Did you get to meet the candidates in your area? If you did, well done and I hope that you got your points over to them. If you didn’t it is time to get real with the new MP. Your concerns are still valid and you still need to keep them on your new representative’s radar. It doesn’t matter if you voted for them or not, that is now history. What matters is that you make regular contact with them.

When our MP visited us during the campaign he knew who we were and what concerns us because I have spent the 5 years since the 2005 election emailing him about the future of the Post Office, supermarkets, tobacco, the newspaper industry, the value of local independent shops and their place in healthy communities. I even wrote to him about the future of applied agricultural research in the UK because one of my children asked me to. (I also helped a customer to get a response on an issue that she did not seem able to get a reply when she wrote herself).

When we were burgled last year I phoned his Westminster office and had a conversation with the MP’s personal assistant about the incident. I have since made several calls to his office and will certainly continue to use this method of contact.

We have now had three visits by our representative and he nearly always responds to emails. If it is an issue that effects a Department of Government he always requests an answer form the relevant Minister and sends them on to me.

With the new Government I think that it is even more important for independent small business people to communicate with their Westminster representatives. Leaving this type of contact to others allows the MPs to think we don’t matter – you do.

If your business is taking £500,000 a year inclusive of VAT you are probably collecting over £60,000 for the Government with VAT, excise duty, business rates and more. And you do that for free.

My agenda remains crime and its effects on victims, over regulation, tobacco and the display ban, micro businesses and how Government needs to improve it awareness of the sector, business rates and the sustainable communities act.