MP’s charity bid
SOUTH East Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice is calling on his constituents to support his latest fund-raising effort – and wear their trousers the wrong way round. Mr Paice, who celebrated 20 years as the area s MP this month, posed with life-sized Wallace an
SOUTH East Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice is calling on his constituents to support his latest fund-raising effort - and wear their trousers the wrong way round.
Mr Paice, who celebrated 20 years as the area's MP this month, posed with life-sized Wallace and Gromit figures to help promote Wrong Trousers Day, which takes place on June 29.
The event has been organised by the Wallace and Gromit Children's Foundation, which raises money for sick children in hospitals and hospices. Mr Paice has always supported the Milton Children's Hospice and, along with thousands of others on June 29, will pay £1 to wear his trousers the wrong way.
"Members of Parliament aren't really known for admitting we're wrong," he said, "but on this occasion I am more than happy to wholeheartly support being wrong on Wrong Trousers Day.
"I am delighted to get behind this campaign to raise money for some of Britain's most poorly children who are undergoing traumatic treatment in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK. I have seen at first hand on visits to EACH in Milton what incredible care and support is provided at children's hospices and I hope as many people as possible will join the campaign."
Mr Paice, speaking to the Ely Standard about his 20 years as the area's MP, said the biggest change he had experienced in two decades was the huge explosion in the local population.
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"The biggest change has been the demography of the area. Ely has grown hugely."
As a result of boundary changes, the constituency will lose the villages of Rampton, Abingdon, Pamperford and Babrahham at the next election.
Mr Paice lost several villages from the patch due to boundary changes 10 years ago, and said he would be sorry to lose more of his constituents.
"I very much regret losing more villages from the constituency, I have represented these people for 20 years and I know them very well."
He said on a personal level he was very proud to have served the area for two decades.
"Sometimes I can't believe that I have been the MP for 20 years. My home is on the patch and my children have been brought up here and attended Soham Village College, so I feel very much at home here.
"I am pleased that we now have a Conservative-controlled council again and am looking forward to the benefits that will bring the area. All the current pressures on local government are of growth and I believe there will be some huge challenges ahead for public services as the area continues to grow."
Mr Paice said he had faced some huge personal challenges during his stint.
"There have been some huge challenges for my family, especially my wife Ava. She has always been supportive and she knew from the off what we were taking on, there have been a few surprises along the way, but that is the price of the job.