The best thing about being your MP is the ability to make a real difference and help people with their individual cases and concerns.
Having served our community for nearly four years, over 12,500 residents have been helped with their personal cases. In that time, I have received over 50,000 emails as your MP on a broad range of matters. These can range from calls for reform of the House of Lords, to saving the whale (and various other species) and calling for housing help for the homeless.
Much of my campaigning in Parliament is inspired by the concerns people raise with me by email, and in my regular MP constituency surgeries.
For example, I recently met with Sasha (not her real name), a refugee from Ukraine. Sasha told me that the heating had broken down in her home. She asked her landlord to fix it. The response? He handed her a Section 21, the so called “no fault” eviction notice.
The following week I raised Sasha’s case in Parliament – demanding an end to “no fault” evictions and a better deal for renters. I am backing a Government draft law that will ban “no fault” evictions.
Last year I saw Simon (again not his real name) in my constituency surgery. Simon was being treated differently in his workplace after he reached retirement age, and it seemed to me that that his company wanted to get rid of him. As a result, I tabled a draft law in Parliament seeking to stop age discrimination. We are all living longer and should be able to work longer, without losing workplace rights or benefits.
Cases like these highlight the importance of fairness, opportunity and a Britain that works for everyone.
Community wide concerns are really important too. When blood testing was axed from Deal Hospital without notice, I backed community campaigners to get them restored – including holding a candlelight vigil and community consultation covering over 14,000 households. Now two years on, health chiefs have committed to restore blood testing at Deal Hospital.
When I’m out and about chatting to people, an issue of particular concern raised with me by many residents is the number of small boat crossings. This is an issue I often raise in Parliament. Indeed, I have hosted both Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak in Dover, pressing for action to stop the boats. In addition, I secured changes in the law to ban social media companies like TikTok carrying adverts placed by the criminal people smuggling gangs.
I have now spoken in Parliament over 180 times, and voted more than 800 times on our behalf. At every turn, I seek to make our community’s case. To take action and get things done. Whether it is for better healthcare, more jobs and money, more investment or better roads, the people and community of Dover, Deal and our villages are, and will always be, my top priority.