Hope for the Future 2/3.

Eighteen months ago I was contacted by Laura D’Hennin from Hope for the Future, a climate change campaign group set up raise awareness around this issue, as well as to encourage people to engage with and lobby their MPs.  You can find out more about Hope for the Future’s inspiring work on their website, www.hftf.org.uk and Laura’s thoughts on our first meeting at www.hftf.org.uk/blog/2016/10/12/a-challenge-to-the-climate-movement-meeting-my-local-conservative-mp-guto-bebb#.WzTp2tVKiUk.

We met up again recently to discuss climate change and afterwards were asked about the best way to lobby your MP.

 

Voice: Ok, and why do you think that it’s important for people to talk to their politicians?

Laura: From my personal opinion, before I got involved with Hope for the Future, I didn’t know what an MP was, and I had no idea that I could go to my MP and that they could take action on my behalf.  I think that it’s really important, especially with younger generations, to tell them that this is the case, and that they can talk to their MP, and that they are there to act on your behalf. I think also, from the constituent’s point of view, if you go to your MP with an issue, your MP might not have been aware of that issue before, so you’re taking something to your MP which they can act upon on your behalf.

Guto: Well, I would endorse that 100%. One of the things about being an MP is that you really do want to meet people on an ongoing basis, because if you don’t, then obviously you’re not going to have a very good reputation as an MP, so having a regular surgery as I do is important in terms of making sure that you do communicate with people, but also that people understand what an MP can do, and indeed what an MP cannot do – I think that’s also a challenge. So it’s completely right to say that you can come to an MP and say “this is an issue that I’m very concerned about, what can you do about this?”, and hopefully you’ll get an honest response.  But in the same way, you can come to an MP and say “I want you to stop this change”, and as it happens the MP should be honest enough to say to you, “Well, I agree with you” or “I don’t agree with you”, but at least you’re having a discussion and a discourse. So, from my perspective, engagement is important, and I think that the other thing that I’m concerned about is this: if there’s one thing that really annoys me as an MP it’s when people say that MPs is out of touch. That really infuriates me, because of all the people I know in many different jobs, MPs are actually involved with people on a regular basis. They hold surgeries - I deal with things ranging from discussions about the environment, to having concerns about support being available for marriage guidance counselling, or issues to do with benefits, or immigration – and that’s all happened today. When you are an MP, you have this opportunity to speak to people on a regular basis, but I really want to make sure that people are aware that it’s an open door policy surgery that most MPs have, and certainly from my experience, those MPs who are in marginal seats, which we’re very lucky here in north Wales – well, unless you’re a politician – every seat here in north Wales is basically a marginal seat, as there’s no safe seat in north Wales; so the opportunity is not just something that we enjoy, it’s something that we have to do, because unless you’re engaged in a marginal seat, you’re going to be out on your rear! So, I’ve got an open door, and if that message can be conveyed, then I’m very, very pleased.

 

Ddeunaw mis yn ôl cefais ohebiaeth gan Laura D'Hennin o Hope for the Future, grŵp ymgyrchu ar newid yn yr hinsawdd a sefydlwyd i godi ymwybyddiaeth o'r mater hwn, yn ogystal ag annog pobl i ymgysylltu â'u Haelodau Seneddol a'u lobïo.  Cewch ragor o wybodaeth am waith ysbrydoledig Hope for the Future ar eu gwefan, www.hftf.org.uk a theimladau Laura am ein cyfarfod cyntaf yn www.hftf.org.uk/blog/2016/10/12/a-challenge-to-the-climate-movement-meeting-my-local-conservative-mp-guto-bebb#.WzTp2tVKiUk.

Fe wnaethom gyfarfod eto'n ddiweddar i drafod y newid yn yr hinsawdd, ac yn dilyn hynny buom yn trafod y ffordd orau o lobïo eich Aelod Seneddol.

 

Llais: Iawn, a pham rydych chi'n meddwl ei bod hi'n bwysig i bobl siarad â'u gwleidyddion?

Laura: O'm safbwynt personol, cyn i mi gymryd rhan yn Hope for the Future, doeddwn i ddim yn gwybod beth oedd Aelod Seneddol, ac nid oedd gen i syniad y gallwn fynd at fy ac y gallai weithredu ar fy rhan. Rydw i'n credu ei bod hi'n bwysig iawn, yn enwedig gyda chenedlaethau iau, i ddweud wrthyn nhw mai dyma'r achos, a’u bod nhw’n gallu siarad â'u Haelod Seneddol, a'u bod nhw yno i weithredu ar eich rhan. Rydw i'n credu hefyd, o safbwynt yr etholwyr, os byddwch chi'n tynnu sylw eich Aelod Seneddol at fater, mae’n bosibl na fydd eich Aelod Seneddol wedi bod yn ymwybodol o'r mater hwnnw o'r blaen, felly rydych chi'n mynd â rhywbeth at eich Aelod Seneddol y gallai weithredu arno ar eich rhan.

Guto: Wel, mi fyddwn i’n cymeradwyo hynny 100%. Un o'r pethau am fod yn Aelod Seneddol yw eich bod chi wir eisiau cwrdd â phobl yn barhaus, oherwydd os na wnewch chi, yna yn amlwg, ni fydd enw da iawn gennych chi fel Aelod Seneddol.  Gan hynny, mae cynnal cymhorthfa yn rheolaidd, fel rydw i’n ei wneud, yn bwysig o ran sicrhau eich bod chi'n cyfathrebu â phobl, ond hefyd bod pobl yn deall yr hyn y gall Aelod Seneddol ei wneud, ac yn wir beth na all Aelod Seneddol ei wneud – rydw i’n credu fod hynny hefyd yn her. Felly mae'n gwbl briodol dweud y gallwch fynd at Aelod Seneddol a dweud "mae hyn yn fater sy’n agos iawn at fy nghalon, beth allwch chi ei wneud am hyn?", A gobeithio y cewch chi ymateb gonest. Ond yn yr un modd, gallwch ddod at eich Aelod Seneddol a dweud "Rydw i eisiau i chi atal y newid hwn", a dylai'r Aelod Seneddol fod yn ddigon onest i ddweud wrthych chi, "Wel, rydw i'n cytuno â chi" neu "dydw i ddim yn cytuno â chi", ond o leiaf rydych chi'n cael trafodaeth. Felly, o'm safbwynt i, mae ymgysylltu yn bwysig, a’r peth arall rydw i eisiau ei ddweud yw hyn: os oes un peth sy'n dân ar fy nghroen fel Aelod Seneddol, yna pan fydd pobl yn dweud nad yw Aelod Seneddol yn gallu uniaethu â phobl yw hynny. Mae hynny o ddifrif yn fy ngwylltio i, oherwydd o’r holl bobl rydw i'n eu hadnabod mewn llawer o swyddi gwahanol, mae Aelodau Seneddol mewn gwirionedd yn ymwneud â phobl yn rheolaidd. Maen nhw'n cynnal cymorthfeydd - rydw i'n delio â phethau sy'n amrywio o drafodaethau am yr amgylchedd, i bryderon am gefnogaeth sydd ar gael ar gyfer cynghori ar briodasau, neu faterion sy'n ymwneud â budd-daliadau neu fewnfudo - ac mae’r rheiny i gyd wedi digwydd heddiw. Pan rydych chi'n AS, rydych chi’n cael y cyfle hwn i siarad â phobl yn rheolaidd. Ond rydw i eisiau gwneud yn siŵr fod pobl yn ymwybodol bod polisi drws agored yng nghymorthfeydd y rhan fwyaf o Aelodau Seneddol, ac yn sicr o'm profiad, mae'r Aelodau Seneddol hynny sydd mewn seddi ymylol, yr ydym yn ffodus iawn yma yng ngogledd Cymru – sy’n beth da, oni bai eich bod chi'n wleidydd - mae pob sedd yma yn y gogledd yn sedd ymylol.  A gan nad oes sedd ddiogel yn y gogledd, nid dim ond rhywbeth rydym yn ei fwynhau yw'r cyfle, mae'n rhywbeth y mae'n rhaid i ni ei wneud, oherwydd oni bai eich bod chi’n ymgysylltu pan rydych chi mewn sedd ymylol, mi fyddwch chi allan mewn chwinciad! Felly, mae gen i ddrws agored, ac os gellir cyfleu'r neges honno, yna mi fuaswn i’n falch iawn, iawn.