This weekend marked 100 days since I became your MP. It’s an honour to have been elected as your representative in Parliament and as I said from day one: my focus will always be on Colne Valley and what is important to local people.
Looking back over these first 3 months I wanted to share with you a few of the things I’ve been doing on your behalf:
My office has dealt with nearly 1000 individual pieces of casework and policy for local residents.
I have written 17 letters to Government departments on issues that constituents have contacted me about, ranging from puppy smuggling to teacher retention.
I shared with you how my first advice surgery (where I meet 1-on-1 with constituents to discuss their issues) was the best thing I’d done since becoming an MP, and I am pleased to be running these regularly and helping people face to face with life changing problems.
The campaign to save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary goes from strength to strength and I have held meetings with both main campaign groups. In Parliament I had a joint meeting with Paula Sherriff (MP for Dewsbury), Barry Sheerman (MP for Huddersfield), Tracy Brabin (MP for Batley and Spen) and Jonathan Ashworth (Shadow Secretary of State for Health). Mr Ashworth pledged his support for the campaign and reiterated Labour’s policy of halting all proposed hospital closures.
I have applied for a parliamentary debate on HRI, and attended the Scrutiny committee on 21st July. I am pleased that the committee voted in favour of sending the issue to Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Health) and I hope that he will take the side of local campaigners and reject the plans for downgrading.
I had a productive meeting with Chief Superintendent Steve Cotter, of West Yorkshire Police, to highlight concerns about rural crime which many people have contacted me about.
I have lobbied transport providers about the often poor provision of transport to our local area, something I know affects many of you on a daily basis. I will continue to raise this issue and push for action – I have written to Chris Grayling (Transport Secretary) along with other Yorkshire MPs to express our disappointment at the lack of investment to the North. I have also written directly to Chris Grayling to share constituents’ concerns about the cancellation of electrification plans.
I was delighted to be elected to the Education Select Committee, where I can bring 30 years of teaching experience to such an influential group in Parliament. I have also joined APPGs on State Pension Inequality and Fairtrade – both matters that I know are of great concern to Colne Valley residents.
Although I am in Westminster Monday to Thursday, each week when I’m back in Colne Valley I enjoy visiting schools, mosques, and community groups, speaking to residents and keeping in touch with their concerns. Many thanks to all who have invited me.
As ever, if you have any problems or issues you would like to speak to me about, then please do get in touch.