Monday 27 May Bank holiday and it’s important to take some family time, especially as all of my children are in the midst of exams. I stayed up late waiting for the results of the European Election which showed clearly how frustrated many voters are with the deadlock in Westminster. But we also have to select a new Prime Minister and I want to use time this week to listen to views across Chelmsford. I spend some of the day planning the week ahead. Steps 10855
Tuesday 28 May To the Linden Centre near Broomfield Hospital to meet the doctors, nurses and clinicians who specialise in peri-natal mental health. Having a baby is often a joyous time but for some parents it can also be very difficult. One in five mums suffer from mental health issues either before the birth or in their child’s first year. Getting specialist medical help is often key for a recovery. This team was set up three years ago to serve the NHS across mid and North Essex. They are making a huge difference. Thank you! Sneaky shopping trip into John Lewis for a new hat….
My “Reporting Back” leaflet has arrived from the printers. This summarises some of the work I’ve done in Chelmsford and Westminster this year. It also has a survey for residents to give their views. I join volunteers around Great Baddow to deliver the leaflets. It is great to talk to many residents, especially the evening rush at the Vineyards shops. I also hand out copies of a new petition we’ve launched to back Britain’s Bid to bring the next Global Conference on Climate Change to London. Steps 8344
Wednesday 29 May Day out for the new hat. I was deeply honoured to be invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. It is a glorious garden (especially the roses!), with perfectly formed cakes and brilliant military bands (I particularly enjoyed the “Dambusters March”). There are thousands of people at a Garden Party and it is fascinating to hear their stories of why they are invited. I caught a wonderful view of the Her Majesty the Queen smiling through the crowd, what a special day. Steps 11058
Thursday 30 May Into Essex County Council to meet with the Council Leader David Finch. I explained how important it is that we continue to see investment in infrastructure in Chelmsford, especially finding a long-term solution to the Army and Navy as I believe that closing the Baddow Road with a Busgate is not acceptable. We also discussed the need to increase repairs to pavements and our local libraries. The libraries are deeply cherished, and I would like to see them all stay open. I also had a helpful update from Cllr Ray Gooding on the work the County Council are doing to improve education opportunities for those with special educational needs.
Into Chelmsford Prison for a catch up with the Governor. I have been concerned about high levels of violence at Chelmsford prison, especially violence against prison officers. I am pleased to hear about a range of improvements.
Delivering my report and chatting with residents in Chelmer Village where I also meet a huge crowd of dogs out on an evening walk. The owners ask me if I know anywhere near Chelmsford where they might be able to let dogs safely off the lead. I offer to share the question on my Facebook site – and by the time our walk is finished one Facebook reader has already come back with a suggestion. Social Media can have its advantages! Steps 16362
Friday 31 May I visit CHP, the largest provider of Social Housing in Chelmsford. Chelmsford City Council has around 4,000 people on their housing list, so it is important that we continue to work to find local housing for local people. CHP tell me they have plans to build 365 homes this year, that is one for every day of the year. We discuss ways to help some of the most vulnerable residents.
Very pleased that people have started to return the residents survey which we put in the Annual Report. I join volunteers delivering the report in Moulsham. Lots of people stop to talk. I learn about so many different things; from safer cycling, to global insurance markets via the challenges of navigating broken pavements in a wheelchair. Lots of people also want to talk about who should be the next Prime Minister. I am interested to hear more residents views on the leadership race so we put a survey up on my website. I end the day walking back through John Shennan Fields – it is brimming with wildlife. Steps 14957
Saturday 1 June Lovely sunny morning handing out my report and speaking to residents at the Torquay Road shops. This time I have had long chats about nursing training, student loans and climate change. I am sorry I haven’t been able to get to every street in Chelmsford this week – but if you would like a copy of the report please do download a copy from my website. Fill in the survey and send it back by post or email.
Sunday 2 June Glorious morning at the Open Gardens in Moulsham which is raising money for Farleigh Hospice. What a treat. I visit a few of the beautiful gardens and am treated to a tour of the old graveyard which again is so rich with wildlife. Unfortunately, I couldn’t visit all the gardens as I had to catch a train westwards to visit my mum who fell again last week. Thank you to everyone who has sent in kind messages.