Friday, 24 July 2009

Getting to grips with the issues that matter

The last couple of days have been a busy time dealing with constituency case work. There has been a steady rise in the number of people coming to me with problems that they need help with ranging from housing and pensions to the application process for technology development grants and the controversy over the future of the Children’s Centre at Trevu Road in Camborne.

Trying to help people sort out problems is the bread and butter work of an MP. I have always thought that candidates should try to do their bit too. In some cases people come to me because the current MP has been unable to help them. In a small minority of cases they don’t even get a reply. But the story is familiar. They write with a problem. The MP goes through the motions of sending a letter to someone else. They then receive a fob-off reply which is forwarded back to the constituent with a note saying “I hope this answers your query”, although it seldom does.

I see one of the most important roles of an MP as trying to cut through the bureaucratic nonsense that plagues so much of life today. There are now far too many laws and regulations and each one brings with it a whole set of procedures and tick box routines that public bodies go through but which increasingly lose touch with reality and people’s day to day problems. In the end, people feel it is impossible to be heard and it is one of the reasons for disillusion in the government and politics.