They say that you can’t please all of the people all of the time and it’s also the case people cannot be in two places at once. However, that’s sometimes the expectation for an MP. I am often asked, “Do you have to go to London often?”. That’s despite an MPs main job being to be in Parliament Monday to Thursday most weeks. However, we are also – understandably – expected to be seen around the constituency too, not just hard at work in Westminster fighting for the interests of the people and places we are privileged to represent.
Fortunately, last week Parliament was on a Recess meaning MPs were able to get away and spend time in their constituencies. There’s an impression this means MPs aren’t working, but I’m usually just as busy when I’m in Pendle as in Parliament, if not more so. I spent my week knocking on doors to speak to people and doing supermarket advice surgeries at the Booths in Barrowford and Morrisons in Nelson. I also dropped into Yarnspinners Health Centre for meetings, undertook home visit to disabled constituents and had a series of online meetings.
That’s on top of running my two constituency offices in Barnoldswick and Nelson and responding to the many hundreds of emails, letters and phone calls I receive. There’s been several kind responses to the great news about Airedale Hospital; it’s been hugely rewarding to hear about the positive impact the new hospital will have for so many people.
As you’re reading this column, I’ll be in the middle of another full day of activities in Pendle, from a supermarket surgery in Asda to meeting with a local business and visiting a school to answer questions about being an MP. It’s these days that I enjoy the most about the job of being your MP.
So, whilst Parliament is incredibly special and no-one could grumble about having to go to work in a palace, it’s the time In Pendle that I find the most enjoyable and fulfilling. People from Pendle also have no trouble telling you what they’re really thinking, which isn’t always the case in Westminster! If you see my out and about or are passing when I’m doing a supermarket advice surgery, do say hello.