I can’t wait for recess to end and sittings to re-commence for two reasons; being trapped in the office is tedious and there are occasions when things happen in the constituency which just make your blood boil and need you to take action. I have had a number of those type of issues recently. For example, I would very much like to ask the Chancellor why he thinks that rural constituencies such as Mid Beds deserve less funding for local bus services than urban ones.
It is true that transport payments have kept in line with inflation, but rural areas started off on the back foot and have never caught up - so just where is the extra revenue raised via fuel duty and VAT going?
Rural areas need good public transport; it’s more difficult to get around and essential services such as shops, post offices and GP’s are more sparcely spread out. If you don’t have good local bus services, people are cut off or have their quality of life restricted.
One day, those people who take a blasé attitude to local buses will become elderly, or if for some reason they can no longer drive, they will know and appreciate the value of a good local bus service and how difficult life can be for those who can’t jump into a car or just walk to a local shop.
Maybe when the government made it compulsory to pay the state pension directly into a bank account – whether pensioners wanted it or not, thereby cutting both an economic life line to Post Offices and a social lifeline to many of the elderly - they should have said, by the way the reason we are doing this is because it won’t be possible to get to the Post Office soon because there won’t be any buses.
In the meantime, my constituents face difficulties as the local bus company announces reduced services – meanwhile I am restricted to letter writing until next week, when I will be able to kick up a fuss. Where’s my handbag?!!