Kate Campbell

Parliamentary Assistant

In the office...

In the office...

We arrived on day one thinking we would be getting our desks and computers sorted, at a push we thought we'd be carefully positioning out pencil holders on our own desks by the Friday. Four weeks later our desks have just arrived - and we are very grateful - but we are still waiting on our computers. We are learning the pace of the Westminster administrative machine.

We have all had to undergo extensive security checks. I have never in my life been asked on a form about where my partner lived three years ago, or the date of birth of my mum and dad. At least we know they are thorough. Once this has all been cleared we will get access to the intranet and our own email addresses, which will be a joy. Currently we are all using Tommy's parliament one which I think may be confusing for the recipients. Tommy is getting upwards of 100 emails a day which is incredible. A huge part of our day is just managing them all and making sure the important ones like those from constituents, charities and local groups get responded to.

Anyone who has been in the office will have noticed the lovely paint job that has been done, and if they've not noticed the colour they will have noticed the smell. You might also have seen the new signage. It is official now - we are sharing with Kenny. It's fantastic to have our MP and our MSP in the same office and means we can work together on many constituency issues. We are working hard to find an office in Craigmillar too. Willowbrae is perfect because it is right in the centre of the constituency, but there are not great transport links to Craigmillar. We want a space in the south of the constituency where we can work some of the time, so people there can easily pop in to see us too. We will be doing a monthly surgery in Craigmillar as well as Portobello, Central and Willowbrae.

Speaking of surgeries we have had our first few already, which has been great. Like many party members who will have spent months knocking on the doors of our neighbours telling them what a fantastic constituency MP Tommy would be, it is really rewarding to see that come to fruition. It is one of the biggest parts of his job and one the whole team is determined that we get right. There are certain things we can't change being only the 'third' party (any one else enjoying the news coverage and seeing where they used to talk about Lib Dems it's now all about our lot?) but we can do our best to mitigate them and to fight the inherent unfairness in the system. So if anyone reading this needs help, or knows someone who does - from benefits to bins, from immigration to education or from debt issues to health issues - please come to a surgery or give us a call. If we can help we will.

We will be doing a regular 'office' blog. I can't promise it will be as exciting as Tommy's, but we want to let constituents know what we are up to and, if you do come to us for anything, whether it be for support or working together on projects or events in the constituency, you already know a bit about who we are.

Kate

Votes in the EU referendum
Maiden Speech

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Thursday, 18 July 2019

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
18 July 2019
Tommy's Blog
Media

The wait is nearly over. By next week the Tory party will have a new leader. And then they will foist him on the country at large. With most of the votes cast it seems that the clown prince is unstoppable. Barring a miracle Boris Johnson will be our next Prime Minister.

And then what?

Tommy Sheppard
08 July 2019
Tommy's Blog
Media
Democracy means the right to change your mind. Collectively, people can decide to do something, and if it doesn't work, or they don't like it, they can do something else. That much shouldn't be in doubt for the left - or any democrat. There's no argument in principle against having a second referendum - on anything - if that is what people want.Then again, you can't go changing your mind every wee...
Tommy Sheppard
25 April 2019
Tommy's Blog
Media
Forty years ago in the sweltering summer of 1979 I got myself arrested at Torness. I was one of hundreds protesting against the construction of the nuclear power station. For my efforts I got to spend a night in the cells at Dunbar nick.As the then Thatcher government was keen to point out - we didn't stop Torness. But as I'm keen to point out it was a tipping point. The time when nuclear energy l...
Tommy Sheppard
29 March 2019
Tommy's Blog
Media
For many months the government has wielded a number of sticks to beat MPs into supporting its Withdrawal Agreement. It might be bad, they argue, but the alternative is worse. Remainers have been threatened with no deal. Leavers with no Brexit.The latest big stick is the threat of having to participate in the European parliamentary elections. To avoid this the Government (and the EU’s) new deadline...
Tommy Sheppard
28 March 2019
Tommy's Blog
Media
So we’re not leaving the European Union tomorrow after all. As the Brexiters cancel their street parties and put away the bunting the rest of us should think carefully about what to do with the reprieve.This week started with parliament voting to take control of the process from government. A move without precedent. In truth, we were forced into it. What else can you do when faced with a governmen...