I am still working full time (the mortgage has to get paid some how) but this week I took three days off to do some meetings and visits that are impossible to do during the weekend or evenings.
Wednesday was absolutely jam packed. First up was a visit to the White Road Estate Community Centre to meet with staff and volunteers. It was fantastic to hear how the infrastructure of the Community Centre has changed thanks to Council investment, and that the services being provided are being expanded for the local residents. I met the lady who runs the dance class, the husband and wife team who run the judo club, and a very passionate woman who runs the family room. They were 100% committed to their work and the support that they receive from the Council helps them enormously. I hope to get more involved in some of the events at the Community Centre in the future.
After a short meeting with Medway Council Leader Rodney Chambers, I then headed over to Tonbridge for a meeting with the Inspector and Sergeant in charge of policing in the Mallings area. It was a very wide ranging discussion and it was good to come away from the Station knowing that areas like Blue Bell Hill, Aylesford, Ditton, Larkfield, Burham, Eccles, Wouldham and Snodland are being looked after by some very experienced police officers.
It was then back to Snodland to discuss elderly care with a fantastic 91 year old before heading on for a coffee with a local journalist. It was then on to coaching with the girls in the freezing cold.
Yesterday was comparatively light - I had a coffee morning to start with some local residents in Aylesford before catching up on constituency mail. This was followed by a chat with some youngsters at the local Youth Club who are interested in getting involved in politics before heading to my sisters in Lenham for dinner and Friends!
Today was again a busy one with a visit to Aylesford Newsprint for an update on some of the local and national issues they are facing including some major legislative concerns impacting on the company. I then went along to the Robin Hood pub in Blue Bell Hill as part of the support your local campaign and ended up talking to a bunch of regulars about how angry they are at MPs for abusing their expenses. It turned out to be a less relaxing trip to the pub than I expected but it was great to engage in the classic pub politics chit chat. Then it was over to Asda for a tour of the store with the new manager before meeting some staff to listen to them about how the economic downturn is affecting them personally and their perception of the impact on their customers. It was fascinating to hear their views and I ended up keeping them off the shop floor for far longer than I am sure was meant.
Unsurprisingly, I am now at home relaxing before I head back out onto the doorsteps tomorrow morning. In the meantime all that is left to do tonight is to find out exactly who killed Archie...