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Recently I have written a lot about the many engagements, meetings, and surgeries that I have in Worcestershire. But an MP’s work is often dominated by the postbag – or more correctly these days, the email inbox.

So this week I thought that you might be interested – and even surprised - to hear about the extraordinary variety of things people write to me about.

I receive hundreds of emails and many letters every day. I know just how important the individual issues are to you, otherwise you wouldn’t be writing to me, and I hope my replies show this.

Sometimes people will have struggled with a personal problem for a long time and will use me as their last point of call in desperation. Others write to me on a more regular basis asking me to raise their concerns over public issues. And other people are suddenly prompted to write to me on an issue often saying it is the first time they have ever contacted an MP.

In the last month my constituents have written to me about the compensation package for Equitable Life, changes to teachers pensions , food prices and support for farmers, News Corporation’s takeover bid for British Sky Broadcasting, the financial crisis, cuts in child benefits, global poverty, education policy, whether citizenship ought to be taught in schools, the EU Food Supplements Directive, the Safer Medicines Bill and animal testing, the safety of oil drilling and renewable energy resources - amongst many others!

All these contacts are really valuable to me – they are a great way of keeping me informed about what is worrying the people of Mid Worcestershire. There is only one problem - I am asked regularly to sign Early Day Motions but, unfortunately, as a Minister I am not allowed to do this. However, I can often take much more effective steps – such as writing to one of my fellow ministers or talking to them about the issue.


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