Engaging directly with our constituents is a vital part of the work of any Member of Parliament, and this summer I am launching a fresh approach to doing just that in my own Wansbeck constituency.
This Saturday, beginning in the Hirst Ward, I will be going on the first of a regular series of ‘walkabouts’ around my constituency giving local people the chance to informally meet me face-to-face to discuss any issues.
What I am calling my ‘street surgeries’ I hope will make me much more accessible to people on their own doorsteps.
Anyone can, of course, arrange an appointment to meet me at my office or anywhere that is convenient to them and I am always happy to do that.
However, through the ‘street surgeries’ I am turning the process on its head and going out to meet people.
How they will work is that a couple of days beforehand we will leaflet an area telling residents when I will be there, and they can either approach me as I am going around or post the leaflet in their window asking me to call at their home.
Hirst will be the first ward we target but our plan is to make our way around my Wansbeck constituency giving everyone the chance to meet me and raise any concerns they have with me.
I hope people will feel free to approach me and my team in a way they might otherwise might not have felt able to do.