Where is the year going? At the moment, it is an extremely busy time in Parliament and I am pleased to say many of you have written to me to give me your opinion on the current political situation.
The extreme weather continues to be a major talking point locally. I have met with local residents to gauge opinion and gather information which I hope will help the authorities to gain a better understanding of the local situation with regard to flooding.
I am meeting with Ministers to ensure that the correct finance is available. I am also meeting with Senior Representatives from the Environment Agency to hammer home the importance of working together to find improvements.
My Office in Great Eccleston continues to work with flood groups and all authorities: I believe communication is key. These flooding incidents were once very rare, for a number of reasons they are now much more common. Of course unprecedented weather is a factor, but we now know it happens so everything possible must be done to minimise risk. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts on this issue.
I know that many residents are concerned about planning in many parts of Wyre and I have recently met with residents from Great Eccleston who highlighted their views in relation to development. We have many issues here in Wyre and Wyre Council is developing its Local Plan to ensure future development is sustainable. I urge residents to get involved whenever possible in the planning process.
Lancashire County Council’s decision to continue with its plans to close a number of libraries and buildings across the County is really concerning.
When I heard about these proposals earlier this year I made representations to Jo Turton, Chief Executive and Jennifer Mein, Leader of Lancashire County Council, to express my objections. I have subsequently written to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley MP, requesting that she investigate Lancashire County Council’s position as the statutory provider of library services across the County. I have set out my sincere concerns in relation to the County Council’s management of the consultation process and the implications of these closures for local communities.
I am pleased to report that Ministers have now agreed to treat my representations as a formal complaint. As a result the Government will now be analysing all relevant information to determine whether to hold a local inquiry to consider whether the Council is acting in compliance with its statutory duties under the Public Libraries and Museums Act. I understand that the timescale for consideration is dependent on a number of factors, but I will be sure to keep you informed of progress.
If I can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. I also hold regular surgeries. If you would like to book an appointment please call my Office at the House of Commons on 0207 219 1778. I can also be contacted at my Constituency Office on (01995) 672976.
Ben Wallace MP