Although I've obviously been heavily involved with the election campaigns, there's still a lot of my normal work as a constituency MP to be done. Letters and emails in the office, of course (more and more), but as it's the post-Easter recess week there's been an opportunity to get involved with a number of local issues in more detail. This week has seen a meeting which I organised between a local residents' group and builders who have just begun a major construction project behind their houses. The residents have been having problems with dust and noise fron the site, and I set up the meeting to give the residents a chance to raise their concerns directly with the builders. We got some promises from the builders to make some change to the way they were working, and I'm pleased to say that the local residents contacted me the next day to say they had already some improvements - I hope it stays that way!
Next, to try and deal with a recurring problem of waste dumping in parts of West Pilton. It's a particular problem in areas where housing has been emptied to wait for demolition, and I've been taking up the issue along with the local councillor. Some of the problem areas got a clean-up a week or so ago, but the problem was back again, so that needs to be taken up again.
A quick visit after that to the Edinburgh Sculpture Trust, based in Newhaven. They do a lot of good work with schools and community groups. They're keen to get a higher profile for their work, so I said I'd give them a mention in my blog (so here it is!).
A very pleasant duty this week was a visit I made along with Sarah Boyack, our Edinburgh Central candidate, to George Jamieson to make a presentation to mark his 75 years of Labour Party membership. George is now a (sprightly) 94 - he was an activist in the Edinburgh Labour Party and Fabian Society for many years, and is one of those people who helped lay the foundations of today's Edinburgh Labour Party.
I was also glad to drop in to the opening of the new housing built by Port of Leith Housing Association on the site of the old Duke Street church. The development incorporates a new church for the URC congregation, and I was very impressed to find out that they had made a definite decision to stay in the local community, in such a way that also made it possible to provide some badly-needed affordable housing. I was told they could have made much more by simply selling off the whole site to a commercial housebuilder, but chose to reject that option; very much putting Christian principles into practice, I think.
And the week ended as always with my MP surgeries. Fairly busy sessions at both my surgeries, although I think a few people were surprised I was still holding them during the election campaign - but I will be, including on the day after the election when I suspect I might be a bit bleary-eyed!