminded how fortunate we are to have an internationally recognised institution like this in Dorset.

The creative industries are likely to provide an important source of jobs and growth in our local economy for the future.