• Author:Ben Jones
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Further pledge on “openness”

The recent controversy over MP’s expenses and allowances has raised fundamental questions about the openness and transparency of MPs, and how their relate to their employers; the electorate. Abuses of the system by many MPs has seriously undermined the public’s trust and confidence in the entire political system. As far as I’m concerned, politics and politicians need to change.

Today, I am making a further “openness” pledge to the people of Halton; setting out further actions I would take (alongside my pledge on expenses http://www.amjcomms.com/2009/03/25/my-expenses-pledge-to-voters-of-halton/) to do my job as their MP.

I will continue to build on this pledge based on feedback as I believe it is vital that candidates and MPs listen to the electorate and respond accordingly if trust is to be rebuilt between voter and representative.

If I were to become the MP for Halton I would:
– Publish online my full voting, attendance, and speaking records from the House of Commons (and all written questions tabled and motions signed)
– Publish online a diary which details where I spent each day (and night) so that the people of Halton can see where I am working on their behalf
– Regularly update my website/blog so anyone can see what I work have been doing
– Publish contact details which include an “out of office hours” number so that constituents could contact me out of normal work hours
– Publish online my annual tax return/details of all my income (including any other jobs/paid appointments/work etc)
– Conduct regular polls/questionnaires of my constituents to find out their views on key issues- this help me decide how to vote in the House of Commons
– Hold regular surgeries at different times and locations in the constituency so it is convenient for my constituents
– Hold regular public meetings to discuss key issues concerning the people of Halton and account for my performance on their behalf- I would not make speeches at this meeting, but take questions and spend my time listeningThe people of Halton have a right to know how I would behave as their MP, as I would work for them.