By the time this article goes to print Easter will be over and we will be hurtling towards summer. I do hope we can look forward to a good summer weather-wise.
Brexit continues to dominate the press and Westminster. Whenever possible, I try to write about my work within the constituency in this article and stay away from national political issues, but in this case I find myself making an exception.
My view has always been that we should respect the outcome of the referendum and seek to leave the European Union without delay, ideally with a deal.
This has been the rationale behind all my votes in Parliament. I read all the emails and letters I receive from my constituents. As you can imagine, there have been hundreds of messages.
I appreciate that public opinion within our constituency and across the country is divided. My inbox and mailbag are full of different demands from different constituents. Some people want the Government to press ahead with Brexit on WTO terms, some seek a second referendum and others want to stop Brexit altogether.
I am also very aware of the frustration felt by many – myself included – about the protracted nature of the Parliamentary debate. This has come about as the last General Election did not give any one party a clear majority and as a consequence the Prime Minister has, so far, been unable to secure support from across the House for her deal. The arithmetic is just not currently in place for any one of the options to be successful. Whatever you or I would like, the numbers just don’t add up. That’s why we will only be able to proceed with Brexit if we can agree a deal.
I, therefore, support the Prime Minister’s deal as this will respect the referendum outcome and deliver Brexit. It will also ensure that we leave the European Union on good terms with our European neighbours and enable us to continue to work together on a number of important issues, such as security.
As the UK’s Security Minister, I am very aware that a no-deal Brexit would see us lose access to the many law enforcement tools we need in the 21st Century.
Organised crime and terrorism are more international than ever, so we need a strong relationship and access to intelligence and data held by members of the European Union. Things seem to be changing on a daily basis but, I remain determined to respect the outcome of the referendum and leave the European Union without delay.
Although what is going on in Westminster is extremely important for the future of our great country, it is also vital that as the local Member of Parliament for Wyre and Preston North, I don’t lose sight of the importance of working within the local community.
I am delighted to have met up recently with the Chief Executive of Wyre Council, Garry Payne, and the Council’s Head of Planning, David Thow.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Council’s Local Plan and issues of concern to residents, as well as taking the opportunity for a general catch up.
Ensuring the voice of constituents is heard at the correct level is very important and during these meetings I take the opportunity to do just that. Wyre Council are the planning authority and I having a good working relationship with them which allows me to pass on the concerns of my constituents.
Other important meetings which have taken place recently include discussions with senior Police Officers. Again constituents contact me highlighting many issues. These range from knife crime to police funding. I wrote in a recent article how pleased I was to have been given the opportunity to accompany a local Police Officer on vehicle patrol in the local area. It is vital that I see situations from many perspectives and it was great to speak to the Local Officer as well as Senior Officers. I believe we have an outstanding Police Force locally and, indeed, throughout Lancashire.
In my last article I spoke of my sadness at the news that former Wyre Councillor and Mayor Gordon MaCann had sadly passed away. Since then his funeral has taken place at St Oswald’s Church and I am certain it was a comfort to the family to see so many people in attendance. A fitting tribute to a much loved local representative and champion of the people.
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 ways 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 02072 195 804 or my Constituency Office on (01995) 672977, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.