Everyone thinks they know what an MP does – but I bet even many of the candidates standing in the election that is just around the corner will be surprised to discover just how many roles an MP performs and how much variety there is to our lives.

Yes it’s our job to respond to people’s concerns and take up their problems – for example the scandalous mismanagement by National Grid of the gas works on the A38 in Fernhill Health. But there’s much more to it than that.

Thanks to newspapers like this one, MPs can tell their voters quite a lot about their local activity, but even then, because there is so much we could say, we have to be selective. And that’s apart from the confidentiality of a lot of our work for individual constituents.

So I try to choose the issues that are most likely to interest readers – or which I think they need to know about. The problem is that so many of the issues that matter most can sound very boring.

Look at the “Regional Spatial Strategy” – the device being used by the government to force far more houses on the villages around Worcester than we need. Even now I see at least one local candidate who should knew better telling people that the extra houses are the result of local decisions by district councils. Just not true.

Or look at what NHS Worcestershire is being forced to do by the government to reorganise our community health services – it’s a scandal but it sounds so remote until the changes start to affect local people, by which time it’s too late.

We need to allow local people to decide issues like these – and that’s one of the reasons I am so anxious to change the government at the election. They just don’t trust local people - and they should.


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