A week is a long time in politics, 60s’ prime minister Harold Wilson is said to have said, but for new Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders (Lab) his first year in office has flown by.
The count in Ellesmere Port Civic Hall, which saw the former council leader retain the seat for Labour with 22,316 votes, a 6,275 majority over his nearest challenger, may have run on to 6am the following day.
But within a few months the employment lawyer found himself on Labour’s front bench in the Commons as shadow minister for health.
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Mr Madders himself simply says he has ‘completed a very busy first year in office as Ellesmere Port & Neston MP’.
Succeeding parliamentary science whizz Andrew Miller, Mr Madders honoured his pledge to open a high-street office in Ellesmere Port town centre and to hold regular surgeries in Neston.
Since being elected he has been appointed as chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on social mobility which is currently undertaking an inquiry into access to the leading professions.
He has also co-founded a similar group for the Mersey Dee area, along with MPs on both sides of the England-Wales border, to look at improving links and tackling transport issues across the region.
In Westminster, Mr Madders has already spoken in 65 debates and has put down 239 written questions to Government ministers, both of which are ‘well above average’ amongst MPs according to the website theyworkforyou.com.
The website also claims that on the vast majority of issues Mr Madders votes the same way as other Labour MPs although he generally voted for higher taxes on banks, while most Labour MPs generally voted against and generally voted against more powers for local councils while most Labour MPs generally voted for.
Locally, Mr Madders has opened 6,075 cases on behalf of constituents who have contacted him on issues as diverse as benefit sanctions, housing, planning, transport, foreign affairs and the plight of Britain’s bee population, equating to 117 new cases a week.
He also regularly receives between 500 and 1,000 emails a week as well as a large number of letters and telephone calls to his office.
Commenting on his first year, Mr Madders said: “Being elected to represent the area that I have lived in for most of my life was an incredible honour and despite a few challenges I have enjoyed every single day!
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“Despite receiving a huge amount of correspondence, I try to ensure that everyone receives a response as quickly as possible. However, I always ensure that the most urgent cases receive priority.
“I am still as passionate that I was on polling day about getting the very best for Ellesmere Port & Neston and I’ll continue to work as hard as I possibly can to repay the faith that local people put in me.”