MEDIA commentators are always quick to criticise the length of “holiday” that MPs have over the summer months.

They make the common mistake (deliberately, in their case) of assuming that MPs only work when Parliament is in session.

I do actually think the Parliamentary recess is too long, and the Prime Minister should be questioned by MPs in the House of Commons on recent developments. Instead it will be 14 October until the next session of Prime Minister’s Questions.

But, apart from a fortnight of genuine holiday in August, I work throughout the summer, and I always find September to be one of my busiest and most productive months.

This week is a perfect example: instead of being in Westminster from Monday-Thursday, I have been available in Taunton Deane. So I was able to attend a meeting about proposals for Taunton Community Justice Panels, visit North Town primary school to see their new Headteacher and have discussions with the Chief Executive of Musgrove Park about plans for the hospital.

It is also ideal for going to see groups who normally meet mid-week when I am in London. So just this month I have spoken to the Creech St Michael WI, the Taunton U3A, the Taunton Orchard Ladies’ Probus Club and at a business lunch hosted by Francis Clark.

Making sure that the needs of Taunton Deane are heard in Parliament is my job. It is essential to visit the local schools, hospitals, police, businesses and resident groups that enable me to speak accurately and effectively on behalf of local people.