THE House of Commons has now risen and we are into the summer recess, returning on September 1. This means the current round of Parliamentary business - debates, questions and committee work - is put on hold through late July and August. But of course it doesn’t mean that MPs’ responsibilities are on hold – actually the opposite is true.
Work in the constituency is never on hold, and the parliamentary recess periods are often incredibly busy for MPs, as they concentrate on local matters, and also have a chance to catch up on visits that are impossible when the House is sitting.
This summer will be particularly busy for me. I have already had meetings with a number of key organisations within the constituency and paid local visits, including to Ty Hafan to see the wonderful work the staff do there for children and families.
When this column goes to print I will be in Cyprus visiting British forces and UN peacekeepers, as part of my commitment with the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme. This scheme gives Members of both the Commons and the Lords the opportunity of experiencing the ethos and culture of the defence community, and in particular the challenges facing our Armed Forces at home and on operations overseas.
When I return there will be more local visits – and I am very much looking forward to the rededication of the WWI Roll of Honour at St Augustine's Church on Sunday.
Next week I will be joining colleagues in Scotland, campaigning ahead of the Referendum – which of course is of great relevance to us here in devolved Wales, and about which I will write further next week. After another few days spent locally, I’ll then be off to Lesotho in Africa with other members of the Penarth and District Lesotho Trust and local churches.
While there we will visit and experience some of the fantastic projects that are progressing thanks to supporters and fundraisers here in Penarth and wider south Wales, and I’m hoping to arrange a number of high-level meetings with ministers in Lesotho, where I intend to flag the strong ties between our two countries. I will of course report back on my return.
There then follows more time in the constituency, before a return to Westminster at the start of September. Of course my office in Cardiff Bay remains opens throughout, and my staff are available all year – whether Parliament is sitting or not – to help constituents. If you need our help, call 02920 452072 or email firstname.lastname@example.org