Focus Article November 2019

As I write this article, I can hear the rain pouring down outside. Whenever I hear torrential rain, I think of my constituents in areas of the constituency which are prone to flooding and study the updates I receive from the Environment Agency about flood alerts to ensure I have the latest information. 

As often is the case, Lancashire seems to get more than its fair share of rain and I know this latest bad weather has affected many residents.  As a result I have recently visited Kiln Lane in Hambleton, which flooded at the end of September, to speak to residents and local Wyre and County Councillors to try to address the issues. 

As a result, I am to convene a meeting with the Area Director of the Environment Agency to discuss this and the many issues relating to flooding throughout the constituency. 

I do think we are fortunate here in Wyre to have so many active Flood Action Groups and a Flood Forum which ensures all agencies speak to each other.  I am pleased to be represented at the Flood Forum by a member of my staff. He also drives around the constituency when flooding is forecast to check on local communities and keep an eye on river levels on my behalf.  All this information helps me make informed representations to the local agencies responsible for dealing with flooding. 

Due to the wet weather, surface water has been a real issue on local roads and in many areas the highway drains have not coped well with the heavy rain. If you do know a drain which blocks regularly in your area, you can report it to LCC by visiting: www.lancashire.gov.uk/roads-parking-and-travel/report-it/  If drains are kept clear it makes it easier for surface water to drain away during heavily rain.   

With knife crime continuing to be a great concern throughout the country, I had the honour recently to meet a former world champion boxer trying to make a difference.  Robin Reid (The Reaperman) and Stu Maddox, former local Boxer, came to see me at a recent surgery to talk about the Safety Guide Foundation, which they support. 

The foundation was created to help raise the awareness of social issues through a range of individual booklets supporting personal and social development.  These range from drugs and alcohol, bullying, knife crime to road safety.  If you would like to find out more please visit their website: www.safetyguide.co.uk/

I was delighted to learn that Lancashire County Council has recently introduced measures making it easier for us to recycle more plastic waste. Along with plastic bottles, which are already collected, residents will be able to put clean plastic pots, tubs and trays in our recycling bins at home for collection.  Read more here: www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/lancashire-recycles/ 

I understand that harder to recycle products such as tetra pak cartons are accepted for recycling at the County Council’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres. More details can be found here: www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/?utm_source=Redirect&utm_medi…

In recent months I have had a new issue raised by constituents from areas across the constituency, from Poulton to Garstang. 

This is the issue of water in the gas supply.  In all my years as your local MP, I do not recall this being reported to me before, but I have had three separate reports since last year.  If you do encounter this problem you should contact Cadent in the first instance.  I’m happy to help if the matter is not resolved swiftly. 

Cadent was created in 2017 when National Grid sold its gas distribution business.  Cadent is responsible for the gas distribution network in the North West. 

The company maintains and repairs gas pipes in the network and connects and alters gas connections for homes and businesses. Cadent is also responsible for emergency operations on the network. They don’t produce gas or own the gas that runs through the network – that is the gas supplier. So if you encounter water in your gas supply call their customer serves team on 0345 835 1111.  If you smell gas call their emergency number on 0800 111 999.  You can find out more about Cadent here: https://cadentgas.com/home

We are fast approaching November (and dare I say it Christmas already)!  I enjoy this time of year – when it isn’t too wet, of course – relaxing Autumnal walks and seeing the leaves on the trees turning beautiful shades of red, orange and brown. 

However, I also know that as Bonfire Night approaches many pet owners start to feel anxious about how their animals will react to noisy fireworks. Please be mindful of this if you are planning to set off fireworks at home. You may also want to read the safety tips issued by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (www.rospa.com/Home-Safety/Advice/Fireworks-Safety) to ensure that your night is as enjoyable and trouble-free as possible.

During recent walkabouts within the constituency I have enjoyed talking to residents while they are going about their daily business and finding out what matters to them a daily basis.  Sometimes I think with everything that is going on nationally sometimes, these issue can be overlooked. 

I intend to continue to visit towns and villages within the constituency whenever possible and please remember, do contact my office if you would like me to visit your business, charity etc.

I continue to meet residents at my advice surgeries to discuss a wide range of issues.  Please remember if you would like to attend one of my surgeries, the most effective way to contact me is by email, 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.  As in previous months national issues continue to fill my mailbag, please remember I am here to represent you and your views are important to me so please keep them coming.

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.