FIRSTLY, I’d like to thank everyone who gave me their support in the by-election. To say it’s an honour, to be elected to serve the people of Kingswood and be our community’s voice in Westminster, doesn’t do justice to how I’m feeling.

I’ve now been your MP for more than a month – the time has flown by! 

My first task has been recruiting a small team to help me with all the messages that are coming through.

If anyone needs to contact me, my new email address is damien.egan.mp@parliament.uk; a telephone number will be provided to me soon.

The next task is finding an office. Ideally, I would like to find somewhere on, or near, Kingswood High Street. I have some viewings being set up, but if anyone knows somewhere that’s available, please let me know. 

Parliament itself has been a real eye-opener. In some ways it’s as you would expect: grand, lots of rules and tradition, but nothing quite prepares you for walking into the chamber and sitting on the green benches – it still doesn’t feel quite real.

What’s surprised me has been the level of rowdiness – it’s worse in real-life than on the TV and can make following questions difficult. I’m told I’ll get used to it.

The big challenge is navigating this new world. I’m one of 650 MPs, all with their own local priorities, issues and, in some cases, egos! How do I make sure Kingswood’s voice is heard clearly, through all the commotion? 

My first chance was in my ‘maiden speech’ in March – the first speech an MP gives, which I used to raise the real issues people across Kingswood have told me they are facing.

I included some of the honest feedback people gave me on the doorstep and what people told me they wanted politicians, of all parties, to sort out: the fact we’ve got no NHS dentists accepting new patients, the difficulties seeing a GP, hospital waiting-lists, the lack of visible police on the street, cuts to bus routes, the running down of our high streets, schools funding, cuts to apprenticeships.

It was a reminder that the social media bubble that has become so dominant does not reflect mainstream Britain and the everyday challenges people face.

I want politicians in Westminster to understand that people in Kingswood work hard, long hours – well above the national and regional averages. But that despite working more hours, life has become more of a struggle, and it’s impacting harshly on family life.

There’s a lot to fix: I’ll be giving it my best and I hope I can serve you well and make you proud.