What a month we’ve had, it’s been an absolutely beautiful start to the Spring and now I’m reporting back with your regular update about my work across the Redcar constituency, both at home and in Parliament. Along with keeping up with a steady flow of casework on behalf of local people, I have also been extremely busy in Parliament. I have recently taken a position on the welfare reform bill committee. This is a very important piece of legislation, which will have a particular impact on our constituency; it is a huge responsibility and one which I take very seriously. The bill set in place a simplified and more effective system of welfare, including the introduction of a Single Universal Credit which will replace various means tested benefits and tax credits. It has been a lot of work so far, with each line of the proposed bill scrutinised in minute detail to make sure that the final document which is put before MPs is the very best it can be. As I’m sure you’re aware the local council elections are fast approaching. On May 5th you will once again be asked to choose who you want to represent your interests locally. This is an important decision and will have a huge impact on the future of our area.
This area needs to get back to basics and focus on making our area cleaner and greener in order to encourage more people to visit, be a better place to live in and invest in the area so that we can all benefit. Postal voting papers should be hitting doormats from Monday 18th April so don’t forget to get yours in. On May 5th you will also be asked whether you would like to change the voting system. This is a once in a generation opportunity to have your say on how you elect your representatives and elect them under a fairer system. The choice is between keeping the current system and voting for a fairer way to elect your representatives. It is between more duck houses and expenses scandals or more democracy and harder working MPs. I strongly urge you to vote YES in May and secure a fairer, more representative system for our country. Under the new, fairer system, candidates are ranked in order of preference and must secure at least 50% of the vote in order to be elected. It really is as easy as 1,2,3. It is a very small change which will make a big difference. It would mean MPs would have to work much harder for their electorate, and make sure that we represent you effectively. Only bad MPs have reason to be worried about a fairer voting system. Next month I will have been your MP for a year and I am looking forward to talking to Coastal View about where this year has gone, what we have achieved in that year and my plans for the next four years. Until next month Ian Swales MP.