Over Wyre Focus - February 2016

After a very mild Christmas, winter is finally upon us. The cold weather makes leaving Lancashire to catch the early train to London even more difficult!

Many of my constituents have been affected by the terrible weather over the festive season and are in the process of trying to get back to some sense of normality. I have written to all residents in Wyre affected by the floods and I wanted to take the opportunity to repeat what assistance is available. The Government has announced a £50 million Flood Fund for all those affected by the recent flooding. These funds have now been distributed to local authorities. Hopefully, by now, those of you who have been flooded should have received a £500 cheque from Wyre Council to help with emergency provisions and the clear up. If you have not then please contact Wyre Council on 01253 891000.

I am keen that as many as my constituents as possible access the Property Level Protection Scheme element of the Communities and Business Recovery scheme which is intended as a contribution towards making properties more resilient to future flooding. This funding will allow affected households and small and medium-sized businesses to claim up to £5,000 per property flooded. If you would like to find out more please contact Wyre Council Business Support Team by email at regeneration@wyre.gov.uk . The Team can offer advice and support.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the emergency services, the local Councils and all who helped during a very traumatic time for those affected. I worked very closely with representatives from the Parish Councils who did an outstanding job in passing on local information and knowledge. Special mention must go to Gary and Michelle, the landlords of The Grape’s at St Michaels. The team did a great job providing warm food and beer to locals, officials, media and even MPs throughout the flooding. I was also incredibly impressed by the efforts of Mrs Brough, Headteacher of St Michael’s Primary School, who along with her staff and volunteers have ensured local facilities for her pupils are provided. The show must go on as they say!

I was pleased to see that work is now underway on the Broughton By-Pass. Although it has been many years in the making, it is now finally becoming a reality. I do believe that when completed, it will bring benefit to all road users in the area. We all know the frustration of being held up at the Broughton Cross Roads. I was pleased to play a part in helping direct Government funding to the Preston City Deal.

I have been contacted by a number of a constituents in relation to Lancashire County Council’s decision to withdraw all subsidies and terminate all local bus service contracts from April. Like residents I am very concerned at these proposals and I am making my objections known to the County Council. I am also seeking advice from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the legality of these proposals. I was disappointed to learn that the County Council has reserves of over £300 million and a further £96 million in school reserves. It seems to me that the County Council is playing politics with people’s services.

If I can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me. You can email me at wallaceb@parliament.uk 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 5804. I can also be contacted at my Constituency Office on 01995 672976.