MPs website proves to be a massive HIT
Local MP Edward Davey expressed his disbelief that his website had proved so popular when he received the latest figures for the number of times it had been used.
According to an independent internet host log, it has been visited over 31,000 times since the beginning of November.
The website clearly explains how he can be contacted and what he is doing each week both in parliament and in the constituency. There are links to the parliamentary home page which provides in depth information on how he voted, his speeches and most other parliamentary related business.
Commenting on the amazing results, Edward said,
"I want to be as open and as accessible as possible to residents and my website is an integral part of achieving this. Residents are using it more and more as a means of finding out what they want to know and they can pass on their concerns to me 24 hours a day."
"I am now getting on average over 20 messages from local residents a week through the website and some are even from the other side of the world! Someone from Kingston in Canada thought I was his MP and asked me to chase up an application he made through a Government department. Its reassuring to know that people the world over face the same sort of problems but I have no intention of becoming an international MP."
"Thank you to everyone that has worked on the site and all of my constituents who have sent my suggestions of how it can be improved."
"As a result of one suggestion, I have asked the officer in charge of the parliamentary site which, is directly linked to my own to provide information on how often MPs vote. This will mean that everyone throughout the country can see how their MP chooses to balance their time between constituency, parliamentary and for some other MPs, business engagements."
1) Number of hits since November = 31,515
2) Most visited sections in order of preference:
A letter to the officer in charge of the parliamentary website
House of Commons Library
Re: MPs voting records
I have had some difficulties in the past in getting this information and it can take some time to filter through from the House of Commons Library.
This has caused a delay in being able to respond to constituency based enquiries and I believe that the updates produced should be easily and freely accessible to all members of the public.
I understand that the House of Commons Library will shortly be regularly producing an in-house participation rate database.
I firmly believe that this information should be freely available to all and as a result, I would appreciate it if these updates can be placed on the Commons site at the first available opportunity.
I look forward to seeing progress made on this matter shortly.
Edward Davey MP
Reply from the House of Commons Library
20 April 2000
Dear Mr Davey
MPs voting records
Thank you for your comments on our newly available data on MPs participation in divisions. We are always pleased to receive feedback from Members and I am glad you see our publication as a welcome development. We intend to publish figures in hard copy on a monthly basis from now on. You should already have received a copy of the most recent publication containing data to the end of March 2000. I will include you on a distribution list for future editions unless you let me know otherwise. As to making the figures available electronically, it is our intention to put them on the parliamentary intranet during the Summer recess and on the internet (on a sessional basis) once the complete session's data is available.
It is fair to say that we are not moving as fast as we might on this project. This is mainly because not all your fellow MPs have been so keen about the dissemination of this data. We do not therefore feel able to give them wider circulation until a reasonable period of time, covering a number of divisions and circumstanmces, has elapsed.