'MP holidays' description in press annoys Brigg and Goole's Andrew Percy
LAST week in Parliament followed a week back in the constituency for the February recess.
It always annoys me when the national media refer to these weeks as MP holidays. I suppose for some that may be true, but I think most local MPs spend these weeks back in the constituency working hard on local issues.
Personally, I love these recesses as I much prefer work in the constituency to the time spent in London. I am not sure Pat in my constituency office would agree with this as she spent much of the week telling me that I was "getting in the way". Charming!
Anyway, my week back in the constituency was really busy and put to good use, although my pocket took a bit of a hit due to the amount of miles I drove from event to event. I made an election pledge not to claim for mileage within the constituency, which when you represent 256 square miles of England and 75 different communities, was actually quite an expensive commitment.
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Nevertheless, I spent a busy week criss-crossing the constituency for various meetings and visits, including to a number of schools in the East Yorkshire part of my constituency who had already had their half-term break. I attended one school where I was grilled for an hour-and-a-half by Year 5 pupils on everything from horse meat to whether I had met One Direction.
One of the best meetings of the week was meeting with the Children in Care Council. These young people were amazing to meet and have been brought up in some of the most difficult of circumstances. The council meets with the aim of improving the voice of young people in the care system, including helping to write policy and procedures to ensure they are more child-friendly. I was really impressed with their dedication and the work they have done.
Recess is also a great time to catch up with residents on the doorsteps. Myself and the team spent a lot of time delivering our latest update newsletters to residents on the parts of the Isle. We had a really good response in Crowle, with many residents expressing their support for the Imagination Library.
I also followed the debate on the council's budget with close interest. What surprised me the most was the attempt by Labour councillors to cut the social care budget by half-a-million pounds from 2015. This would have resulted in up to 25 per cent of people who presently receive social care, some of the most vulnerable in our communities, no longer receiving care from 2015. I am pleased to say the local Conservatives stopped them whilst also freezing Council Tax for the third year.
Back in Parliament last week I presented the Humber Bridge Bill to Parliament which, with the support of other local MPs, passed unopposed. This is the Bill that reforms the way the bridge is managed and would allow the Humber Bridge Board to offer concessions for NHS patients requiring treatment on the north bank.