DEMOCRACY is changing and people want to know who their member of Parliament is and what they are doing.

Are they standing up for their constituents or are they towing the party line?

People want to make the decision to hire good people or fire the bad.

The local newspaper and radio have an important role in holding MPs to account but public meetings and social media are increasingly important.

While some MPs rarely choose to hold public meetings, I do a regular series and people get to challenge me on any subject that they think important.

At the moment, Brexit dominates my mail bag but, in a recent meeting I held in Atherton, it was local issues that people most wanted to discuss.

It got me thinking that perhaps there is a little too much focus on the big national issues and that I should give a little insight into a more normal aspect of an MP’s work.

During the Easter break, I held a public meeting in Atherton and the concerns raised focussed on a rise in local crime, especially anti-social behaviour and violent crime.

I knew that the local police were receiving a small increase in resources as well as a significant reorganisation of how they run their shifts to maximise availability of police at peak times.

This public meeting was the spur for me to set up a meeting with the head of Wigan Police.

I raised my constituents concerns with Superintendent Keeley, who heads the Wigan police force.

He was able to give me the assurance that there is an increased focus on neighbourhood, the new organisation is working effectively and that it had, so far, proved popular with the police rank and file.

All MPs have a great interest in the services their constituents use and, for some, Derian House Children’s Hospice is a vital service.

It is so important for me to understand their work and the support that they provide so it was a delight for me to visit their centre which provides end-of-life care to more than 300 children and young people across the North West.

I am not the most enthusiastic of runners but I decided to run this year’s London Marathon to raise funds for Derian House and I was pleased to raise over £1,500 for them and complete the course in under 4hrs 15mins.

MPs have to deal with and try their best to understand a great many issues from potholes, the ongoing conflict in Syria and everything in between.

In many ways, it is difficult to keep up with an ever-changing political landscape but it is almost invariably interesting.

Sometimes, it is difficult to do what people want but it is a great pleasure to be able to help someone through a difficult time or resolve a challenging problem.