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A busy recess week!

Letter from Westminster - 21 February 2005

With the House of Commons in recess last week, I was able to give my undivided attention to Bristol South. This began in London on Monday evening, when I organised a reception at 11 Downing Street to raise funds for Babe's Big Appeal in aid of the Children's Hospice.

On my way back from London on Tuesday, I met with the head of the Strategic Health Authority to discuss the South Bristol Hospital. Then, Wednesday morning, I joined residents at Symes Avenue to celebrate the submission of the planning application for new shopping and community facilities. There was a real sense of excitement in the air that something might, at last, be happening - so I hope the planning process is completed speedily and without hitch. Afterwards, I went to call on homes around Catherine Mead Street, and then returned to my office to catch up on some paperwork.

Thursday began with a meeting with residents of the flats on Duckmoor Road to discuss their hopes to establish a community room. Then back to the office to look through the post before going on to an event with ex-service women to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War. In the evening I chaired a discussion on a wide variety of issues affecting Highridge.

First thing on Friday I met with Unison members to talk about public sector pensions, then joined other local MPs to review progress of the Bristol Health Services Plan, which will transform hospital facilities in the city. This was followed by an advice surgery at the Gatehouse Centre, and the AGM of Bristol South Labour Party.

And the weekend? Well, I spent Saturday morning phoning residents of Knowle and Bedminster before returning home to spend some time with my parents-in-law (who came to stay for the week), and catch up on some household chores!

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