Bassetlaw MP welcomes chance to focus on matters closer to home

Brendan Clarke-Smith, Bassetlaw MP.
Brendan Clarke-Smith, Bassetlaw MP.

This week Parliament is in recess and I’ve been back in the constituency trying to catch up on local matters, writes Brendan Clarke-Smith MP.

The last couple of months have been incredibly busy, so this gives me a chance to organise myself without having to speak in the Commons or vote on any important legislation.

MPs generally spend Monday to Thursday in Westminster and then come back home for the remaining three days of the week.

These are the days we normally hold surgeries, meet residents or visit establishments like businesses, charities or schools.

This means it can sometimes be hard to fit everybody in and I’d like to thank people for their patience (including my family, who I also need to make time for).

In the past I’ve mentioned the work of all-party parliamentary groups (APPG).

Last week, I got involved as a vice-chairman with the APPG for Motor Neurone Disease (MND), which affects many people in Bassetlaw.

MND is a cruel and devastating disease.

You may have seen the touching interview with sportsmen Doddie Weir, Rob Burrow and Stephen Darby on the BBC last week.

One thing we are currently fighting for is the Scrap 6 Months Campaign.

The Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) process is the fast-track process for claiming benefits, meaning people do not have to go through a long and stressful assessment process.

However, the SRTI requires ‘a reasonable expectation of death within six months’, which excludes many people with an unpredictable terminal illness like MND.

This is now subject to review and we are pushing for it to be scrapped.

The Draft Bassetlaw Local Plan has been a hot topic recently.

Whilst this is dealt with by Bassetlaw Council, as your MP, I want make sure that you feel adequately consulted and that your views are taken into account.

Details of both the plan and the consultation process can be found here: https://www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/planning-and-building/the-draft-bassetlaw-local-plan/

The deadline for representations is February 26 at 6pm.

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Brendan Clarke-Smith is MP for Bassetlaw.