Alexander Baldwin-Smith did a week's work experience with Gavin - here's what he thought of his time in Parliament:
A weeks work experience spent with Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell can certainly be described as busy, engaging and stimulating; certainly no photo copying here. Such a varied and interesting week can't really be put into one blog post, but here's an attempt.
The week was effectively split into two distinct parts, Westminster and Constituency work in Croydon. Seeing the workings of Westminster up close, from individual meetings to select committees and the House demonstrated the many and varied aspects of the MPs diary and the number of calls on their time. For those who think that an empty Commons chamber means nothing happening at Westminster, a day with Gavin shows this couldn't be any further from the truth.
Watching the Spending Review with the energy and dynamism from both sides of the dispatch box was a fantastic experience. To think of all the history that has been made in the House, the Mother of all Parliaments, was really thought provoking and I felt privileged to be viewing that hour or so of debate on that day in history. News coverage really doesn't do the atmosphere and quality of much of the debate in that historic House justice.
Away from the high profile politics of Westminster came the equally important Constituency work. Visits to several schools including Coloma showed just how interested many young people in Croydon are in the politics of our country and how important the future of their town is to them. Much of an MPs time locally is spent on the individual cases of constituents. Witnessing a range of these gave a very different perspective of the MPs role to that up in the corridors of power but showed a whole cross section of life and in some examples how he decisions in those corridors manifest themselves on the ground.