MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

The year ahead is full of promise here in Fylde.
We have the reopening of Freckleton Library on Tuesday, closed by the previous Labour administration at Lancashire County Council. I asked ministers to call in that decision and the process had begun when the Conservatives won power at County Hall.
The Conservatives promised to reopen all that were closed and this is a promise made and promise delivered.
Unfortunately I have to be in Parliament when the official opening takes place, but I spoke this week with County Coun Paul Rigby who campaigned long and hard for the library, and I am delighted it will once again reopen its doors in the village.
Lytham will have a library facility restored too, but the county authority is carrying out a best value exercise to ascertain where it should be located. The sooner the situation is resolved, the better.
In just a few months, we will see the completion of works at Kirkham Station, and the electrification of the Blackpool North rail line.
I called for changes at the station when I was first elected and have kept pressure on Network Rail to take action, meeting with representatives at home in Fylde and in Parliament.
Kirkham will now have two platforms which will be completely accessible for everyone, and the station will initially have two direct London services a day. That number will grow at a later date.
The rest of the stations on the South Fylde line are being improved, with ticket-purchasing facilities being installed.
I will continue talks with Network Rail now about the possibility of doubling services along the South Fylde line, and am due to speak with rail bosses again this week.
We will also finally see work start on the M55 St Annes link road this year. We await confirmation of the final small funding pots, and I’m delighted to see we now have some concrete plans in place for the start of physical works on the road.
I promised the moment that road closed that I would do my all to get it reopened, and it has taken years of meetings and funding bids to get to this point.
I will be satisfied only when I see shovels in the ground.
On a final note, I am saddened to hear of the death of St Annes councillor Barbara Nash.
I pressed Barbara to stand for council after I met her, as it was immediately obvious she was one of those passionate people who cared deeply about her community, and making it better.
She was a fantastic councillor and a lovely woman.  My thoughts are with Councillor Ed Nash and his family.

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