Being a Member of Parliament is one of the biggest privileges anyone can be given. Having the residents of Hinckley and Bosworth put their trust in me is an honour, as is working in such an historic place as the Palace of Westminster.
As with anyone starting a new job though it can be daunting but I’m pleased to say that after a month in post the worry of taking a wrong turn and inadvertently wandering into a minister’s office is lessening somewhat!
Parliamentary business is now well established and I am firmly committed to becoming the best possible Member of Parliament for this constituency.
This week I have:
- Met with Baroness Vere, the Roads Minister, with my South Leicestershire colleague, Alberto Costa, to lobby for safety improvements along the Leicestershire stretch of the A5.
- Tabled my first oral question in the chamber for DCMS questions about improving rural broadband connectivity in Bosworth. Unfortunately the Speaker didn’t call on me this time, so I have submitted a written question to the minister to which also focusses on the problem of mobile phone blackspots.
- Held a meeting with all Leicestershire MPs and the Local Government Minister, Luke Hall MP, to lobby for fairer funding for our local authorities. For many years Leicestershire County Council has been one of the lowest funded county councils and we really do need a level playing field with other similar rural counties.
- Organised and filled my first three surgeries, all of which will take place before the end of February. I very much want to meet as many constituents as possible and help you with any issues that you may have.
- Planned for a Parish Council Forum evening which will take place next month. This will be the first of what I hope will be a half yearly event asking parishes about the matters which affect them, and of course seeing what I can do to help. I have also asked Leicestershire Police to be in attendance too.
- Paid for and had my first gym session in the parliamentary gym – because the Palace is a secure environment and we spend long hours there then it has many of the facilities of a village. Legs still burning today!
- Met with Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, along with other parliamentarians with a background of working in our NHS.
- In what seems to be turning into a weekly restaurant review, had ham, egg and chips in the Portcullis House café after a late night sitting.
- Met with the Football Association to discuss how we can improve grassroots facilities in Hinckley ad Bosworth (and had my photograph taken with the FA Cup).
- Held a meeting with the Chair of the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) about investment in the county and in my constituency in particular. The LLEP is hugely important organisation with a direct influence on the investment into the county.
- Attended North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College’s Annual Awards Ceremony and met some hugely impressive award winners!
- I am still looking for a more accessible and convenient office in the constituency where constituents will be able to contact me and my team; this week finally moved into my office in Westminster which I will be sharing with Rutland & Melton MP Alicia Kearns – and bagsied the desk next to the window!