As your MP I am very aware that Westminster seems like a long way from Cannock Chase in more ways than one. With this blog I can tell you a little bit about what I do in Westminster during the week – if I was to write about everything this would be rather long and very dull… so here is a flavour!
In addition to the normal duties of a Member of Parliament I sit on a number of Select Committees, which convene each week. Most weeks I will have a session of both the Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) Committee and the Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy.
In the BIS Committee this week, we had the first oral evidence session forour inquiry into Exports and the role of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). This saw academics and business groups share their views and opinions regarding UK exports. The aim of this particular inquiry is to look at whether the Government’s export targets are achievable, and to make sure businesses are getting sufficient support and encouragement from the Government and UKTI to export our great British products and services.
On Tuesday I spoke in the second reading of the Enterprise Bill. I used my speech to call for apprenticeships to be given a higher profile and status in order to increase their uptake. Whilst Cannock Chase has been topping the Staffordshire tables for apprenticeship starts, I want to see more young people get the opportunity to start an apprenticeship and progress to a higher level apprenticeship. You can watch my speech can be found here - http://goo.gl/MEG9U4.
On Wednesday I had the opportunity to promote the gem that is Cannock Chase and, in particular, talk about the great cycling trails which are suitable for both mountain bikers and families. I have also been shown proposals by a local cycling charity, Cycle_R, to convert disused rail lines on the Chase into new bike trails, something I found very interesting.
Thursday was less exciting, as the day was lost in a whirlwind of back to back meetings that seemed to blur into one!
Today, I have been back in Cannock Chase discussing local economic issues such as training and careers advice for young people and new development sites for businesses with the Chairman of our Local Enterprise Partnership. The day has ended with a busy few hours drafting my latest e-newsletter and writing to constituents.
I hope you found this diary entertaining, I will post another one next week and, as always, if you have any issues or need my help with anything, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, call me on 01543 877142 or pop into my constituency on Market Street in Hednesford.
I hope you have a nice weekend!