Last week on Monday I attended my first meeting of the Citizens Advice Bureau as a newly appointed trustee. I was highly impressed by the work the volunteers have been doing under the leadership of Chairman and Chief Executive, Liz Halliday and it is a real privilege to join such a motivated and public-spirited team.

A new team will be starting in April dealing with new Universal Credit claims and I would highly encourage anyone to make enquiries to their confidential and honest team to make the most of the service they provide.
On Tuesday, I paid a visit to the Hospital Social Care Team office to speak to the manager and to team members about the work they do to support patients back into the community as quickly and seamlessly as possible. The visit was a great opportunity to learn more about the way in which the team works and about their role in smoothing over the gaps between NHS and social care responsibilities for patients whose needs are often complex and long-term. It was a particular pleasure to meet three inspirational young nurses whose dedication to the patients they served was clear for all to see.

On Thursday morning, I was at the planning committee meetings in the County Hall. Members considered a number of planning applications and it is a real privilege to take on such a responsibility for deciding how the city should develop and for balancing the needs of homeowners, the economy and the environment in the interests of future generations of residents in Wakefield.

Later that day I attended the Women’s Fund Lunch with other backers of this new branch of the Wakefield Community Trust. We discussed how it could be set up to support the twin aims of inspiring young women to aspire for leadership roles and of providing better opportunities for disadvantaged women across Wakefield.

The following day I was delighted to visit St Andrew’s Church in Netherton for their lunch which was a lot of fun as ever and a great focal point for members of the community to come together. It was a great event to attend as an opportunity to meet many of the residents I have been working with in a social setting, and hope to be able to do so more frequently. I may even win more prizes in the raffle!

Over the weekend, I continued my routine of speaking to residents about issues in the local area. I was particularly touched by a conversation I had with one resident in Durkar which he told me that despite having been brought up as a Labour voter, he felt that his life had been more secure and more prosperous every time there had been a Conservative government. It is always great to meet people like him who have benefitted from the Conservative Party’s mixture of compassionate government and effective economic management and I am sure that there are many others like him across Wakefield who feel the same.

I was delighted to end my week by holding a Quiz Night in the newly refurbished Wooley Village Hall Woolley Village The building is now looking beautiful once again and was a wonderful venue for a fun filled evening. My thanks go to all those who were involved and I could not help but leave thinking how lucky I am to live in this stunning corner of Yorkshire!