Being MP for Burnley and Padiham is a real privilege and a job to which I am totally committed. I know that some people wonder exactly what the job involves. With this in mind I thought it might be useful to provide an overview of my work. Those who know me well will testify that I am very much an all or nothing person and I want to assure everyone that I definitely I give my all in this role. There never seems to be enough hours in the day not that I’m complaining because I like to be busy.
Each week hundreds of individuals contact me, some to lobby for a cause that is important to them , some to express an opinion on a national or international issue and others for help to solve an individual problem. Everyone who contacts me gets a full reply and maximum assistance. I also get lots of communications from groups and organisations. In this age of course a lot of this comes via email but I still get plenty of paper mail and to give you some idea of the volume: in my first week when I had to collect my mail in person from Westminster the weekly bag was so heavy that I couldn’t carry it. In amongst this there are always plenty of invitations to visit in the constituency. These are important and I accept as many of these as possible. I visit schools, factories, businesses, hospitals and offices. These visits are important because there is no better way to understand the challenges faced by these local stakeholders than to meet with them face to face. This is immensely helpful when I go on to fight their corner in Government. Recently I have spent a lot of time working with and on behalf of community groups to save local libraries, community centres and post offices that risk closure as a result of Government funding cuts. I was pleased to be part of the successful campaign to save the University Technical College and the post office at Pike Hill. In addition I routinely meet with representatives from the police, the Hospital Trust and the Council. I recently did an evening shift in Accident and Emergency at Blackburn hospital so that I could see first hand the pressures faced by NHS and I have planned a session with North West Ambulance service. I hold regular constituency surgeries and I try to get out once a week speaking to residents on their own doorstep in order that I can hear any issues first hand.