Yesterday I announced that if I were to be elected to represent the Southampton Itchen Constituency in Parliament I would hold referendums on significant issues prior to voting in parliamentary debates.
These referendums will of course not be as scientific as I would like them to be and I will not be bound by the outcome but will take full account of the result before I make my decision. I will ensure that everyone who takes part is told how I voted in the specific debate. They will then be able to use that information to make future voting decisions. It is simple and honest and really helps to bring decision making closer to the people.
I will use Facebook, Twitter, web polling, email, text and more traditional methods to gauge public opinion and I would expect the local media to want to involve themselves too.
There have been a few notable examples recently when using this idea would have given constituents the opportunity to make their views known before the parliamentary vote took place. Equal Marriage, Syria and an EU Referendum are just a few.
Of course, people will ask how I would pay for this. Let me state categorically it will not be done at taxpayers expense. It will be funded by Southampton Itchen Conservatives, as all our election material is, through donations and fundraising.
I am committed to fighting for the best possible deal for Southampton, whether that be in the Council Chamber or in Parliament. Ensuring I fully know and understand the views of my residents is, in my mind, a critical part of that.