Southend Standard Column

Dear Reader,

In my column last week I wrote about a constituency day and so this week I thought it would be a good opportunity to provide you with an insight into a typical day in Parliament.

Having finished work at 1.50am on Monday and 11pm on Tuesday, I stayed in a hotel in London. I managed to get an early morning swim and breakfast in the House of Commons before the day’s events! The first meeting of the day was with the Chief Whip. This meeting is an opportunity to chat with colleagues and review the day’s press although most have already listened to Radio 4 and received a press summary which is sent automatically to a blackberry, iphone or similar. We also discussed the day’s business and that included Cabinet Office Questions and Prime Ministers Questions. It was also the last day of the Legal Aid Bill which needs to be managed.

Away from the Chamber I attended a meeting with the Chief Constable of Essex Police. This meeting was an opportunity for Essex MP’s to ask questions in relation to the Police Reforms, and for the Chief Constable to update us on the progress of the Police Reforms within Essex.

I then attended the 1922 committee and was able to listen to a speech by Bill Gates. The irony was that during his presentation his computer crashed! Just goes to show that no matter who you are, sometimes technology gets the better of us!

Following the meeting with Bill Gates I headed over to a session on how to use twitter effectively enabling successful engagement with my constituents. I have had a twitter achccount for some time now however, I am always willing to pick up hints and tips and learn how to develop my social media and constituent engagement through this very popular method of communication.

Finally before getting the train back to Southend I cleared a large number of emails and signed letters to constituents which I try to turn around within a few days, I also prefer to reply in writing.