John Penrose MP...

Normally I catch an early train to Westminster on Monday and don't get home until late on Thursday night, leaving Friday and Saturday full

Normally I catch an early train to Westminster on Monday and don't get home until late on Thursday night, leaving Friday and Saturday full of surgeries and meetings with constituents. So the Easter recess is a welcome chance to spend a bit more time at home in Weston and the villages. Last week, for example, I met someone from Urban Splash, the company which has bought Birnbeck Pier. It's a crucial site for regenerating Weston's seafront and it has got a great reputation for this kind of project. But it is being sensibly cautious about revealing too much until it is ready. Weston has had too many disappointments in the past, and we can do without another one now.I went along to the local RSPCA centre in Locking Road too. If you're looking for a pet - anything from a cat, dog, guinea pig or ferret - the rehoming service wants to hear from you. It runs teams of inspectors to stamp out animal cruelty too, and since I'd timed my visit for the day the Animal Welfare Act came into force, I was glad the staff there think it will be a big step forward. And, finally, I went to speak at one of our local Rotary clubs as well. In fact I was supposed to speak to two of them on consecutive evenings, but I caught the stomach bug that's been going around so one of them was spared having to listen to my jokes. Rotary is a tremendously impressive movement, raising money for all sorts of good causes in countries around the world. But because it doesn't blow its own trumpet very much, or go in for celebrity endorsements, it's easy to take its achievements for granted. It is a major contributor to the fight against polio, for example - not bad for small groups of public-spirited businessmen and women who meet each week for a chat.


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