It’s been a hectic six weeks for Maggie Throup since she was elected as the MP for Erewash at last month’s election.
“I didn’t expect it would be any different but it’s very enjoyable,’ she said, ‘It’s a manic lifestyle but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it”.
The ‘Tiser caught up with Maggie, who spends four days a week in London, and three back home in Sandiacre, to find out more about what inspired her to become an MP and what her plans are for Erewash.
Originally from West Yorkshire, Maggie has lived in Sandiacre for a year since she was selected as the Conservative candidate for Erewash. She now has plans to move to Ilkeston and is looking forward to putting down roots in the town.
Her interest in politics came about as a result of a successful eight-year campaign that she launched to save greenbelt land close to her home town. She said: “It’s all because of John Prescott, which may seem strange with him being Labour. I found out one day that he gave approval for a motorway service station on greenbelt land and thought ‘How can he do that?’ I set up a campaign group and it led to an eight-year campaign and public inquiry which got it stopped.”
It was that which gave Maggie the motivation to get involved in a number of other campaigns, building herself a profile, and ultimately pursuing the route of becoming an MP. One of the many issues she is currently involved is HS2 and she making sure that greenbelt land at Beeston is retained. She raised the issue in parliament last week, and also has concerns about the slow processes involved in projects like HS2 in the UK, which has seen some residents left in limbo while decisions are made about the location for the East Midlands hub.
She told the Tiser: “We need to make sure that residents are compensated from day one, at the moment their lives are blighted. Once it had been announced there should be full compensation for anyone that wants to move on with their lives.”
Career wide, Maggie studied biology at university in Manchester, leading to a job working in a pathology department for the NHS, testing blood for diseases. She did this for seven years before moving to the private sector, and eventually setting up her own marketing consultancy firm.
“Science and health care are still big interests for me, they affect everyone,” said Maggie. As well as her interest in these areas, outside of politics, she enjoys cycling and is a qualified leader for a project aimed at encouraging women to get on their bikes: “I’m looking forward to the tour of Britain going through Ilkeston,; she said, ‘I enjoy cycling along the Erewash Canal - I have two bikes, one for terrain and a road bike and enjoy cycling in the Derbyshire Dales.”
Asked what her priorities are for the next year, Maggie said she plans to focus on getting Ilkeston Railway Station open by putting pressure on Derbyshire County Council, and to investigate what is happening with HS2.
She said: “There will be some pain but we need some gain as well.
“I will look at the infrastructure and road layout (of HS2) to make sure Long Eaton doesn’t get cut off. I want to sit back and say we have got the opportunity to ask to make it right for the next 50 years.
“I also want to link local industry with schools a bit more, it seems most children don’t understand what’s available for them. University is not for everyone.”