The nights are really drawing in now and we have seen a definite change in the season! Like my children, I’ve had the back to school feeling returning to Westminster after the Party Conference season. Within hours of being in London, I wanted to be back in Lancashire!
I was fortunate to have been able to spend the last four weeks in Lancashire and I have been out and about around the constituency. I spent an enjoyable day visiting the BAE sites at Warton and Samlesbury. I saw parts of the Hawk and F-35 production process and the final assembly of the Typhoon. Engineers from our part of the country really are involved with some of the most advanced and innovative technology and the visit left me inspired and incredibly proud of our workforce. I always try to help BAE be successful as it is so important to the county, providing over 14,000 jobs directly. As you may be aware, BAE has one of the largest and best apprenticeship programmes in the country and I was pleased to meet some of the apprentices. I am sure that the apprentices have a bright future ahead of them.
Recently, I also met Chief Superintendent Stuart Noble who took on the role of West Divisional Commander at Lancashire Constabulary earlier this year. I discussed the challenges facing the Constabulary, including local policing issues. In addition, I met with members of the National Farmers’ Union from across the constituency to discuss a range of issues, including milk prices and the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
I was honoured to have been invited to open the new path through Stalmine Wood. Stalmine Parish Council funded the work to construct the path by applying for a Big Lottery Funding. Before the path was built, local people were not benefiting from the woodland environment as it was difficult to access, particularly for those with restricted mobility or pushchairs. Those who did visit the woods often, unintentionally, ended up trampling on saplings and causing damage. I commend the Parish Council for identifying this problem and effectively setting about finding a solution. I know how burdensome and time consuming funding applications can be! I do hope that the local community will now be able to make greater use of the special woodland on their doorstep.
The latest on Halite/Canatxx is that the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has asked the company to provide further information about the amount of gas which it foresees would be transferred in and out of the proposed storage facility; the working volume of the facility; and the impact a reduced storage capacity would have on the above ground infrastructure. This follows the submission of further geological information by Halite/Canatxx, upon which members of the public and other interested parties were asked to give their views over the summer. All those representations are currently being considered by the Department. DECC has asked the public and the applicant not to read anything into the further questions which have been asked of the applicant. Halite/Canatxx has been given until 22 October to provide its response. I continue to follow this process very closely and will give you a further update next month.
I have asked the Secretary of state to look at the multiple housing applications around Garstang. I fear there are too many for the town to absorb and that we are in danger of the developers forcing the pace.
If like me, you have young children, you will know that by this stage in October we are all looking forward to half term!
I 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, alternatively you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.