August 10, 2014

From Gaza to potholes – the issues raised with MPs

The House has now broken for the summer recess, and although I plan to get away for a week or so with my family at some stage, at the moment I’m still in the office, which will remain open over the holidays.

I was contemplating the other day the sheer range of issues that people raise with their local MP – it can be anything from the situation in Gaza to potholes, from HS2 to bees.

I consider it a crucial part of my role as Member of Parliament for Buckingham to respond to each query as best as I am able to. It is true, however, that in August the flow of emails, letters and phone calls slow down a bit, and my staff and I are grateful for a month in which we can get up to date with everything before the new term starts in the autumn.

Although fewer people are calling in about their passports being issued on time, there is still a steady trickle of concerned residents in contact most days. The other matter that concerns me is the sheer number of constituency residents getting in touch about planning applications that would site anything between 10 and 150 new houses in various areas. I am clear on one thing: any new developments have to cater to the best interests of local residents, not to the pockets of speculative developers, and I will continue to raise my objections to those which I feel fall into the latter category.

I know that readers have been on tenterhooks with respect to my performance in the Buckingham Choral Society’s production of The Pirates Of Penzance, which I wrote about in my last column.

I can confirm that although the panel who decide on Oscar nominations will remain untroubled by my efforts, I did not disgrace myself and had – as I hope the audience had – a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

May I take this opportunity to wish all readers a relaxing summer break. For those going away, do enjoy your travels and for those who aren’t, let’s hope the excellent weather continues.

First published in the Buckingham Advertiser.