Our new Vale of York MP has kindly taken time out of his busy schedule to be interviewed exclusively by Bishopthorpe.net
1. How did you feel when you realised that you had the most votes and you were going to
become an MP?
Obviously very excited but at the same time very honoured to become the first MP for York Outer and to have this great opportunity to put something back into the local community.
2. What happens after election, (looking for the process here really, is it like starting secondary school again!), had you been to the Houses of Parliament before or is everything new to you? After the election all new MPs were asked to attend parliament on the following Monday with their passports, a utility bill and a copy of one of your election leaflets. On arrival we were very quickly and efficiently given our security clearance set up with an email address and a laptop and given a tour of the House of Commons. It was only my second visit to the house the first being when I presented a petition to Number Ten against the closure of Fulford Post office so I certainly need a tour to be able to find my way around.
3. What are your plans now, how are you going to represent your constituency, what are your initial aims and your longer term goals?
My first and main aim is to become a good hard working MP for all the residents of York Outer, being as effective as possible to represent them to the best of my ability. Being as accessible as possible having regular surgeries rotating them around the constituency holding them in local village and church halls. The longer term goals are based around fighting for better investment in local infustructure around York so that we can secure a vibrant local economy helping to secure jobs and create for the future. This will not be easy in the short term given the current economic mess we have been left by the previous Government but we need to think and plan for the longer term to secure a vibrant economic future for York and the surrounding villages.
4. Was there anything said to you on the doorsteps by local people during your election campaign that has effected your views or how you will work? After knocking on doors for over three years there are lots of things I have picked up, but one thing that is said by a number of people who tend to be disengaged by politics is that you only knock on doors during election times. Which is not the case as we have been out on the doorsteps for a good three years, however I want to make sure we continue to be out there talking to people all the time not just when it comes round to elections. It so important that politicians remain in constant contact with constituents all year round and be accountable to them at all times which is what I am determined to do.
5. When can the people of Bishopthorpe meet you, will you be holding surgeries here? I held my second surgery since the election in Bishopthorpe Village Hall on Saturday 19th June, and will continue to be holding them on a regular basis rotating them around the constituency.
6. Do you plan to work at all with our elected City of York Councilor John Galvin and Bishopthorpe Parish Council? Yes, John's a good friend and a hard working local Councillor. I want to work with local councillors from City of York and Parish Councils to make sure we get the best for our area it is really important we all pull together and put the future of York and our surrounding villages first. I have always said that I would party politics to one side and work closely with Hugh Bayley MP for York Central as well as working with local Councillors to make sure we get the best for our area.
7. Will we see you on question time? Hopefully one day but probably not over the next few months.