I am often asked what MPs do when Parliament has its’ summer recess. This is not a time to put my feet up. It is an important chance to catch up with local issues and do some homework before term restarts.
In the first part of the break I’ve met our police chiefs, the fire service, local GPs as well as the bosses and burns team at Broomfield hospital, which is just over our constituency boundary. In Chelmsford, I’ve been discussing infrastructure plans with the County Council and thinking about alternative ways to address the air pollution in the Baddow Road since many residents are concerned that the proposed “busgate” may cause other problems.
1. joined the Skills Minister to meet apprentices at e2v, and have met with other local companies including radar experts at BAe, electric vehicle developers at Tevva motors and a group of the excellent Moulsham Street traders.
2. voluntary sector organisations often work with some of our most vulnerable residents. The J’s Hospice told me of their support for young adults with life limiting conditions and Open Road explained how they help people overcome drug and alcohol addictions. Arts classes at the very vibrant Ideas Hub are packed out, often with young people, but the Hub is also loved by many who may otherwise struggle with loneliness. They are urgently seeking a new home, all suggestions would be really welcome.
Brexit will be a big issue when Parliament restarts so I've been working with the Manufacturers Association, EEF, and leading tech, e-commerce, media and aerospace companies to understand their priorities for Brexit and beyond. I’ll have busy trip to Northern Ireland and Ireland to discuss Customs and Border matters which will be a key part of all our trade agreements in years ahead.
3. in the summer I will be visiting Chelmsford prison and grilling Greater Anglia on their promised rail improvements.
Its not all work though. I spent a great morning watching Essex taking on the West Indies at the county cricket ground and will be taking a couple of weeks off on holiday with the family. Happy Summertime!.