MPs must be visible and accessible in constituency

IN a month that has highlighted how precious our democracy is, I have been using the beginning of my Easter recess period to be as busy and visible as possible in all parts of my constituency.

Michelle Donelan’s G&H column [06 April 17]

MPs have an important role in communities and must be accessible. As part of my work, I try to meet as many local people as possible to explain my work in Westminster and for Wiltshire, to give some details about the discussions in Parliament and some nuance to the debates and votes which may be of particular interest.

Last week when I attended an extremely busy Bradford on Avon Senior’s Forum ‘Meet Your MP’ event, where we discussed a wide range of issues from refugees to the NHS, traffic to prisons. The group is hugely active and support the older generation in Bradford on Avon.

Another group supporting local residents are the Bradford on Avon Community Volunteers – I am actually one myself. It was a pleasure this week to officially ‘launch’ their new vehicle which will put the community group in a new league by improving the emergency response that they are able to offer. I am working to help other volunteer groups set up in Wiltshire, so if you are interested in getting involved please contact me on the details below.

It was a pleasure to work with Chippenham’s Talking Newspaper team and help them record last week’s Gazette & Herald newspaper.

Talking newspapers offer a great service recording news for the blind and partially sighted. I recorded a wide range of stories, including my weekly column. Talking newspapers are always on the lookout for more people who would appreciate and benefit from audio recordings. To get in touch with them call (01249) 659305.

In Corsham, I visited the Chamber of Commerce to discuss local business. Thriving businesses means thriving communities. Without businesses, entrepreneurs, risk takers and job creators, our society simply falls apart and it is always good to hear from business groups about their perceptions of the local and national economy.

Encouragingly, on Corsham they were very positive about the direction of the Government and the local area. It was also encouraging to welcome Corsham’s latest new business as I opened a new antiques shop on Corsham High Street. Ideally located next door to Wiltshire’s finest independent book store, the new shop is a great addition to the town.

To book a surgery or to raise any other issue please contact me on (01249) 704465 or email michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk.