Politically Speaking: By Kim Leadbeater, MP for Batley & Spen

I hope to meet many of you on my ‘summer tour’

LIFE AS A NEW MP: It has been a busy five weeks
LIFE AS A NEW MP: It has been a busy five weeks

It’s hard to believe that the by-election was just five weeks ago. A lot has happened since, and there is certainly a lot to do. I have made some very good progress in the last few weeks though.

In many ways life as a new MP is similar to starting your own business.

I am currently setting up a constituency office, recruiting staff, sorting out phone numbers and a website and everything else I need to do the job properly. I’m nearly there and will publish the details as soon as I can.

I have also been busy in Westminster asking the questions we need answered, on funding to sort out the state of our roads, ways to tackle speeding and dangerous driving.

And making sure local people can have their views heard properly on big planning decisions like the Amazon warehouse in Scholes.

Getting up on my feet in Parliament for the first time was a bit daunting, but I know how important it is for local people to have vocal representation for our area in the corridors of power.

I will never be afraid to ask the questions that the people of Batley and Spen want answers on.

It was encouraging this week to see Staincliffe, Healey, Batley Carr and Mount Pleasant listed among those parts of Yorkshire with the lowest Covid infection rates, although there is no room for complacency. The virus isn’t beaten yet.

I have met people from across the country who have lost loved ones – a stark reminder of how painful recent times have been for so many, and how we still remain under the dark shadow of the pandemic.

Parliament has now broken up for the summer recess.

I am pleased to say that means I can concentrate on addressing the concerns of constituents at a local level – meeting people from across Batley and Spen and hearing directly from them on what needs to be done.

It is a large constituency which means there are a wide variety of concerns, along with much to be celebrated.

So whether it’s working with local groups on the plans for revitalising Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Batley town centres, discussing the urgent need to address road safety with residents who share my serious concerns about speeding drivers, helping fantastic sports clubs such as Liversedge Cricket and Tennis clubs with their future plans or listening to 89-year old Barrie in his front room in Healey talking about how things have changed in the area over the decades – every meeting and conversation has been valuable.

I’m going to spend the next few weeks doing a kind of ‘Summer Tour’.

No souvenir t-shirts but a lot of important conversations across the area.

With over 80,000 adults and lots more children I sadly won’t be able to see everybody I’d like to.

But over the coming months it’s my intention to get down as many roads (and up as many hills) as I can.

Thanks for reading!