As a new MP, I spend a lot of time dealing with new enquires and am often contacted by people and organisations that are not connected to my constituency. Wherever possible, I concentrate on matters that directly or indirectly impact on my constituents.
But in addition to representing and supporting constituents, MPs also have a national role as legislators, and it is vital that new laws are properly scrutinised and Government departments are held to account. That’s why I was delighted to be elected last week to the sit on the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee.
Select committees are made up of groups of backbench MPs, and their role is to keep a close eye on Government departments. Serving on a select committee is usually an honour reserved for senior MPs, but the Class of 2010 has done well under new rules which saw members of the select committees elected for the first time, rather than appointed.
As a new boy in the House of Commons, I am delighted to have won my colleagues’ confidence so early in my political career.
I feel very strongly that we need to reduce our dependence on imported energy, much of which comes from some of the world’s most unstable regions. That means nuclear power, a greater use of liquefied natural gas, and more research into predictable renewable sources such as tidal power and into carbon capture and ‘clean coal’ technologies. In addition, the UK has dangerously low levels of gas storage compared with other European countries.
Serving on the Committee gives me an opportunity to play a full role in holding the Government to account in Westminster, as well as helping local people in my constituency, and it is an opportunity I intend to seize.