This week is UK Parliament Week; not because of the late nights debating the Brexit bill in Westminster, but for the number of different events aimed at engaging people, particularly young people, with Parliament and democracy.

The week is run nationally from Parliament and aims to engage people across the UK with the processes and functioning of our democracy. It aims to explore what Parliament does and empower people to get involved with politics.

It therefore presented a great opportunity find the time to visit local young people and get them enthused about democracy and Parliament.

To do this I have been visiting schools to carry out my normal school assembly, which involves getting the children to recreate Parliament and take on the role of MPs and Lords.

I then get them to choose a bill and pass it through Parliament from the first reading to Royal assent.

The Bill, carried by the nominated Clerk, then goes back and forth between Commons and Lords, with both sides disagreeing and the House of Lords enjoying their power to say no. The Bill ‘ping-pongs’ between the Houses as the children try to agree, and usually the Bill passes.

It is always great fun and it’s very encouraging to see just how passionate the youngsters are about choosing and debating their bill – which is always for more sport in schools – and seeing how laws are made.

So far we have seen the Haydonleigh Primary School Parliamentary Bill receive royal assent as well as the Greenmeadow and Highworth Brownies Parliamentary Bill! And there will be more parliamentary procedure today at Swindon Academy and Westrop too.

It has been a lot of fun and I am really glad that our local schools have engaged with Parliament Week. As trite as it sounds, children really are the future, they will be the ones creating and passing legislation in years to come. Therefore, it is important to get them engaged at a young age and show then the positive things an MP can achieve.

I really hope that my visits might go some way to inspiring them to become MPs – if the energy and enthusiasm shown by the children is anything to go by, Swindon will be represented for a long time to come!

Of course Parliament Week isn’t just for the youngsters, so I also took time to attend an employee’s event hosted by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council .

This highlighted the work of Parliament, and also looked at the way in which the Research Councils continue to engage and interact with the workings of Parliament, including with Select Committees, Ministers and Backbench MPs.

Their work is also incredibly important in influencing a whole range of Government Departments and the policies they look at, so we really are at the heart of it all here in Swindon!

Finally, this evening I am hosting a drop-in event with the local highways officers from Swindon Borough Council and the police to give local residents an opportunity to come and discuss the issue of safety along Thamesdown Drive.

There will also be an opportunity for local residents to feedback into the proposed plans to tackle the issue of parking along Redhouse Way.

The event is from 5.30pm-7pm at my community office.