I just want to say 'sorry' to people waiting for a response from me by email. It is taking time to get my operation up and running and I just want to fully explain the situation so you're all in the loop.
In the last ten days I've received 2,100 emails, mostly from residents. I've shared a screen-shot of my phone as it's quite something to see so many emails waiting to be read!
I'm not complaining at all - I promise - it's amazing to know there are so many people who want to tell me about a cause they care passionately about or to ask for my help or support. But I just want to fess-up that I'm behind and give you the explanation you deserve.
Because my predecessor was from another political party I didn't inherit any of the resources an MP has - like staff, equipment, and even stationary. So it's very much like setting up a charity or business from scratch because I need to hire staff, make sure the office has the right furniture and equipment, and get all the other things sorted too. To make matters worse I have to do it twice as I have two offices as an MP, one in Hove and one in Westminster!
Anyway, let me tell you where I've go to. Chris Henry has accepted the job of my constituency manager, but the poor guy won't get paid until the end of June due to House of Commons deadlines (I'm feeding him crisps and the occasional Nandos 'till then!). Applications for the two other constituency jobs have been pouring in and we can't wait to start interviews, but it will take a while to have those posts up and running.
Lots of people ask about my High Street shop. Don't worry, I'm going to keep it. My allowances as an MP don't cover all the costs but I will continue to fundraise to meet the shortfall because it is such a great location and I want to be accessible and I never want to hide away from people. I also have to apply to the council for permission to carry on using the shop as my office. This weekend a big team of volunteers began the task of clearing out the office and converting it from campaign centre to constituency office.
I don't have an office in Westminster yet...the stories you hear about MP's waiting ages for offices are all true! I'm really pleased that someone I offered the job as my policy adviser has accepted and will start at the end of June. His name is Sam and he'll be a great addition to the team and will work with me to understand policy detail much better and work on policy solutions to put to government and parliament.
I have a new parliamentary email: Peter.Kyle.MP@parliament.uk but at the moment, for some weird reason, I can only read them on my iPhone!! And when you have so many that's a real challenge!
The most important thing for me is to get the Rolls Royce service that you deserve up and running as soon as humanly possible. I don't want to cut corners, I want to get this right. By summer you will have a team of people who are warm and friendly, super-professional, and dedicated to supporting people and working with communities to help achieve the positive changes we need both locally and nationally.
In the mean time, please accept my sincere apologies if you are one of the people waiting to get a response from me. I will get on top of all correspondence soon, I promise!
All the best, Peter