My first year

May 2016 marks a year since the last General Election, so I would like use this month’s column to reflect and share my experiences representing the wonderful constituency of South Leicestershire. It is fair to say it has been an exceptionally busy first year, both in Westminster and in the constituency.

Upon being elected, a key priority of mine was to ensure that I was able to support as many constituents as possible in a timely manner; so I took the decision to open the first ever dedicated parliamentary office in Blaby. This has been open for just over six months and has already helped a large number of residents to access support, ranging from local health service access to business matters and education. I would encourage any constituents reading this and in need of assistance, to contact my parliamentary office to see how we may be able to help.

I have also enjoyed immensely the wide range of visits I have undertaken across South Leicestershire. This has provided me with an excellent opportunity to meet a number of residents and organisations, from charities to businesses to local schools and colleges. We have many businesses who are world leaders in their fields, exporting far and wide and helping to put Leicestershire on the map – along with our title winning City football team of course!

Collaborating with a range of partners has been central to my first year’s work, particularly with our local authorities. It has been great to see first-hand the superb services provided by Blaby and Harborough District councils as well as Leicestershire County Council, despite the challenging financial backdrop and the need to achieve efficiencies to reduce our national deficit and plan for our country’s long term economic future.

Earlier this year, I was proud to stand alongside my fellow Leicestershire MPs to lobby government against the historical underfunding that Leicestershire County Council has experienced. I am pleased to say this was acknowledged and swift action was taken by the government.

I have no doubt the year ahead will be just as busy as the first, as I continue to travel across the constituency to meet more residents, charities and businesses and do my best to represent the interests of all of my South Leicestershire constituents in parliament.