Meeting as many people as possible in Pendle

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and community fire saftey officer Geoff Hudson with Pendle residents at his Pensioners Fair.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and community fire saftey officer Geoff Hudson with Pendle residents at his Pensioners Fair.

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In addition to my usual advice surgeries in seven different locations throughout Pendle, during the summer I also held a number of additional surgeries in places like ASDA in Colne, Sainsbury’s in Colne and Morrisons in Nelson.

I have done this many times before and feel it is useful as you are approached by people who perhaps had not thought about contacting their Member of Parliament.

A classic example of this was the resident who approached me about an empty property in Nelson which they feared had been turned into a cannabis farm – a tip-off that led to the seizure of £250,000-worth of drugs on Wednesday.

I applaud the resident for passing on their concerns to me and the police’s swift action.

To make myself as available as possible, I also hold street surgeries and organised a Pensioners’ Fair in Colne, which brought together a number of different organisations all under one roof.

This follows similar events in Barrowford and Barnoldswick, both of which proved very popular, and of course my annual Job Fairs which have helped lots of people into work.

Making myself as accessible as possible, when in Pendle, is important because when Parliament is sitting, MPs have to be in London.

Needless to say, with the Scottish referendum, Ukraine, the Middle East and threat from the Islamic State, there has been lots to discuss and a blur of meetings.

I really do appreciate all the letters and e-mails I have received on these big domestic and international issues, all of which I will be responding to in due course.

Whether we are looking at trouble spots in the world, or the possible separation of our own United Kingdom, it is clear there are no easy solutions, but also that inaction is not an option.