I HAD smashing time in Stourbridge over the weekend at the carnival and then at Mary Stevens Park for the summer concert.

It was nice to see the High Street so lively and colourful. I also had the chance to meet up with some of our councillors Alan Hopwood, Ian Kettle, and Tony Creed to enjoy the day.

There were a variety of stalls, including Mary Stevens Hospice, Stourbridge Football Club, Camphill Village Trust, and lots of food on offer, plus live music by acts from the Black Country Festival.

On the main stage, I watched a performance by the brilliant Side-By-Side theatre group I visited just a week ago. It performed a dance to commemorate our new King and it went down very well with the audience.

I also took the time to say hello to the owners of a new shop called Cake Box that has opened on the upper end of the High Street.

Cake seemed to be on my mind after that visit so I popped into the cake sale at St Thomas's Church too. I will not be divulging how many cakes I might or might not have bought.

But I am happy to say there was a brilliant turnout of people and the whole town was buzzing. Many thanks to everyone who organised the event – it was a great day.

After the carnival, I needed to slow down a bit so I headed to Mary Stevens Park for the summer concert put on by the council and Dudley performing arts.

Again, there was a big crowd gathered around the band stand to watch a variety of performances from children, including vocal groups, keyboard ensembles, and wind groups. More thanks for those who organised and took part.

Many people in Stourbridge are concerned about rising interest rates and I am pleased the Chancellor has taken quick action to help.

Jeremy Hunt met with high street lenders late last month and most of them have signed up to a Mortgage Charter to help borrowers with rising interest rates.

Borrowers will not be forced to leave their home in less than a year from their first missed payment unless in exceptional circumstances.

They can also request a better deal with their lender right up until their new term starts, if one is available.

Anyone struggling can switch to interest-only payments for six months, or extend their mortgage term to reduce their monthly payments without a new affordability check or affecting their credit score.

The Chancellor also met with consumer watchdogs like Ofwat and Ofgem over concerns some companies are boosting their profits by exploiting the inflationary pressures we have now. I expect to see more about this issue in the coming months.