Community Visits – Wrexham Leader Column

There are many different parts to an MP’s job. For much of the year, I spend Mondays to Thursdays in Parliament. There I represent my constituents by speaking in debates, asking questions to Government Ministers, voting, sitting on parliamentary committees and attending a whole range of meetings. I also spend time replying to constituents’ emails and letters and researching matters that are coming up before Parliament. 

Fridays and weekends though are different. So too are the recesses when Parliament isn’t sitting. That’s the time I work directly in the constituency – holding surgeries for constituents, having meetings and making constituency visits. I go to special events, businesses, schools, community groups, charities, concerts, churches and lots more! These visits are a hugely important part of my job.

There’s no such thing as a typical MP’s visit because they are all different. However, to give a few examples, in the eleven days around Easter when Parliament wasn’t sitting, my work included a visit to a remarkable museum exhibition, time with the Royal Mail and visits and meetings with the Co-op Group.

The time I spent with the Royal Mail was very practical. I was taken around the Llangollen Delivery Office and then went out on a round with a postman. That day the weather was fine, but it confirmed to me how hard our postmen and postwomen work to ensure our mail is delivered in all weathers, to all homes and businesses, no matter how remote they are. 

I also went to see the ‘Penley Hospital: The Story of a Polish Community in Wales’ exhibition at Wrexham Museum.  The exhibition, which was superb, tells an important part of our local history. I was reminded of the close links between our area, Poland and indeed the rest of continental Europe. 

My visits to the Co-op Group reflected different aspects of their work in this their 175th anniversary year. I met with staff at the Rhos store and then heard from representatives of local organisations who had benefited from funding through the Co-op Membership scheme. I went to the Stiwt theatre and saw the amazing restoration of the clock, which was supported by the Co-op. I met with representatives of the extraordinary Wrexham Inclusion FC, an organisation which has had an amazing impact on the lives of local people with disabilities, mental health needs, as well as other issues including substance misuse and homelessness. Finally, it was up to Brymbo to see the Brymbo Heritage Orchard. Here, the Co-op had provided funding for tools, training and equipment to make juice and cider in the traditional way. 

In the next few months, as always, my diary is filling up with other visits and meetings across the 240 square mile constituency of Clwyd South.