One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
A Day In The Life Of Grant Shapps
What does your local MP actually do? Who do they meet? How hard do they work? These are just some of the questions I hoped to shed some light on when I decided to follow Welwyn Hatfield MP and Housing Minister Grant Shapps around for a day.
I arranged to meet him on a Friday which is his constituency day to see how he deals with local issues and local people. The day before, I was sent his schedule which included eight different meetings in eight different places - this gave me an idea of just how busy my day was about to become....
8:30 - Set off from home to get to Welwyn Garden City for 10am.
9:50 - Arrive at Woodhall Community Centre to meet Grant for the first time.
10-11:10 - Sit in on his MP's Surgery which he holds every week. It's a chance for people in the community to talk to him about anything they like - and the topics are really varied....
Meeting Grant Shapps
11:30 - Arrive at council offices for a meeting about housing polices
13:00 - Head to local business Chapman Ventilation in Welwyn Garden City. They want to discuss how the government can help businesses like theirs in the current climate. While I was there I asked Anthony, the owner, what he thought of Grant as an MP...
Anthony - Owner Of Chapman Ventilation
14:00 - Drive to the Howard Centre in Welwyn Garden City to drop in to the Dementia Awareness Week stand - a cause he's keen to support. He's been asked to pick the winner for a competition they've been running all morning. I spoke to Pamela Goodwin who supervising the stand to ask her how important Grant's support is to the charity...
Pamela Goodwin - Dementia Awareness Week
14:30 - We're all starving so we finally stop for a quick lunch in Starbucks. While Grant's sat still for a few minutes I grab my chance to ask him about his job and what he loves about it...
Grant on being an MP
15:00 - After a quick bite to eat we're back on the road to visit a home in Welwyn. I resident wants to talk to Grant about continuing problems with flooding in the road.
16:00 - We're there for 30 minutes before we're back in the car heading to Hatfield High Street where we're meeting an inspirational small business called Beau Jangles that's looking to expand...
Beau Jangles - Hatfield
16:30 - After a quick icecream we head across the road to a community centre for a meeting with Pastors that want to set up a new church in Hatfield but are having problems. They just want to update Grant on the situation so he's kept informed.
17:30 - Straight after meeting the Pastors it's back on the road to meet a residents association in Old Hatfield. When we arrive it's very welcoming and we're greeted with Pimms! They want to talk to Grant about the location of a job centre which they say is bringing antisocial behaviour to the area...
18:40 - The day is finally over! I'm shattered from travelling from place to place and meeting a multitude of people about so many different topics! Grant told me this is his favourite part of the job and he really is enthusiastic about trying to help all the people he meets with their problems. I'm looking forward to heading home to relax for the weekend but Grant will be back up at 6am tomorrow morning for TV appearances about the Mary Portas Review. One thing I have learnt from today is that to be a successful MP you have to put your heart and soul into it!
The End Of The Day
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