I sit in the House of Commons from Monday to Thursday, leaving Friday as my day in the constituency.
Here is my working day from last Friday to give you an idea of what I do locally and how I can help you and your community.
Just like any working day, my alarm goes off at 6am and I am off to the Bexhill Chamber of Commerce breakfast by 7.30am where I am one of the speakers.
The main topic is High Speed Rail for Bexhill. This is an exciting opportunity for us to bring direct trains from Bexhill to London in just 78 minutes by 2019 - good for businesses and residents alike.
From Bexhill, I drive over to Northiam where I am visiting the team at Great Dixter. This beautiful garden is not only a magnet for tourists but home to apprentices who are learning new skills. After discussing what issues I can raise for ecology and nature in Parliament, I head off to meet the owners of one of our large businesses to discuss issues which hold business expansion back (such as planning, business rates, road closures and other obstacles to trade).
I then visit a primary school which has worked hard to come out of special measures and is opening its Forest School. It is a joy to join the children as they learn about nature and have adventures in the sunshine. Next, we are due to meet with the Chair of a Parish Council to discuss local issues and I hold a surgery and drop-in meeting with parishioners in Peasmarsh. Some matters have to be dealt with as a confidential one-on-one but I have time to join about 20 villagers to discuss political matters, local and national, over a cup of tea. As ever, I try and give a straight view to the interesting questions and matters raised.
I then head over to the furthest easterly point of the constituency to meet the staff and patients at Rye Memorial Hospital. This fantastic community hospital looks after elderly patients from across the constituency and it is a pleasure to talk with the patients and to witness the caring and hardworking nursing team at work. The hospital is beautifully laid out with the best equipment, as it should be for patients who have done so much for this country throughout their lives.
I was due to make a stop off for National Care Home week but this clashed with the residents’ weekly Scrabble contest.
Knowing my place, I instead go to my last event which is a reception for the local law society at Battle Abbey. Once this is over, I pick up the family curry from Heathfield and I am then back at home in Five Ashes after a very satisfying and interesting 15 hours in our beautiful constituency.