You may be aware that Parliament is on its Summer recess until the 5th of September. However, contrary to popular belief, this does not mean MPs are on holiday – there is still lots of work to be done!
Something me and my team have been hard at work on in recent months is supporting Ukrainian refugees and those local families who have selflessly opened their homes to provide these refugees with somewhere to live. Getting people to the UK has, at times, proved challenging and my team have been in regular contact with officials at the Home Office to help speed up the process where we can.
Whilst this work does continue, I am happy to say that we have already welcomed a number of Ukrainian families to the Forest of Dean and I have been humbled to witness the generosity of spirit our community has shown in welcoming people at their time of need.
My team are also busy helping constituents with passport applications. You may have heard that the Home Office is dealing with large backlogs at the moment as, now that international travel is finally a realistic prospect again, millions of people have applied to renew their passports. Whilst it is somewhat understandable why the process is taking longer than normal, I know that this is no comfort to people who applied for their passport in good time, have a holiday booked or have to travel urgently, perhaps for family reasons.
We are doing what we can to help people get their passports in time for their travel. Where travel is for an urgent reason, or the advertised service time of 10 weeks has passed and you are due to travel imminently, there are steps my team can take to expedite the passport application.
There have been several constituents who we have helped secure passports for and who most likely would have missed their travel otherwise. Please do get in touch with my office if this is something you need help with.