A new monthly column for The Wire written by Ruth Edwards MP.
Newly elected MP for Rushcliffe, Ruth Edwards writes about the first few weeks in office and plans for the future.
“I have been in office for a little over two months now so I wanted my first West Bridgford Wire column to give a little snapshot of life as Rushcliffe’s new MP as I get to know my way around Westminster and represent my constituents.
‘For the most part it seems like I haven’t had the chance to sit down and appreciate it! One moment I’m voting on the Government’s legislative programme for the next year – the Queen’s Speech, the next I’m meeting with my fellow Nottinghamshire MPs to lobby the Policing Minister about funding for our local police force.
‘It’s all pretty full-on but it’s a great privilege to be a Member of Parliament, especially at the start of this new period in British politics.
‘Progress on other fronts has been equally rapid. I now have a fantastic, dedicated team and we have moved into what I am reliably informed was the old photocopier room in the basement at Westminster!
My immediate priorities are to deliver on my election pledges: a new health centre in East Leake, a fairer funding formula for our police service, protecting our environment and tackling flooding issues in the constituency.
‘We’ve set up a series of meetings with residents affected by flooding and I’m working with health authorities in Rushcliffe to develop a proposal for ministers – so watch this space for further updates.
‘In addition, I have also been holding surgeries to meet with constituents one-on-one. For those who’ve written in on policy issues, thank you for your patience. As I’m sure you’ll understand, having only just got my office set up, I’ve had to prioritise people in urgent difficulties. You will get a response in the next few weeks.
‘Known in Parliament as ‘the new Ken’, I’m full of admiration for how well Kenneth Clarke served Rushcliffe and our country for nearly half a century. Colleagues on all sides of the house hold him in such high regard.
‘As they all tell me, I have big Hush Puppies to fill! I very much hope Ken’s experience, wisdom and lifelong commitment to liberal Conservative values will soon be brought back to inform our national conversation from the red benches of the House of Lords.
‘Looking forward, next week sees me making my maiden speech in Parliament. I hope you will get a chance to hear or read what I have to say about the wonderful Rushcliffe constituency.
‘You can keep up with my activities here on the West Bridgford Wire, my social media channels or sign up to receive emails on my website https://www.ruthedwards.org.uk/.”