MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

AN awful lot has happened since my last column so I’ll get straight down to business.

The Strategic Defence and Security Review laid out the Government’s plans for the future of our armed forces last Monday and Tuesday.

This, as I have been anticipating since I first became Fylde MP, has of course had a huge impact on BAE Systems – Fylde’s biggest employer.

With the Nimrod MRA4 reconnaissance aircraft order now cancelled I know a lot of people who worked on that order will be hugely disappointed.

This is a terrible situation and having been on an a MRA4 myself and having met with BAE staff who helped to build them I know how skilled and dedicated they were to their task.

There were brighter signals for the future of the Eurofighter Typhoon with the Government giving a commitment to the future upgrade of the aircraft.

The Prime Minister pledged Typhoon would be a vital part of Britain’s defence strategy going forward.

On Wednesday I had a meeting at the Ministry of Defence with the Secretary of State Liam Fox.

At that meeting I requested further information around some key projects and the Secretary of State promised to respond.

As soon as I have an answer I can assure BAE staff and the general public I will put it in to the public domain.

I am extremely confident that Typhoon has been recognised globally and the potential for exports is huge.

Hopefully this will keep Warton strong for years to come.

I could talk all day on this subject but moving on to the Comprehensive Spending Review last Wednesday there were incredibly tough decisions to make – too many to analyse in this space.

However, one key move stood out for the Fylde coast – the pledge to electrify the rail lines to Preston and Blackpool which will make a massive difference to our transport infrastructure.

For Fylde I know many people will be delighted with the retention of winter fuel payments, as well as free TV licences, which I have had many letters about, and concessionary bus travel.

But down to the terrible state of the deficit that the previous government left behind there have inevitably been some difficult decisions that will leave some people disappointed.

Nonetheless I am sure the moves made by George Osborne will set Britain back on the road to economic stability and, in the long term, prove to be the right way forward for our country and for Fylde.

Comments are closed.