MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

This week I joined the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) dealing with the WASPI women – those born in the 1950s who now find themselves in difficulties due to changes in pension age.

I promised, when I met these ladies at Ansdell Library, when I invited them to Parliament, and when I met them on Lytham Green during the election campaign, that I would join this group of MPs to see how the situation can be resolved.

Promise made and promise delivered – now we have the difficult task of getting these women the help they need and deserve.

I will be writing to ministers on their behalf.

I have also joined another APPG, the Leasehold and Commonfold Reform APPG.

It may sound boring, but it is vitally important and involves everyone buying new-build homes in Fylde.

More and more people are finding, after they have moved into their dream new-build homes, that their leaseholds are being sold by the developer to a third party intent on making as much money from residents as possible.

In some cases, the new leases contain stringent rules about what homeowners can and cannot do without permission to their homes.

At best, it means more expense for homeowners. At worst, it means paying a small rent on top of a mortgage, and being restricted as to how you live in your new home.

This is not right, and is a nationwide issue. This is a campaign that is gathering strength and already some 80 MPs have signed up.

I want my constituents to have first refusal should their leaseholds be sold. I also want to see better legal protection for people buying new homes, and for more information from developers to purchasers.

Back home in Fylde, I visited Our Lady Star of the Sea School to meet pupils who visited the Houses of Parliament earlier this year.

The group were due to visit the day after the dreadful events that took place on Westminster Bridge.

I’m delighted they managed to attend the following week instead, and they had prepared some excellent questions for me on pay, school and hospital budgets, rights of way and the dreaded school homework.

I was very impressed with the class – there’s certainly a politician or two in the making there.

This weekend, don’t forget it is St Annes Charity Carnival. The procession on Saturday, and the family fun days on Saturday and Sunday are always an excellent day out.

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