Weekly Column 05.02.20

One of the greatest pleasures of being a Member of Parliament is visiting local charities who provide bespoke and invaluable services to everyone living in and around the Staffordshire Moorlands.  Whilst each organisation is unique, there are some common issues that they raise when I visit.  These include making sure there is enough money, how to increase their profile and how to manage volunteers.  I wanted to find a way to help those organisations and so I asked the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) if they could come to the Moorlands and offer help to our local charities.

The session was held in Werrington last Friday afternoon, with organisations from across the Moorlands present.  There were attendees from small charities, with just a handful of volunteers, as well as local branches of national charities.  And the sectors that the groups operated in were incredibly varied, from animal rescue to debt support, from activities for the older resident to support for children, including disabled children.  Bruce and Grainne from CAF gave some interesting advice which I hope will help the organisations that were there to grow their charities and be successful.  It was also a great opportunity for people from across the Moorlands to meet each other and I hope make new connections that will help them deliver their services and raise the money they need.

Earlier in the week, I was honoured to be elected to chair the Procedure Select Committee in Parliament.  This was an election of all MPs across all parties to decide who should chair the committees that scrutinise the business of Government and manage how we work in Parliament.  The Procedure Committee looks at how the House of Commons operates and whether improvements could be made.  It is very humbling to be asked to lead this work by my fellow MPs.