When the House of Commons is in summer recess it means that Parliamentary business such as debates in the Chamber, questions to Ministers, work on Select Committees and voting on legislation must wait until September.
Constituency work continues though. Life does not stop just because Parliament is not sitting. It is a time to catch up on casework, meetings, and an opportunity to pop in to local community events, of which we have many – in fact so many I cannot mention them all here today. It is a worthy reminder of the dedication and work that goes on quietly behind the scenes to make things happen and ensure the success of each and every coffee morning, sports event, fun day or community showcase, much of it done by volunteers. We don’t always recognise our volunteers enough but they are part of what brings our local communities together.
I recently met with a group of young people enrolled on the National Citizen Service – a voluntary programme designed to encourage personal and social development through activities requiring leadership and community involvement. They too shared the value of volunteering and were actively involved in planning a project at The Hothouse in Aldridge – itself at the heart of the local community.
As the summer draws to a close, the cricket season comes to an end and the days begin to grow that little bit shorter, it is time to look forward to the return of Parliament when we will be debating a number of Private Members Bills in the chamber. This will include my own Private Members Bill, which is titled The NHS (Charitable Trusts etc) Bill. It will receive its second hearing in November. The purpose behind the Bill is to make provision to allow the rights of royalties from JM Barrie’s Peter Pan stories to be transferred to the new independent Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity – but more on that in the weeks ahead.
Before then however, we will be debating the Assisted Dying Bill. This is an emotive and very sensitive subject, on which I have already received a number of letters and emails from my constituents and if you have not already contacted me and wish to express your views please do write to me at my Constituency office, at 82 Walsall Road, Aldridge, WS9 0JW, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, I welcome your views.
A version of this article was originally published in the Walsall Advertiser and Sutton Coldfield Observer on August 27.