MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

THE recent cold snap has chilled many of us to the bone and, as usual, sparked one or two complaints.

The Secretary of State for Transport has given a number of statements in the House of Commons about the weather and how the Government are dealing with the issues it raises.

My office has also taken numerous complaints from people concerned about roads not being gritted.

I deeply sympathise and have tried my best, where possible, to make the case on behalf of constituents, particularly in rural areas, for their roads to be done.

There have also been one or two worries about bus routes some of which have not been gritted successfully enough.

On the whole though I must say believe that our local authorities, and particularly the Highways Agency, have done a good job in keeping things moving.

The motorways, which are absolutely vital, have been kept very clear and I applaud all the work men and women who have worked incredibly hard to do so.

Gritting depots will also, I know, get a lot of flack and everyone believes they should be prioritised.

Working there is a bit of a thankless task and I certainly wouldn’t fancy it.

So I think, at this time, we should recognise the commitment of these workers, who let’s not forget are spending a lot of time away from their families in freezing temperatures, to keep the country going.

I was affected too.

Last weekend, aware of the cold snap, I decided it was wise not to take the train up to Fylde and spend the Friday, Saturday and Sunday at home.

The risk of missing important business in the House was too great.

And I think I made the right call.

All I’ve heard this week from colleagues are stories about their delayed train journeys, late arrivals and freezing feet.

One of my colleagues used his Twitter site to reveal he had to pay £100 out of his own back pocket for a taxi to get from the train station to his constituency home because there was no local public transport.

We MP’s love a moan but you won’t see me complaining about this – we all have to try to do our best to keep calm and carry on.

Here’s hoping for a warmer New Year!

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