MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

IT’S always wonderful to see the public pulling together, particularly at this time of year.

So the overwhelming response to the idea of the Lytham Cockle Ball has been truly heart warming.

The brainchild of local chef Paul Rowley, who first came up with the idea on his Facebook web page, the event is now sold out and is set to be one of the highlights of next year.

With Paul and local chef Katie Fieldhouse, at the helm, you can be assured the night will be both great fun with some fabulous food.

It also, quite rightly, celebrates the tremendous contribution of our local RNLI volunteers during the cockle picking problems of earlier this year.

Their efforts during that stormy period helped to safeguard cocklers, some of whom were putting their lives at risk by trawling for the precious cargo, and prevented a serious accident or even a fatality.

While it was, to some, all in a day’s work for these brave volunteers, I was hugely impressed by their professionalism, commitment and understanding and I cannot commend their efforts highly enough.

I hope the event, which is taking place on February 3rd 2012 at Lowther Pavilion, will raise a huge amount for their excellent cause.

And finally for this year, before we turn to 2012, I am keen to mention a few things I hope Fylde can press on with in the New Year.

Firstly, of course, we have crucial talks still ongoing at BAE Systems over the proposed job losses there and need the new Lancashire Enterprise Zone, which I campaigned night and day for, up and running as quickly as possible.

We also need further economic support for our businesses and high streets.

As anyone who follows my parliamentary questions will know, the economy is always my primary focus. And finally we await the arrival of Tiger Woods and co for The Open Golf Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes in the summer.

It promises to be a World Class event right here on our doorstep. 2012 could be an tremendous year for Fylde.

*Anyone wishing to be a sponsor or contribute to the Lytham Cockle Ball should contact Paul Rowley (01253) 721534 or info@lindumhotel.co.uk. You can also keep up to date at Facebook.com/LythamCockleBall and Twitter.com/cockleball

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