MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

PUBS have suffered tremendously over the last few years.

Whatever you put it down to; be it the smoking ban, cheaper alcohol available elsewhere or the recession, I think it’s a crying shame.

Now like most people I like a pint or two and I’m also acutely aware of how big a part of a community a pub can be.

They are a massive part of our social and cultural heritage.

So I applaud and commend to you a new campaign which is running throughout this week simply entitled British Pub Week.

It encourages people to use make a special effort to go out and use their local pub.

I will certainly be going out for a drink or two and I hope you will do the same.

Now for something completely different, as they say, and an announcement last week which flew under-the-radar last week in the midst of the fallout of the Comprehensive Spending Review about nuclear fuel.

I know what you’re thinking alcohol and nuclear fuel? Not a good combination.

But please bear with me this is excellent news.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to new nuclear power stations in an announcement last Tuesday.

Mr Huhne added he was “sick” of the ongoing struggle between advocates of renewable and nuclear power, stating both would play an important role to meet Britain’s energy needs in the future.

This is, of course, tremendous news for Springfields Nuclear Fuels in Salwick which employs a lot of people from here in Fylde.

And during the same announcement, Mr Huhne also announced first stage approval – “Regulatory Justification” – for Westinghouse’s AP1000 nuclear reactor design.

This means that, pending a second stage of even more rigorous testing, the reactor, which would be powered by fuel from Springfields, could be used at some of the eight new nuclear sites being planned to help meet Britain’s energy needs.

I will be meeting with Springfields management and staff on Friday and will be offering any support I can to try to help their cause in order to protect jobs here in Fylde.

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