Hot of the presses comes news that our local MP, David Ruffley, has taken an indefinite leave of absence from his position, following last week's incident where he narrowly avoided death after falling under a train at Victoria Station. In the meantime, neighbouring MP's, Matt Hancock (Suffolk West) and Daniel Poulter (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich) will be taking surgeries within the constituency.
Whilst I am deeply sympathetic as to David's plight, it does leave the constituency effectively unrepresented in Parliament, and there is a question as to whether this is acceptable. Unfortunately, the job of Member of Parliament is an unusual one, in that there is no right of substitution, and until such time as this exists, residents from Creeting St Peter to Bury St Edmunds are without their tribune at Westminster. Perhaps, in such a circumstance, where the MP is unable to perform his/her duties due to ill health unlikely in itself to be terminal, there should be a means whereby someone could stand in.
You see, I can't help feeling that the pressure to resume his duties is not conducive to a swift recovery, and depression is not something that can be treated on a schedule. However, my thoughts go out to David, and I trust that we'll see him resume when he is confident and comfortable enough to do so.
Meanwhile, on Friday, news leaked out that Tory-run Mid Suffolk District Council had engaged bailiffs to visit the constituency Conservative Association's headquarters at Woolpit to collect more than £2,000 in unpaid business rates. Apparently, a number of letters from the council had not been responded to, so they called in the bailiffs in March.
Curiously, the current Chair claims that they have no financial problems now, yet their then Chair sent out a letter to members only last January seeking contributions to pay off a debt of £130,000. Either they have done some stellar fundraising, or their finances aren't quite as rosy as they're letting on...