No, she’s not selling a 99, taking the Magnums out of the freezer or dispensing cooling ices to exhausted dog walkers.
Wealden’s newly elected MP Nus Ghani decided a converted ice cream van was the perfect way to make sure people living in the countryside had the same opportunity as townsfolk to get to her monthly surgeries.
Nus and her van visited two sites in Crowborough and one each in Frant, Wadhurst, Mayfield, Forest Row and Hartfield on Tuesday this week and two sites in Uckfield, one in East Hoathly and two in Hailsham on Wednesday.
She told the Express: “I usually hold my surgeries in the three towns - Uckfield, Crowborough and Hailsham - every month. But I thought it was important to make myself and my service accessible to all members of the community, especially the villages. It’s just not always possible for them to get into the towns so I thought it was up to me to get out to them.”
Nus’s new scheme seemed to going down well with rural folk in the more isolated villages such as Frant, Wadhurst, East Hoathly and Mayfield where she was greeted with enthusiasm.
She explained: “People know they can raise any issue with their MP. I work hard and have a pretty hefty postbox. It’s absolutely fantastic when you know you have done the best you can to get into the heart of the constituency. I promised at the election that I would be accountable and in my maiden speech in Parliament I pledged to follow the advice of Winnie the Pooh when he said that ‘You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.’ This is just one way of doing that.”
She also knows conversations must be confidential and says she’s had very positive feedback throughout the summer. “No, I’m not selling ice cream although I’m sure lots of people would like me to! You can have a private conversation in an office but it’s not so easy on the street. The van has space for people to come in and talk to me privately.”
What are the major issues that seem to be concerning people in Wealden at present? “It depends where you are. In the north of the district such as Crowborough and Uckfield it’s often the trains and uncertainty about overcrowding, timetables and unscheduled stoppages. In the south it’s more about rural matters, farming, care of the land and rural broadband. But to be honest I’ve had every subject you can think of raised at these surgeries and I like to hear them.”
Nus was elected to serve Wealden after the retirement of former MP Charles Hendry.
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