Next week MPs will return to Westminster after the Summer Recess. Although often dubbed a holiday, the Parliamentary Summer break is actually a great opportunity to spend time supporting various organisations and initiatives in the local community. As I look forward to the start of a new Parliamentary Term, I reflect on some of the activities that I had the pleasure to take part in this summer.
In July had the honour of launching Stockport Citizens Advice Bureau’s #AskforAngela campaign. This is a confidential service ran by dedicated, trained staff and volunteers who provide free and impartial advice to men and women who are experiencing issues around domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, forced marriage, honour-based violence, human trafficking, female genital mutilation (FGM), stalking and harassment. To access this service, local people can simply "ASK for Angela" at the reception of Fred Perry House, Stockport.
At the start of August I met with Pam Smith, Chief Executive of Stockport Council, to discuss local issues raised with me by constituents across Hazel Grove. Two of the big items on the agenda were concerns with transport infrastructure and the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. I am also launching a petition to oppose the planned extension to Bredbury Industrial Estate which would threaten a large area of local green belt land.
I also had a great day out volunteering with Sue and Peter from the New Horizons canal barge. New Horizons is a Marple based charity which provides safe and enjoyable trips for individuals, groups and families with specially adapted access for disabled people. I have been a long-time supporter of this local charity and I always enjoy catching up with the team!
A few weeks ago I paid a visit to Walthew House, an independent charity providing support for people who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing or those who have dual sensory loss across Stockport. I was delighted to be the guest speaker at the Marple Rotary Club lunch in Mellor and was pleased to hear their plans for the coming years.
Toward the end of August I took part in Stockport’s Dragon’s Den style National Citizen Service Challenge Programme. Groups of youngsters from across Stockport and Cheshire were tasked with preparing pitches on specific social action projects which had to be costed and be measurable, timely and effective. It was great to join the NCS Challenge Programme in Stockport. The teams put together fantastic pitches and I was impressed by their analysis of the issues they raised, such as homelessness and how we combat loneliness as a society.
Finally, I want to offer my congratulations to all students across the Hazel Grove constituency for a fantastic set of GCSE and A-Level results. I hope you achieve what you set out to do, and your results help you get to your next goal; whether that be college, an apprenticeship university or employment.