I think I’m just about getting used to the extra piles of paperwork that come with being a Government Minister. Red boxes full of decisions to make and letters to sign aren’t completed in a few minutes!
Yet my weekly signing pile of letters for constituents reminds me of my main responsibilities. As do my twice weekly advice surgeries.
So, this week’s column is just a reminder: if you need my help – or simply want to make your point about an issue of the day – you can come and talk to me face-to-face at my regular advice sessions.
Where and when are they? Well, on Thursday evening or Friday evening or Saturday morning, depending on the week, and all over the constituency.
Plus once a week at 8 a.m., on a Monday in my constituency office at 21, Berrylands Road, Surbiton.
I advertise them through my website. Plus you can find out where they are by ringing 020 8288 0161. I also have posters put up in a range of public places and include details in my annual report.
We don’t have an appointments system, because I hold these sessions so frequently. But, be warned! Sometimes there can be long queues. It’s not unknown for me to spend over four hours at an advice surgery, when I may talk to 20 or more individuals or groups who’ve come to see me.
I enjoy these sessions because of the wide variety of things people ask me about. Housing, tax credits, pensions, NHS, child support agency, the Home Office – to name but a few. Now it’s also a relief from those red boxes!