Focus Article February 2019

Well here we are well and truly forging into 2019.  As you will no doubt have seen things are moving quickly in Westminster and it remains an extremely busy period and important time for the country and its future.  During this time of national importance it is vital that as your local MP I continue to carry out my duties within the constituency and I have been doing just that.  I would like to thank the many residents I have spoken to for sharing their views with me as I travel around.

Highway issues are always well represented in my mailbag and I am pleased to see more resurfacing and major patching being carried out in many areas including the A588 from Hambleton to Stalmine.  Although road works can cause inconvenience, the works are necessary as preparation for the significant investment (from the Safer Roads Fund) in the whole length of the road later this year.

While on a recent constituency day I visited the Royal Preston Hospital where I was interviewed by the Hospital Radio Station. I also visited Blackpool Victoria Hospital just before Christmas and being in the hospitals during the winter months before and after Christmas reminded me of the outstanding job our doctors, nurses, hospital staff and all emergency services do on our behalf. 

Across the constituency, and the county, the roll out of superfast broadband stalled for several months last year as Openreach had sought to increase its charges.  Lancashire was not the only county affected and as a consequence Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, took over the negotiations with Openreach.  I am pleased to report that BDUK reached an agreement with Openreach at the end of last year and as a result Lancashire County Council can resume its roll out, although with some delay.  You can learn more about the County’s superfast broadband project here: www.lancashire.gov.uk/council/strategies-policies-plans/corporate/super…

In last month’s article I mentioned how unpredictable the weather is and how real the risk of flooding is in many areas.  With this in mind I am meeting Keith Ashcroft in the next couple of days, Mr Ashcroft is the Environment Agency’s Area Director for Cumbria and Lancashire. It is vital that I keep up to date with what the Agency is doing and that I hammer home to him the views of constituents.  I also hope he will set out the Agency’s priorities for our constituency over the next few years, so that I can lobby Ministers for the necessary funding.  I have also mentioned the great work local Flood Action Groups do before and the importance of their presence at Wyre’s Flood Forum meetings.  The Flood Forums are a great opportunity for the local groups to get answers from all agencies and local elected representatives. 

For some years now I have facilitated a visit to Parliament by the Principals of sixth form colleges throughout Lancashire. The visit consists of meetings with Ministers and various Officials and gives the Principals an opportunity to highlight the challenges they are facing, with the visit culminating in a dinner.  I am very proud of the sixth form colleges which serve the constituency and I believe collectively they offer a wide range of subjects and a high standard of education.

I continue to meet residents at my advice surgeries covering a wide range of issues. Please remember if you would like to attend one the most effective way to contact me is by e-mail, with a brief description of the issues you wish to raise and your contact details.  It is worth bearing in mind that I can often offer assistance without the need for a meeting.

If I can be of any assistance to you please ring my Office at the House of Commons on 0207 219 5804 or my Constituency Office on 01995 672976, email me at wallaceb@parliament.uk or write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.