Dr Phillip Lee: Engaging with constituents 'fantastic opportunity" to discuss issuesBy Dr Phillip Lee MP
February 27, 2013
Engaging with constituents forms one of the most enjoyable aspects of my role as a Member of Parliament.
From public meetings and school visits to pulling pints in different pubs each month, I like to engage with constituents in many different areas.
Last month, I visited Greengables Day Nursery in Sandhurst where I was shown the great work the nursery is carrying out in educating pre-schoolers about the environment and the importance of recycling.
The nursery promotes alternative energy by using solar panels for their electricity and this is very much in sync with the work I am carrying out in Westminster as I have been sitting on the Energy Bill Committee shaping the best energy strategy for this country.
Seeing pre-schoolers learn the importance of being environmentally friendly is great and I hope the lessons they learnt about energy efficiency will be carried throughout their lives.
School visits are a good time to engage with the young, especially when I am challenged with some interesting questions which the students at Holme Grange School in Wokingham recently fielded to me.
These meetings are very interesting for me personally, as they allow me to see what really affects young people and what they would like to see done for their towns since they are not of voting age.
I have said in a previous column that I believe engaging young people is very rewarding for both the democratic system and for themselves.
This is why I engage and work with schools in my role as MP to promote participation and political awareness both locally and at a Government level.
I also hold quarterly public Q&A sessions which I rotate around the constituency, the most recent of which was in Sandhurst on Thursday, February 7.
These meetings, like the school visits, are a fantastic opportunity to engage and discuss issues and for me to be open with members of the public about my political views.
I am thankful for all the constituents who attend these meetings and I hope more people will want to come along and speak in the future.
Pub visits are important to me as a supporter of the Great British Pub Movement and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
In each visit I learn more about the art of pulling pints and the secrets behind managing the many successful pubs in the Bracknell constituency.
Each pub has a different but vibrant atmosphere and I especially enjoy meeting the locals as well as families who dine in some of these fine establishments.
Being an MP allows me to meet the many great individuals of my constituency and get a real feel for the issues that matter.
I then take them back to Westminster where I can campaign vociferously on their behalf.