Out and about in sum­mer

The Galloway News - - NEWS -

Sir – As your MP I spend up to 40 weeks per year, four days per week, in Lon­don rep­re­sent­ing the in­ter­ests of Dum­fries and Gal­loway at West­min­ster.

But from July 22 to Septem­ber 5 it’s sum­mer re­cess and this is a valu­able time when I can fo­cus ex­clu­sively on the unique needs of my con­stituents.

Far from be­ing a hol­i­day, th­ese weeks are ac­tion­packed!

My di­ary is quickly fill­ing up with meet­ings and, of course, there are a good few agri­cul­tural shows and gala days to at­tend too.

Dum­fries and Gal­loway’s sum­mer events are great fun and they also pro­vide me with an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to re­con­nect with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and to chat to peo­ple in an in­for­mal way.

It is of­ten dur­ing th­ese in­for­mal and un­planned chats that peo­ple feel able to tell me of a prob­lem they have been hav­ing or ask for my ad­vice on a sen­si­tive is­sue.

Quite of­ten peo­ple add that they didn’t want to bother me with it or they say “I’m sure you have much more im­por­tant things to do” – which is not the case at all. I would like to say very loudly and em­phat­i­cally to all my con­stituents – you are my num­ber one pri­or­ity and if there is any­thing I can help you with then please con­tact me.

There should be no doubt in any­one’s mind – if some­thing is both­er­ing you or you need help – please sim­ply let me know.

Ul­ti­mately, my sum­mer re­cess is about help­ing peo­ple – it is the part of my role as MP that I en­joy the most and I find it in­cred­i­bly rewarding.

There is no greater priv­i­lege than to know you can use your in­flu­ence to help some­one at their wit’s end, it is truly hum­bling and I am keen to help as many peo­ple as I can over the next few weeks.

The di­ver­sity of dif­fer­ent is­sues I have dis­cussed with peo­ple lately has been stag­ger­ing – from wind­farms to flood­ing, food la­belling to ed­u­ca­tion – ev­ery pos­si­ble sub­ject you could ever imag­ine.

Find­ing so­lu­tions to prob­lems can some­times be com­plex and time con­sum­ing but on other oc­ca­sions, a sim­ple phonecall or let­ter from my of­fice can have a dra­matic im­pact.

I have never held reg­u­lar for­mal surg­eries but in­stead op­er­ate an open door pol­icy – you don’t need a surgery ap­point­ment be­fore you can get my help – just call 01387 265 698 or email richard. ark­[email protected]­lia­ment.uk. You can also pop into ei­ther my Dum­fries or Stran­raer of­fice – we stand ready to help you when­ever suits you.

Of course, I know that many of my con­stituents live nowhere near ei­ther Dum­fries or Stran­raer and for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons peo­ple can find it dif­fi­cult to travel. I want to be ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one, not just those who live in our pop­u­la­tion cen­tres so for that rea­son, I am planning a con­stituency wide Camper Van Sum­mer Tour so that I can reach you wher­ever you may be.

If you would like your town or vil­lage added to my sum­mer tour then please let me know.

And re­mem­ber, if there is any­thing I can do to support you or your com­mu­nity then please do not hes­i­tate – get in touch and let me help.

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