Those of you who are familiar with parliamentary proceedings will know that there are usually several ‘recesses’ through the year – including Christmas, Easter, and Summer. While many perceive this as a break for MPs, I have used the time available to get out and about in our community, Wolverhampton South West. Over the last few weeks, I have been catching up with our local businesses and traders, our amazing local charities, and places of worship. All of these have been very resilient and used Covid-19 as an opportunity through which to innovate how they work and offer further support to local people.
My office and I have now dealt with more than 5,000 pieces of casework or policy queries. Most of these have been related to Covid-19. Many others have been about housing, anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, health, and social care. I aim to respond to my casework within fourteen days. There are various ways in which I can help constituents – I can ask questions in Parliament, I can make representations on behalf of constituents to ministerial colleagues in Government and others, and I can raise awareness of campaigns and initiatives that my constituents and local organisations are leading. While I can never guarantee any specific outcomes, I perceive it as my role to signpost, bridge gaps between the different parts of our community, and do what I can to ensure constituents have a say in how Parliament works.
One initiative I have been recently been pleased to support is the green agenda. At the start of summer, I hosted a virtual meeting with constituents on how we can embark on a green recovery from Covid-19, ensuring that our plans to kickstart the economy also consider how we can preserve the integrity of our natural environment and enhance the health and wellbeing of constituents. I have lodged formal, written questions with several government departments over the summer on topics such as encouraging more environmentally friendly manufacturing, reducing air pollution and expediting plans to enhance options for walking and cycling. I am glad that the City of Wolverhampton Council’s new transport strategy will embrace this agenda and explore e-scooter trials as an alternative travel option for local residents.
This ties into my ambition to enhance health and wellbeing in our community. It is one of the five key pillars in my plan for my time as Member of Parliament. I updated my website over the summer recess to reflect my plan that will revolve around five key themes: protect our natural environment, champion greater economic opportunities for all, create a better future for young people, and work towards a safer and cleaner Wolverhampton. On this note, I am pleased to announce that my regular street cleans have now returned. The first session took place in Leicester Street on the 7th of August and was well-attended. More details on future sessions as well as plans to resume my advice surgeries will go on my website as soon as they are released. I look forward to continuing to work with you all, now and in the future.