It is now 12 months away from the European Elections. I want to know that, if elected, I can try to hit the ground running and be, if possible, a useful Member of the European Parliament. How would you prepare?
Over the next few weeks I am going to join meetings or speak to Conservative and other groups in Letchworth, Swaffham, Newmarket, Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, Dunstable, London Colney, Ely, Epping Forset and Ipswich. I find these sorts of meetings extremely useful, helping me to understand local concerns - issues like our creaking overcrowded roads and housing growth keep coming up. We clearly need long term investment in infrastructure.
I'm also going out to Brussels for a couple of days to sit in the back of meetings and understand better how the system currently "operates". I will take the train. My business experience is that time spent in due diligence is rarely wasted... I hope the same will be true about this trip.
This Thursday I'm looking forward to meeting over 100 farmers from across the region and hearing their views. I'm keen to meet more of our larger employers and business groups and also keep up with my old financial friends from banking to understand what they are seeing at the cutting edge of pan-European business negotiations.
Any further ideas are welcome ... I want to use the year well.