Sir George has been spending part of the Easter Recess visiting pubs and tourist attractions in his constituency. "Many have been hard hit, with turnover down by 30%. Even the cycle shops have been hit, because people are cycling less because of foot-and-mouth." He has been promoting a "business as usual" message.
On Bank Holiday Monday, Sir George and Lady Young were shown round The Vyne, at Sherborne St John, by Lt Col Jonathan and Sue Ingram. They took over from Douglas Whyte, the previous property manager, and are in charge of the National Trust property.
"I hadn't been round since the recent restorations were completed - and it looks marvellous. I was very interested to hear of their plans for the building - improving the catering facilities, expanding and moving the car park, and building up the "special functions" such as weddings, which help balance the books."
Sir George met the guides - volunteers who keep an eye on the property as visitors go round and tell them about the building and contents. "Without these volunteers, it wouldn't be possible to open the property or for people to enjoy it as much as they do."
The Youngs hope to return for one of the open air concerts in the grounds in July