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THE EU DEBATE: MEPs 'could worker better with MPs'
WEST Midlands MEPs say the region’s size is largely to blame for people not knowing who they are.
Shuttle reader Steve Watts contacted us to ask his European representatives what they could do to make themselves better known.
He said: “I for one – and I’m sure I’m not alone – have no idea who you [the MEPs] are, what your name is and what you are doing to support the people of Kidderminster.”
Liberal Democrat Phil Bennion admitted MEPs could have better relationships with MPs and councillors but said there would have to be a will on both sides.
“We have such large constituencies,” he added. “We also operate at a largely strategic level so it is not possible to always be out on the ground looking at every local issue or read every local paper.
“So we will be more remote but it would be better if we could work more closely with other politicians.”
Conservative Anthea McIntyre said MEPs had to specialise.
“I try to liaise with small businesses and people who run them because of my business background,” she explained. “We try very hard to have regular meetings and keep in touch."
Labour’s Michael Cashman said people knew where to find him if they needed to.
“How likely is it that people know who their ward councillor or even their MP is?" he asked. “But if you want or need to know, you can find out. Unfortunately, a lot of people who do not need to know either think ‘I’ll let them get on with it’ or ‘politics does not affect me’.
“For me, it is not about being known as such – it is about the effectiveness of the work I do. The work we do in the long run will speak for itself and I am concentrating on giving British taxpayers value for money.”
The West Midlands EU constituency covers six counties and 61 Westminster constituencies.