150 Yate Residents set out on three coaches at 7am on Monday as they headed to the heart of UK Democracy in London, after Local MP and Yate resident Luke Hall, alongside Yate volunteers, organised the largest parliament tour South Gloucestershire has seen to date.
The “South Gloucestershire comes to Parliament” series is part of an initiative started by the MP to give local residents the opportunity to visit the House of Commons, encouraging engagement in national and local democracy, via a tour of the historic Palace of Westminster followed by a meet and greet, and Question and Answer Session with the MP.
To date the MP has brought groups of residents from Wickwar, Wick, Falfield, Frampton Cotterell, Hawkebury Upton, Rangeworthy, Iron Acton, Cromhall, Coalpit Heath have visited with the MP committing to continuing with the tours until everyone town and village has had the opportunity.
The initial Yate tours were so oversubscribed the MP has laid on further dates until the end of the Year with 500 more residents set to visit before Christmas.
The visit on this occasion involved a 1 hour’s long professional tour of Parliament and the Palace of Westminster with the guides weaving together the History of the Commons in events, stories and facts.
Following the tours; all 150 of the visitors were given the opportunity to have a quick sandwich break which was followed by introduction and brief speech on his experiences as an MP to date which took place in what is known as the “second chamber” or “Westminster Hall chamber”.
This chamber is usually reserved for debates in which no government has yet to be formed, or debates such as the one used when petitions which are laid before the House of Commons.
An open Q and A session then took place with issues such as, Luke’s interests as an MP, his thoughts on transport in Yate, Buses, Brexit, Yate Potholes and value for Money from the Council all being raised and discussed by an enthusiastic audience.
The visit seemed to be a big hit with residents as Mrs Jones, Yate said; “I just had to drop you this email to say how much I appreciated your affording me the opportunity to visit the House of Commons today. It was truly an amazing experience and one which I enjoyed immensely. The whole day was just wonderful from start to finish! Thank you so much.”
Luke thanking volunteers such as his local team Liz, Sonia and Matt said; “The day was a great success, and I always come away from the visits appreciating and being grateful that we have such an engaged community here in Yate and South Gloucestershire – it’s our neighbours and residents who really make the trips so special – and I’m looking forwarding to carrying on until as many as people as possible have had the opportunity.”