Mark Jenkinson MP – A Year in Review

I read Mark Jenkinson’s review of his first year as MP (T&S 17 Dec) with interest to see what he has used the power and resources invested in him to deliver.

Quite rightly, he did not claim responsibility for any of very many achievements of local people that he listed. However, I am startled that he did not take the opportunity to give himself the credit he deserves for the truly game-changing things he has achieved.

For example, when many were asking for help with the PPE crisis during the first wave of Covid-19 with apparent desperation, Mark was there, on the radio, to reassure us that there was no crisis, and that the pretence of a crisis was invented by the political motives of Royal College of Nursing.

And when schools appeared to be on their knees trying to cope with un-consulted and undeliverable government edicts, Mark was there on social media to explain to us that the stresses schools were under were caused by them being bullied by their threatening unions.

For as long as I can remember, when I (and others in responsible positions) have worked to resolve complex issues, we have always been able to rely on our Cumbrian MPs from all parties to provide us with wise support and to work to ensure Cumbria’s needs were represented in policy at national level whenever necessary. It has therefore been a revelation to discover what it’s like to be completely stonewalled by my MP’s office which appears to be ineffective in anything but spouting propaganda.

In these dark times I have still been inspired by the hard work and selflessness of professionals and volunteers in so many areas of West Cumbrian life. I’d like to express my gratitude to Labour and Independent politicians, including Baroness Sue Hayman, who have worked with me on complex issues in 2020. But most of all I’d like to thank the many local Liberal Democrats who’ve stepped up to the plate and have worked hard and supported me to get important things done during this very difficult year. If you’d like to be part of a movement of people who are fighting hard for evidence- and value-led politics you’d be most warmly welcome to join us.

Rebecca Hanson
County Councillor (Cockermouth North)

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