Parliament goes into recess half way through July and in many ways July is the month which brings into sharp contrast the two parts to an MP’s life - Westminster and the constituency.
The first two weeks in July involve the usual parliamentary business; questions, scrutinising draft legislation, debates and division bells. For me it has been a busy period with two very significant issues of debate - House of Lord Reform and the structure of local government in Cumbria.
I fully support the Government on the Lords Reform. We live in a democracy where we should expect to be able to vote for those who make the law and we should also expect to have the opportunity to seek election to the second chamber ourselves. The House of Lords is presently based on privilege and patronage and I firmly believe that this should be changed.
I also managed to secure a debate on the issue of unitary authorities in Cumbria.
The present arrangement is detrimental to effective government in Cumbria and not in the best interest of Cumbrians.
I would advocate we have two unitaries and I have called upon the Government to review the arrangements in the hope that we will achieve this.
Sadly, this campaign may take longer than I would like - but I do believe there is cross county and cross party support for change.
In the second half of July recess starts and this is an opportunity for MPs to catch up on constituency business and to recharge their batteries.
I will meet with constituents, hold surgeries and visit some of the many different organisations in the constituency. One of the reasons I thoroughly enjoy representing Carlisle is the city’s diversity of groups.
I often get asked which do I enjoy most between Westminster and Carlisle?
In many respects it is like comparing apples with pears - but nothing beats going to your own home at night.
Published: July 31, 2012
Have your say
well councillor stevenson i know which are the apples and pears , Apples are the carlisle people whom after taking a bit from this so called goverment have had a bitter soar taste let in their mouths . by the time this goverment have finished there will be less jobs - more crime and a world record for the homeless young people and more child deaths and perhaps even going as far as a cival war because this goverment haven't got a clue about its people true welfare . your all a bunch of sheep bleeting on about reforms , well get the foreign workers out and stop allowing more people from countries to stay here and get the european borders back in place so it makes it harder for terriosts and scum to enter europe then perhaps we get down to putting this country back in order