THE Father of the House of Commons visited constituents ahead of his return to Parliament this week.
Sir Peter Tapsell, MP for Louth and Horncastle, took time out from his schedule to visit residents at the Russell Green Residential Home in Woodhall Spa, and Polypipe Civils, Horncastle on Friday.
Sir Peter is referred to as the Father of the House because he is the longest-serving Member of Parliament, having sat in Westminster, uninterrupted, since 1966.
After visiting Polypipe’s factory in Holmes Way, Sir Peter came to Woodhall Spa to visit residents at the home.
Sir Peter was received by Director Linda Bright who asked him to sign the guestbook before speaking to some residents in one of the front rooms.
“I came here because I wanted to see how things go on,” Sir Peter said.
As Sir Peter was led into the front room he immediately recognised some of the faces who were waiting to greet him, regarding one of them as “trouble maker” - he said with a smile.
“I do enjoy being the Father of the House,” Sir Peter said. “As it doesn’t involve very many jobs.
“The chief whip sometimes asks me to do things,” he continued as he recalled his address to Parliament during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“Speaking on behalf of the whole house was rather difficult, because I had to alternate humorous remarks between the sovereign and my fellow members.”
Sir Peter also sponsors new members of the house of commons, and receives troops who have returned from Afghanistan.
“I’m 82 years old,” he replied when asked his age by resident Hazel Hitchcock, to which she said “You don’t look a day over 81.”
Sir Peter said: “I have just come back from a walking holiday in Switzerland, and the man who I walk with is 87.
“We walk the same routes every year, but each time round they feel a little bit longer.”
Hazel said: “I was very interested in meeting him, I was looking forward to his visit.
“I’ve written to him in the past about different issues, and he has always replied.”
Linda Bright said after his visit: “It’s fantastic that he chose to come here. He invited himself.
“It’s encouraging because it reminds us that just because people are old does not mean they are not interested in politics.”
Linda also said she hoped this was the first of many visits from local politicians.
“We’re very keen on anyone with political views coming in.
“Councillors are welcome to have a talk with residents at any time.
“We have a lot of leaflets pushed in our letter box, but not enough people actually coming in to talk to us.”
Her husband, Douglas, also a director added: “Sir Peter is a good example of MPs getting in touch with local people.
“It’s good to know he is willing to get involved in local issues.”
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Weather for Horncastle
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North