MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER


THEY say a week is a long time in politics and that’s certainly true.

A huge amount has happened since my last column and I’ll try to cover as much as I can in this space today.

First off there was the announcement that Fylde Council will be looking to share staff with our neighbours up in Preston.

This is a big decision but one I welcome.

The officers at Fylde Council and the council leadership are, I know, trying their best to protect frontline functions in spite of a sizable cut in their budget.

These are difficult times for all public sector organisations but I’m confident though the steps already taken by Fylde – who have shown foresight in gradually reducing their budget prior to this cut – will stand them in good stead.

A day later I was at Department of Energy and Climate Change Questions; my first in my new role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Energy Minister, Charles Hendry MP.

The role means I will assist Charles and his team in an unpaid capacity, keeping them informed of backbench opinion on energy policy and helping with preparation for debates and questions.

Learning from the Minister and his team has been already been fascinating and I hope that the role will help me to stick up for Fylde’s energy interests.

Weekend brought a number of meetings with all sorts of people from teachers to party members as well as the local churches together group.

The highlight though was undoubtedly stopping in and volunteering for a few hours at Barnardo’s charity shop in St Annes.

The staff were warm, friendly and kind and made me feel really welcome and I was delighted to learn more about their work.

And I was pleased on Sunday that the remembrance services at Kirkham and St Annes, which I wrote about in detail last week, were well attended.

Monday was, of course, back to the hustle and bustle of Parliament for more voting as business continues before two constituency surgeries on Friday and Saturday.

Next week brings more Parliamentary business including a debate on House of Lords Reform as well as a meeting on ticketing for the London 2012 Olympics which I know a lot of people with an interest in sport will have an eye on.

I’ll report back and continue to keep you posted.

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