Monday Spend the morning with Science and Technology Select Committee looking at how Government is using digital technology to deliver services. We are doing an in-depth inquiry which I hope will lead to better services and better use of tax payer money. Long meeting with senior European Politicians trying to help find ways through the Brexit negotiations. In House of Commons to quiz ministers on the changes to the prison and probation services, this is a big issue for Chelmsford prison as it is so important to reduce re-offending and break the cycle of crime. Then quizzing health and transport ministers on the money which is being spent on making sure that transport of medicines will be prioritised if “no deal” Brexit. It sounds like our campaign on low letter boxes is winning, and the matter will be included in the upcoming review of Building Regulations. Great news for postmen and women suffering from backache. Late night on emails. My head of office is unwell, we are only a tiny team and we miss all him. Steps 10,579
Tuesday Yet another “delegated legislation” committee. These involve small groups of MPs who are required to scrutinise and approve smaller changes to laws. The government majority on these committees is only one vote so one can’t be late, and there are lots of these happening now because of the need for so many legal changes due to Brexit.
In the House of Commons, I ask the Chancellor about investment in new technologies. I mention the work that is happening in Chelmsford on Quantum Technology which is very exciting. Join group of colleagues at No 10, long discussion on Brexit and many other issues including education, knife crime and housing, helpful. Rush back to House of Commons for votes before meeting with women campaigning to end harassment in workplace. Helpful discussion with the Health Minister about support for nursing students.
Learn that Chelmsford police “C shift” team have just won the award for the best community police response team in the country! Huge congratulations. Steps 10,798
Wednesday Start of Lent and I’m really pleased that 48 Members of Parliament have agreed to take up a challenge for the environment. I am cutting down plastics and meat – you could call it “#LentilsforLent.” At Prime Ministers question time I’m delighted to get picked for a question, I tell the PM about our lent challenge and she gives a big shout out to the charity Tearfund which we are supporting. Tearfund are helping fight plastic pollution in some of the poorest countries of the world. www.tearfund.org
With Maldon MP, John Whittingdale and Essex County Council on the bid for Chelmsford second railway station. It is a huge amount of money and we will need to work extraordinarily hard to try to get the funding. Quiz Network Rail and Greater Anglia on what is happening about the 15-minute delay replay plans. Join colleagues for a briefing from No 10 about latest state of Brexit negotiations, very challenging. Pop into an event organised by the all-party group for British Muslims for International Women’s Day. Join colleagues over dinner discussing future relationship with politicians from other EU countries. Lots of work on Foreign Office matters, very late night on emails with constituents. Steps 11,430
Thursday In House of Commons questioning ministers about online harms and what to do about impact of social media bullying on young people. New laws are being drafted. Join colleagues for debate on International Woman’s Day, good news that women employment is at all time high and that gender pay gap is narrowing. Very proud of work we are doing in poorer countries to provide healthcare, family planning and education. Support the Foreign Office team who are updating MPs on the situation in Kashmir where tension has broken out between India and Pakistan, these are two countries with Nuclear Weapons, so it is very important for all the world that this does not escalate. My two amazing assistants spend day packing up boxes as we are moving my office in Westminster. Steps 6,790
Friday It’s International Woman’s Day and National Apprenticeship week. Great to join students from Chelmsford College at the TUI offices in the High Street hearing about apprenticeship opportunities in the tourism and travel sector; one of the high-flying young woman students was investigating how to use an apprenticeship route become a pilot! The impressive apprentices at Teledyne e2V tell me how 90% of the world’s cancer scanners contain crucial components which are made in Chelmsford. A very warm lunchtime welcome from the all women team running the new “Abstinence Bar” near the theatre, if you fancy a less boozy evening out then do try them. Hand over a huge cheque from The National Lottery to Helping Hands Essex to support their work with people overcoming additions and the homeless. I wind up the week with a facing quick-fire question from the sixth formers from Chelmsford County High School for Girls, they will go far. Steps 6,187
Saturday Thank you to members of the Conservative Club in Moulsham Street who have raised a whopping £1,500 for Kids Inspire this year. It was lovely to hand over the cheque and meet some of the members.