MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

LAST week felt like the calm before the storm.

Aside from answering your letters and emails and dealing with problems, I took a short break spending a little time in the Outer Hebrides with a friend who is the MP for the area.

And I’m glad to have relaxed a bit because now I am in the midst of one of the busiest week’s I’ve had for a long, long time and will be campaigning hard on some very important Fylde issues.

First thing on Monday morning I had a very productive meeting with Chris Grayling, the Minister for Employment, to discuss Hewlett Packard’s much publicised proposal to move some of their work overseas to Bangalore.

This is a move which I found very hard to support, not only because of the loss of jobs in Fylde, but also because I do not believe Government-contracted jobs should be sent offshore.

I’ve spoken to a number of people who are connected to HP in Fylde and they were understandably very upset.

So I was very pleased when the Minister shared my view.

I understand an official announcement is set to be made very soon and the Government will not be supporting the move abroad.

I now hope to work with the company, unions and the DWP on their future plans and have already set up a meeting with HP.

Meanwhile, I am also meeting with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, later this week to discuss further economic support for the North West.

I hope to gather some information about the possibility of an Enterprise Zone in the future, discuss planning and people’s concerns about the new National Planning Policy Framework and how I can support the work of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership who put in a very strong bid based around BAE Warton and Samlesbury.

I will be back in Fylde too on Friday and touching base with a number of local organisations including Fylde Counselling Service and the staff at Holland House Surgery in Lytham and holding  two surgeries.

It’s been an interesting week and there is more to come. As always, I will report back on any further interesting developments.

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