Focus Article November 2017

Since my last article, I have been shocked and greatly sadden by the sudden death of my friend and local Councillor Viv Taylor. Viv was a Cabinet Member on both Wyre Council and Lancashire County Council. She was always so full of life and never failed to spread happiness with her infectious smile and upbeat outlook. She worked hard serving her local community and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. It was heart-warming to see so many people attend her recent funeral at St Oswalds Church. My thoughts are with her family and friends at this incredibly sad time.

I have been contacted by residents from Stalmine who have experienced frequent (and sometimes lengthy) power cuts this year. This is not acceptable and I have written to the Chief Executive of Electricity North West urging him to investigate these incidents and ensure that any problems with the supply are resolved without delay. If you have been affected by power cuts, please email me at wallaceb@parliament.uk with your address and details of the difficulties you have experienced. Please can I also draw your attention to the Priority Service Register which Electricity North West operate for more vulnerable customers (the elderly, those who have long term illnesses or young children): http://www.enwl.co.uk/our-services/electricity-priority-service-customer

Churchtown Action Group continue to carry out great work to address the concerns local residents have over flooding. I have supported their recent application to the Prince’s Trust for a £50,000 grant to build an embankment adjacent to Kirkland Bridge in Churchtown. This embankment would help contain flood water and prevent the flooding of farmland, roads, properties and businesses. The Action Group which was formed in January 2016 has worked tirelessly to represent the needs of village. It keeps local residents informed by sending out regular newsletters and holding public meetings, they engage with all relevant public authorities and hold them to account. This group is really making a difference and I will continue to support them in any way I can.

I have been traveling around the Constituency recently and was delighted to visit the residents of Abbeyfield House on Church Street in Garstang for a chat. We spoke about their concerns regarding the proposed caps on Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance, and how it could affect them in the future. I will highlight their concerns to Ministers. I was briefed about Abbeyfield’s Big Lottery-funded ‘Residents as Volunteers’ Project. This project encourages residents to get involved in tasks within their home and also help other charities. We also spoke about a range of issues from staying secure on-line to the concerns residents have about dangerous and uneven pavements along Church Street. I would like to thank all residents’ and staff for making me welcome and I look forward to visiting again in the future.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Passchendaele and being an ex Scots Guardsman, I am also aware that it is the 35th anniversary of the Falklands War. With Remembrance Sunday approaching I am sure we will all be honouring and remembering all who paid the ultimate sacrifice in all conflicts and all those who are living with the scars of war. I will be attending the service at Garstang this year. WE WILL REMEMBER THEM!

I can be of any assistance to you please email me at wallaceb@parliament.uk or write to me at: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. Alternatively you can contact my Office at the House of Commons on 0207 219 5804 or my Constituency Office on 01995 672977.