On Friday I was invited to be the guest speaker at a meeting of the Bolton North East Conservatives Supper Club. I spoke about my first few weeks as a Member of Parliament and the challenges which face the coalition government.
Earlier on Friday I had spent quite a bit of time sorting out the arrangements for my Constituency office. I have now found a couple of ground floor offices in the town centre and once the telephones, computers and furniture are all in place we will be operating from there rather than squatting in the Conservative Offices. Incidentally, we are squatting entirely free of charge to the taxpayer. In fact we are being subsidised as we are using all their facilities without payment. I think it is very important in this new age of complete transparency that there is no question of any taxpayers money going to a political party.
On the London front I moved into my a flat on Monday. This is a big help as it means that I do not have to keep looking for a hotel room every weekend and it also means that I will now be able to start to build up a small supply of essentials in London rather than have to cart everything backwards and forwards to London every week. The one bedroom basement flat is costing £1430 per month which is within the amount allowed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.