Getting out and about and meeting people is one of the best bits of the job of being an MP. It is the only way to find out what people are truly concerned about and I always find it a brilliant antidote to the Westminster Bubble that obsesses about things that very rarely come up in normal conversation. In other words, it keeps your feet on the ground. But during the pandemic, it has been really difficult to just have a chat. Everything has to be pre planned and held online or by phone. The spontaneity that you get from “normal” human interactions has been missing.
Having the chance to get back on the doorstep and visit community events is great. Last week I joined local District Councillor, James Aberley in Kingsley. Together with Cllr Elsie Fallows, James is really active in the Churnet Ward, meeting residents and finding out what he can do to help them. One issue that has come up time and again is traffic and parking. The A52 runs right through the village but with cars now parked on both sides of the road, access is becoming more and more difficult. James is gathering the views of residents so that he can take their concerns to the Highways Department at the County Council.
I was really pleased to see to reopening of the Community Café in Endon a couple of weeks ago and even more pleased to be able to drop in for a cup of tea. The Café at the Methodist Church has been popular for many years and seeing so many happy faces in there enjoying themselves and catching up was brilliant. Local councillor Joe Porter presented a cheque for £50 to Rev Eleanor and the team of volunteers which I know will be very well spent.