THIS week I will hit one year as an MP.

It was always going to be a huge change from running charities for young people, but it has been a year like no other. Much of what I wanted to do has not been possible due to the pandemic restrictions and parliament not functioning in its traditional way – this has been a real disappointment.

I’m nonetheless proud that I am about to pass 12,000 constituent cases/queries dealt with, many of which have been focused on helping individuals, families and businesses through the problems they’ve encountered as a result of Covid. It is by far the most satisfying part of the job to resolve something that has been causing distress to a constituent.

Despite the restrictions, I have still made over 50 contributions in the House of Commons on issues from supermarket deliveries for those shielding and issues with broadband or the Probate Office, to the Domestic Abuse and Agriculture bills. I’ve also managed to meet with over 100 organisations (I haven’t been keeping a precise count) operating locally and look forward to meeting hundreds more.

Getting Grove station on a list of stations to be considered for funding was a highlight and I will keep pushing our case until I’m successful. I am delighted that my debate on the safety issues on the A420 and A34 seems to have had an impact on Highways England and the relevant ministers and I will keep plugging away at them. I’ve pursued my interest in the environment through my membership of the Conservative Environment Network, co-sponsor of the Local Electricity Bill and some other initiatives you’ll hear about shortly.

I’ve lost none of my passion for education and social mobility. We’ve had an eventful year on the Education Committee and I’ve enjoyed co-chairing the APPG on Social Mobility. I’ve also kept my enthusiasm for what charities do and try to help a range of them across the constituency, including as patron of Play2Give and Secret Santa 365, who both do such great work.

I’ve been working with local and national colleagues to try and get us the health services we need. There’ve also been the unexpected issues like water supply, mail deliveries and anti-social behaviour by unauthorised traveller camps that I know cause such distress to local residents; on the last I’ve been pushing the government to bring forward legislation.

On the agenda for 2021 include all of the above and more, such as a new APPG to campaign for the local AEAT Pensioners. My new role is very different to my old and no MP would say it’s an easy one, but it’s a privileged position to represent and support local people.