What is very different about working in Parliament is the huge variety of areas you can get involved with. Invitations arrive daily and typically an MP will be invited to around 100 events a day. These range from campaigns, policy debates, local business groups, charities, think tanks, education groups, information sessions and other invitations from other MPs and Ministers. I prioritise those I can attend, that have some connection with issues I’m concerned about or those that involve the constituency.
If there are any meetings or events that’s constituents are keen for me to get involved in, then let me know.
There is an interesting campaign by the Guide Dogs association to encourage drivers not to park on the pavements as it restricts access for people with disabilities. As well as blind or partially sighted people this can also be a problem for those using wheelchairs or mobility scooters. The campaign encourages drivers to park more considerately.
I attended a meeting with West Sussex MP’s and the RMT union to discuss the on-going Southern rail strike. The meeting was an eye-opener as there appears to be very little substance to the remaining points after a 23.8 percent pay rise, over four years, was offered to train drivers and 97.25% of all trains leave with a second on-board supervisor on the train. Next meeting is hopefully with ASLEF which is being arranged by Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham.
There was an urgent question about education funding where the Minister committed to keeping per pupil funding the same. We are spending record amounts on school funding, £41 billion this year rising to £42 billion in 2019 with increasing pupil numbers.
I have also been spending some time in the Chamber to get used to the environment and have even plucked up the courage to ask two questions so far….