As we come to the end of the parliamentary year, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an update of what has been happening over the year both in Westminster and in the constituency.
In the last year, I and our Loughborough Constituency team have dealt with 1937 casework cases and we have responded to 6251 policy emails on a wide variety of topics. I am particularly keen on tackling casework for constituents. It is hard enough dealing with an issue on your own, without meeting a brick wall, or an organisation that just wants to say ‘no’. I and my casework team relish trying to solve those problems, or get an answer to your questions. This is the job I used to do for the previous Member of Parliament and there is nothing better than finding a solution for someone. I get a buzz from the successes!
I have also met some amazing people this year, both in Westminster and at visits and events in Loughborough. People like our local Police Inspector, who I joined for a ‘ride along’ before Christmas and amongst other things we helped to make arrests following a burglary. Or taking the Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries, Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP to meet one our local farmers to talk about dairy pricing and policy. Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, the Minister for Skills, Further and Higher Education came to officially open the new T Level Centre at Loughborough College. Or even last week, residents of Broadway in Loughborough coming out to meet Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP help me distribute my local survey. Don’t worry, she didn’t have the sword with her! I was also very pleased to join the June Project, organised by Loughborough Churches Partnership to carry out local projects to improve the lives of those around us and I was able to speak in Prime Minister’s Questions earlier this year to thank Lorna and Shirley for all that they do with the Community Bloom and Grow allotment.
We started this parliamentary year with the sad loss of Her Majesty the Queen and I was humbled to speak in the House of Commons Chamber on behalf of the people of Loughborough to celebrate her life and all that she had done for this country and indeed the Commonwealth. This was borne out in my trip to Bangladesh in March where I was honoured to meet with the Honourable Prime Minister, Sheik Hasina at her official home and a number of Ministers, whom I have met with again on their recent visit to Westminster. More recently, we have had the Coronation of His Majesty the King and I was delighted to celebrate this occasion in Loughborough with local events taking place across the constituency, for example at Humphrey Perkins School, helping them to bury a time capsule to remember the event, just as the school had done in 1953 upon the accession of the Queen to the throne.
MPs are legislators and so I have been proud to contribute to a number of Bills that have become law over the year. I started this parliamentary year as the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets and worked on a number of Bills that have since become law that have improved the lives of working people, whether it be the Tips Bill so people who receive tips as part of their work can keep them, to the Neonatal Care and Leave Bill so that parents can take paid time off from work if their new-born child is in a neonatal unit. I also helped to shape the Tool Theft Bill to not only include farm machinery, but to include a consultation on incorporating tools from tradespeople too and following a panel I chaired at Charnwood Borough Council over 10 years ago, I have now been able to support the Offenders Day of Release Bill that prevents prison leavers being let out on a Friday when no local support is available to them upon release. These have now all become law.
And what about this next year? Well, there are some issues that have been brought to me by local residents that I would love to resolve this year. The Mesothelioma UK charity is based in Mountsorrel and wants to eradicate deaths from asbestos. I am bringing forward a 10 Minute Rule Bill in September to promote this issue. The B12 Deficiency national campaign is also based in Loughborough and I am keen to support access to B12 vitamin injections over the counter. I have put forward an amendment to the Data Protection Bill to help police and the CPS deal with cases in a more efficient way that will mean more time for police on the beat and I have already worked on both fire fighter pensions and accessibility to train stations. As well as bus services along the Soar Valley and the Speed Camera Bill I have just supported in the House to tackle speeding on the A512.
If there is another local priority that you have, and would like me to hear about it, then please do get in touch.