What inspired you to become an MP?
My father belonged to a generation that felt it had a duty to serve its community. That ethic is what motivates me, combined with a desire to see Britain achieve its full potential. Many people don't achieve this due to the barriers that they come up against like lack of choice in education, family breakdown and a culture of underachievement.
As a working mother, how do you combine your demanding job and the needs of your three children?
All working women have to be well-organised and confident in the help they have at home. Having a supportive husband is also a great help. My children are my top priority and as long as they eat well, sleep well and are happy, know we can do this together. Most importantly, I protect my family time; a roast lunch on Sunday, football in the garden and making cakes on rainy days.
How can you help me?
I deal with many constituency matters. I am only able to deal with my own constituents, but they all have the same access to my help, no matter what their political views are. I will always try to help to the best of my abilities. If you would like me to hear your views or help you with any problems you may have, please email me, write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA or make an appointment to speak to me at one of my surgeries. Please call my office on 020 7219 4189 for an appointment. I regularly raise constituency matters in the House of Commons and I often lobby Government Ministers on constituency issues.
What is the most enjoyable part of your work as an MP?
Like most MPs, I enjoy helping constituents when they have hit a brick wall in the system by pulling down the barriers to give them the help they need. I also enjoy feeding in fresh ideas and bringing a woman's practical perspective to how a policy works.
What is the greatest challenge facing you in your work as an MP?
My greatest challenge is learning to prioritise and balance my different roles. I also find a great challenge in shaping policy to reflect my constituents' deep concerns.
What do you especially enjoy about representing Meriden?
Meriden is fascinating to represent because it is a socially contrasting constituency with problems of deprivation as well as the over-development of the green belt. It is a microcosm of Britain as a whole and if a policy is going to work throughout the UK, it has to work in Meriden.