After a torrid couple of days in Parliament, it was something of a relief to return to Bristol and carry on with my constituency work. I held a busy surgery this morning in St Anne’s, where issues ranged from serious antisocial behaviour, housing repairs, immigration, commissioning of NHS services, unregulated financial products, a constituent’s partner stranded in Indian-controlled Kashmir, and support for a local charity doing great work in Ethiopia.
One of the first organisations I became involved with when I first became an MP in 2005 was Bristol Credit Union. I took Ed Balls along to meet them when he Economic Secretary to the Treasury and set up the APPG for Credit Unions, to lobby for credit unions to be able to offer more services to their customers. It’s great to see that Bristol Credit Union is still going strong, under the leadership of James Berry. They provide a vital financial lifeline for people who cannot access mainstream banking services. It was a pleasure to pop into their 20th birthday celebration at City Hall today.
I also met up with the Chief Exec of the Quartet Community Foundation to discuss their latest Vital Signs report and what support they can offer to community groups in east Bristol. Quartet is keen to hear from community groups, so I would definitely recommend local organisations consider getting in touch!
Now I’m off to UWE to speak to the Labour club!