A whirlwind year as your MP

Anniversary of my election as your MP – a snapshot of a whirlwind year

It’s almost a year since I took up my position as your MP. What a whirlwind year it has been too. Here and in Westminster, I have been very busy working, on your behalf, across all of the priorities that I promised to take forward during the election.

Coincidently, this anniversary will be marked by the opening of my constituency office on Church Street, right in the heart of the city centre. I am delighted to be able to make good on my promise to locate my office in the city centre; bringing some jobs, filling empty premises and, most importantly, making sure that I am accessible to you.

The anniversary of my election also gives me the opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed.

A great many of you have been in touch seeking my assistance with issues you are having. In many cases my office and I have been able to help you get positive results, including with disability support, driving licences, immigration queries and housing – to name a few. However there are still times, even when exhausting all avenues, we are unable to get the desired result. Frequently, it is these cases I raise in parliament – campaigning for change, fairness and sometimes just common sense.

In this first year, I have made nearly 200 speeches and interventions on your behalf in the commons, taking forward the issues you told me were important to you.  Be it fighting the injustice that is the closure of our local HMRC office or standing up for constituents who are the victims of the contaminated blood scandal, I aim to ensure your voice is heard loud and clear in Westminster.

Often issues affecting people here are also impacting on people in other areas – none more so when the UK Government tried to cut working tax credits. These cuts would have significantly reduced the income of over 3000 families in this constituency. Working with colleagues in the parliament and, most importantly, the public we helped to bring about the u-turn on working tax credit cuts.

Sometimes delivering the best results for our constituency means finding agreement from unlikely sources so I have continued, as I did in the council, to engage across the political divide. Working this way ensured that I gained agreement for you to have the right to switch or cancel your mobile phone contract if you are not getting the service you should.

Similarly, you told me that you were fed up with unfair delivery charges so, as your MP, I gained cross-party support to take a bill to parliament on this very issue. It is the first time a Highland MP has taken forward such a bill and I will continue to work with politicians of all parties to press the UK Government to take action on these scandalous surcharges.

It is with this spirit of working across the political divide, we were able to deliver the transformational ‘Inverness Region City Deal’, secure the much needed Inverness to Heathrow Flights and turn our aspirations into reality to see Inverness Castle released to realise its potential as a tourist attraction.

Now, it’s time to use all these successes as incentives to grasp the opportunity to make our city live up to the potential of the people who live and work here.

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